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Original Research

Thrombolysis for acute ST elevation myocardial infarction: a pilot study comparing results from GP led small rural health emergency departments with results from a physician led sub-regional emergency department

Submitted: 21 November 2011
Revised: 1 March 2012
Published: 8 June 2012

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Author(s) : Krones R, Radford P, Cunningham C, Krones D, Haines HM.

Robert KronesPeter RadfordChris CunninghamDavid KronesHelen Haines

Citation: Krones R, Radford P, Cunningham C, Krones D, Haines HM.  Thrombolysis for acute ST elevation myocardial infarction: a pilot study comparing results from GP led small rural health emergency departments with results from a physician led sub-regional emergency department. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2012; 12: 2013. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=2013 (Accessed 17 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Urgent angiogram is best treatment for patients presenting with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in the first 90 min after contacting medical help. For Australian residents of inner and outer regional areas and remote or very remote areas, quick access to angiograms is not available. Numerous approaches have been developed to maximize reperfusion but delays due to systematic and patient factors persist. Diminishing confidence of some GPs in small rural health services to administer thrombolytics was one barrier to timely reperfusion identified in northeast Victoria, Australia. The aim of this study was to compare the frequency and outcomes of STEMI patients treated with thrombolysis by GPs in small rural emergency departments (EDs) with the outcomes from thrombolysis for STEMI in the physician-led, sub-regional ED in northeast Victoria.
Methods:  Data were gathered by a medical file audit. Outcome measures were the frequency of STEMI, symptom to presentation times, mode of transport to hospital, ambulance call to presentation at ED times, door to needle (DTN) times, subsequent percutanous intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG), physician follow up and death.
Results:  In total 68 cases were audited. Univariate analysis showed no significant differences between the GP-led or physician-led EDs in time from onset of symptoms to presentation, DTN times, thrombolysis related complications or subsequent access to PCI or CABG. Follow-up care was similar in both groups. Transport to hospital differed between the groups with only half of all cases arriving at the ED by ambulance, almost all of which went to the sub-regional hospital.
Conclusions:  Thrombolysis for STEMI in the small GP-led EDs had similar results to thrombolysis administered by the physician-led ED. There is substantial time benefit to be gained by encouraging GP-led EDs to provide thrombolysis treatment, thereby improving patient prognosis and survival.

Key words: Australia, GPs, rural emergency departments, STEMI, thrombolysis, Victoria.

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