In patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), in order to shorten the time to definitive treatment, it is essential to coordinate the intervention between the local healthcare system and the hospitals. In 1999, a Working Group for Prehospital Emergency in Cardiology was established in Milan, and a network for 12-lead ECG transmission between advances life support (ALS) ambulances, the headquarter of 118 Rescue Service and the Coronary Care Units (CCU) or Divisions of Cardiology was developed: between February 1, 2001 and May 1, 2005, 6821 patients with suspected heart attack were rescued and their ECG recorded and transmitted (177 patients/month, 20% of them with an ST-segment shift, 11% ST-segment elevation, 9% non-ST-segment elevation, 24% with normal ECG). The rate of false positive automatic diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction was 0.3%, the rate of false negative was 0.8%. Forty-six patients with ventricular fibrillation underwent DC-shock. After May 1, 2004, clinical data of patients with STEMI transferred to the hospitals by ALS ambulances were reported in a database: 82% of the 89 patients were treated with primary angioplasty. The time (median, interquartile ranges) between ECG arrival to the CCU and the ECG report was 2 min (1-5), between ECG arrival to the CCU and patient arrival to the hospital was 34 min (24-42), between ECG arrival to the CCU and primary angioplasty was 69 min (50-93); the door-to-balloon time was 33 min (22-60). The telephone ECG transmission has been demonstrated to be a useful and rapid tool, easy to use; the automatic ECG diagnosis was accurate. In patients with STEMI the telephone ECG transmission shortened the time of delivery of therapy, helped to recover arrhythmic complications, allowed both the coordination between the 118 System and the Divisions of Cardiology and the implementation of the triage for primary angioplasty. Increasing the technological level of the service will be the next step of the program: the protocol will be upgraded in order to increase the number of patients rescued, to shorten the time of operation and to administer prehospital fibrinolytic therapy in selected patients.
|Journal||Italian Heart Journal|
|Volume||6 Suppl 6|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine