BACKGROUND: Good coronary care begins from the patient's home, including early transportation. As such, it is recommended that the patients activate ambulances, rather than to use their own transportations to reach the hospitals. It is not known whether Malaysian patients prefer to use private transportations or ambulances when they develop chest pain.
OBJECTIVES: This study is conducted to explore the question of the choice of transportation modes among patients with acute coronary syndrome and the reasons behind their choices.
METHODS: This is a structured interview survey on patients diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in emergency department of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia from April 2012 to September 2012.
RESULTS: Out of the 110 patients surveyed, 105 (95.5%) patients chose to use own transportation when they developed symptoms suggestive of ACS. Only 3 patients (2.7%) came to the emergency department within 1 hour of onset, and all these 3 patients chose to use ambulances as their modes of transportation. None of the patients who chose own transportation came within the first hour of symptoms onset. This is shown to be statistically significant (p<0.001). The level of education as well as past history of ischemic heart disease did not significantly influence the patients' choice of transportation.
CONCLUSION: The admonishment by various international resuscitation councils that patients with chest pain should be transported via ambulances may not be as straightforward as it seems. Numerous local and regional socio-cultural and logistic factors may need to be addressed.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.