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Open Access Barriers to the Implementation of Primary PCI in the Management of STEMI in Egypt

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Introduction: Evidence-based guidelines recommend primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) be the mainstay reperfusion strategy for the treatment of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) if it is performed in the proper time window. However, the Egyptian health care system is still struggling to provide such an important service. The aim of the present study, through a quantitative questionnaire, is to explore the current practice of STEMI management in Egypt, and to identify the barriers, opportunities, and potential areas for improvement. Methods and Results: The questionnaire was conducted in Egypt via face-to-face qualitative in-depth interviews with cardiologists from 14 PPCI-capable hospitals and 26 non-PPCI-capable hospitals. Participants were selected in view of their experience and knowledge. The study identified potential barriers to the implementation of PPCI among STEMI patients in Egypt. These barriers included the prehospital patient delay and emergency medical service delay, delay in the emergency department and delay in patient transfer to the CCU, unavailable equipment, catheterization laboratory activation delay, lack of trained interventional cardiologists, lack of regional STEMI networks and hospital policies, and insufficient ICU beds. Conclusion: Limited resources and health care system inadequacies have led to potential barriers that prevent suboptimal implementation of PPCI in Egypt. Efforts from all health care providers should be directed to overcome these identified barriers.
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Keywords: ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; primary percutaneous coronary intervention; barriers; Egypt

Affiliations: Fayoum University, Fayoum, Egypt

Appeared or available online: August 3, 2021

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