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Reducing delay in seeking treatment by patients with acute coronary syndrome and stroke: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on cardiovascular nursing and stroke council

Patient delay in seeking treatment for acute coronary syndrome and stroke symptoms is the major factor limiting delivery of definitive treatment in these conditions. Despite decades of research and public education campaigns aimed at decreasing patient delay times, most patients still do not seek treatment in a timely manner. In this scientific statement, we summarize the evidence that (1) demonstrates the benefits of early treatment, (2) describes the extent of the problem of patient delay, (3) identifies the factors related to patient delay in seeking timely treatment, and (4) reveals the inadequacies of our current approaches to decreasing patient delay. Finally, we offer suggestions for clinical practice and future research.

Authors: Moser DK; Go AS; Zerwic JJ; et al.

Circulation. 2006 Jul 11;114(2):168-82. Epub 2006 Jun 26.

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