Objectives: The aims of this study were to describe variability in intensive care unit (ICU) utilization for patients with uncomplicated ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), evaluate the proportion of these patients who developed in-hospital complications requiring ICU care, and assess whether ICU use patterns and complication rates vary across categories of first medical contact to device times. Background: In the era of rapid primary percutaneous coronary intervention, ICUs may be overutilized as patients presenting with STEMI are less likely to develop complications requiring ICU care. Methods: Using data from the Chest Pain-MI Registry linked to Medicare claims, the authors examined patterns of ICU utilization among hemodynamically stable patients with STEMI ≥65 years of age treated with uncomplicated primary percutaneous coronary intervention, stratified by timing of reperfusion: early (first medical contact–to–device time ≤60 min), intermediate (61 to 90 min), or late (>90 min). Results: Of 19,507 patients with STEMI treated at 707 hospitals, 82.3% were treated in ICUs, with a median ICU stay of 1 day (interquartile range [IQR]: 1 to 2 days). The median FMC-to-device time was 79 min (IQR: 63 to 99 min); 22.0% of patients had early, 44.8% intermediate, and 33.2% late reperfusion. ICU utilization rates did not differ between patients with early, intermediate, and late reperfusion times (82%, 83%, and 82%; p for trend = 0.44). Overall, 3,159 patients (16.2%) developed complications requiring ICU care while hospitalized: 3.7% died, 3.7% had cardiac arrest, 8.7% shock, 0.9% stroke, 4.1% high-grade atrioventricular block requiring treatment, and 5.7% respiratory failure. Patients with longer FMC-to-device times were more likely to develop at least 1 of these complications (early 13.4%, intermediate 15.7%, and late 18.7%; p for trend <0.001; adjusted odds ratio [early as reference] for intermediate: 1.13 [95% confidence interval: 1.01 to 1.25]; adjusted odds ratio for late: 1.22 [95% confidence interval: 1.08 to 1.37]). Conclusions: Although >80% of stable patients with STEMI are treated in the ICU after primary percutaneous coronary intervention, the risk for developing a complication requiring ICU care is 16%. Implementing a risk-based triage strategy, inclusive of factors such as degree of reperfusion delay, could optimize ICU utilization for patients with STEMI.
- ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction
- intensive care unit
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine