Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Emerg Med. 1989 May;18(5):483-8.

Evaluation of patients for the need of thrombolytic therapy in the prehospital setting.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Hospital, Illinois 60637.


Maximum benefit from thrombolytic therapy in acute myocardial infarction is obtained with early therapy. The earliest possible time to treat is during the initial evaluation of the patient in the home or ambulance, which requires accurate diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction in the prehospital setting. In our study, paramedics evaluated patients who had chest pain with a 12-lead ECG transmitted by cellular telephone and a checklist for inclusion and exclusion criteria for thrombolytic therapy. This information was transmitted to a hospital-based telemetry physician who diagnosed or excluded acute myocardial infarction and made a mock decision to withhold or administer a thrombolytic agent. Forty-eight patients with chest pain were evaluated. Six were diagnosed as having overt acute myocardial infarction by the hospital-based telemetry physician. All six patients had the diagnosis substantiated by both ECG and enzyme studies on hospital admission. Based on the data supplied by paramedics, two of these six patients were considered eligible for thrombolytic therapy by the physician. Hospital evaluation confirmed the prehospital decision to treat with a thrombolytic agent. In addition, all other patients were appropriately diagnosed as ineligible. Prehospital ECG diagnosis resulted in two patients going directly to the catheterization lab, thereby bypassing the emergency department. Overt acute myocardial infarction can be accurately identified by a prehospital-acquired 12-lead ECG transmitted to a hospital-based physician. Our study demonstrates that in conjunction with specially trained paramedics, the hospital physician can decide whether to administer thrombolytic therapy to such patients in the prehospital setting.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk