Optimal prehospital cardiovascular care

Jane H. Brice, Terence Valenzuela, Joseph P. Ornato, Robert A. Swor, Jerry Overton, Ronald G. Pirrallo, James Dunford, Robert M. Domeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Optimal prehospital cardiovascular care may improve the morbidity and mortality associated with acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs) that begin in the community. Reducing the time delays from AMI symptom onset to intervention begins with maximizing effective patient education to reduce patient delay in recognizing symptoms and seeking assistance. Transportation delays can be minimized by appropriate use of 911 systems and improving technological 911 support. Patient triage to heart centers from the prehospital setting requires strict and comprehensive definition of the criteria for these centers by competent, unbiased clinical societies or governmental agencies. Prehospital 12lead electrocardiograms and initiation of thrombolytic therapy can provide acute diagnosis and early treatment, thus facilitating faster processing and more directed in-hospital intervention. They also minimize over- and undertriage of patients to cardiac centers. Although evidence from investigational trials suggests that many of these procedures are effective, more research is required to ensure correct implementation and quality assurance at all emergency service levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Cardiovascular care
  • Delays
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Emergency medical services
  • Quality assurance
  • Thrombolytic therapy
  • Triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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