Most patients with symptomatic acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the leading cause of death in most western industrialized nations (Gillum 1994), use the emergency department (ED) as their point of entry. Early identification and timely intervention improve outcomes in patients with AMI. McClellan et al. (1994) demonstrated significant improvement in mortality and morbidity with early management of elderly patients with AMI. One identified barrier to early recognition of patients with AMI is ED overcrowding.
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