A fixed life support station (LSS) was established in the emergency department of a community hospital in order to provide early care for patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (MI). Prospective studies were conducted on 154 patients with verified acute MI. Median time from onset of symptoms to electrocardiographic monitoring was 164 minutes. Overall hospital mortality for these patients was 15.6%. Of 112 patients less than 70 years old, 51 arrived within two hours; only three (6%) of the 51 died. Patients arriving within two hours of the onset of symptoms in clinical class I had an incidence of cardiogenic shock (CS) of 2%, while those arriving two hours or more after the onset of symptoms in clinical class II had an incidence of CS of 26% (P <.005). A fixed LSS in a community hospital is feasible and effective for early care of patients with acute MI and may facilitate identification of patients at highest risk for development of CS.
(Arch Intern Med 136:974-978, 1976)