Despite substantial progress in the diagnosis and treatment of acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), implementation of this knowledge into routine clinical practice has been variable. It has become increasing clear that primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the preferred method of reperfusion if it can be performed in a timely manner. Recent European data suggest that transfer for direct PCI may also be preferable to fibrinolytic therapy. We believe it is time to establish a national policy for treatment of patients with STEMI to develop a coordinated system of care similar to that of the level 1 trauma system.
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