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Emergency Medical Services

  • James M. Atkins
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 193)

Abstract

Emergency medical services can aid the rapid reperfusion of patients with an acute myocardial infarction as well as speed the care for other patients with acute cardiac ischemia. The importance of emergency medical services in the care of the patient with acute cardiac ischemia is best understood when one considers the critical nature of time. The various syndromes produced by acute cardiac ischemia present many challenges, and time is a major component of those challenges. Acute cardiac ischemia can present with any of three major syndromes - sudden cardiac death, acute myocardial infarction, and angina pectoris (stable or unstable). In patients with asympromatic coronary atherosclerosis, the first symptom of acute cardiac ischemia is sudden death in about 25% of patients, acute myocardial infarction in about 45% of patients, and angina pectoris in the remainder of the patients [1, 2, 3]. A small percentage also present with heart failure initially. The importance of time, accuracy, and costs must permeate decision making when dealing with a patient with chest discomfort. Time also becomes a critical determinant in the outcome of cardiac arrest victims.

Keywords

Acute Myocardial Infarction Thrombolytic Therapy Emergency Medical Service Fire Department Automate External Defibrillation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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  • James M. Atkins

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