Medical Practice

Mobile Coronary Care Provided by Ambulance Personnel

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 22 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:618
  1. N. M. White,
  2. W. S. Parker,
  3. R. A. Binning,
  4. E. R. Kimber,
  5. H. W. Ead,
  6. D. A. Chamberlain


    Mobile coronary care has been provided in Brighton by ambulance personnel without immediate help from physicians or nurses. No additional vehicles or staff were required. The capital cost of the experiment was therefore small and additional running costs were negligible. The results have been monitored by retrospective analysis of electrocardiograms recorded in the ambulance and stored on magnetic tape. In the first 12 months of operation to July 1972, 1,082 patients with suspected cardiac emergencies were carried in two vehicles. Subsequent analysis showed that 76% of these patients had acute symptoms from ischaemic heart disease or had circulatory arrest. Eighty-six per cent. of arrhythmias were diagnosed correctly by the ambulance attendants. Though only eight cases of primary ventricular fibrillation occurred during or shortly before transit all were successfully reversed, and five of these patients subsequently left hospital alive. Other benefits of the scheme have included an appreciable reduction in the median delay between onset of presenting symptoms in patients with acute myocardial ischaemia and their admission to hospital.

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