Letters

Deaths outside hospital from acute coronary events

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7161.819b (Published 19 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:819

Early access to defibrillation is a key to survival

  1. A Absalom, Research fellow,
  2. P Bradley, Senior house officer,
  3. J Soar, Specialist registrar
  1. University Department of Anaesthesia, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G31 2ER
  2. Department of Anaesthesia, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Brunswick Road, Norwich NR1 3SR
  3. Sir Humphry Davy Department of Anaesthesia, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS6 8HW
  4. North and East Devon Health Authority, Exeter EX1 1PQ
  5. 53 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5NJ
  6. Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8HD

    EDITOR—We wish to comment on some of the strategies suggested by Norris et al to reduce mortality from acute coronary attacks.1 Recently we reviewed outcomes for all cardiac arrests in adults presenting to the emergency department at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital during 1991 and 1996. The region served by this hospital is semirural, with a single tier response ambulance service. Between 1991 and 1996 several changes were made to the organisation and delivery of prehospital care. Foremost was the amalgamation of the three ambulance services covering East Anglia. The proportion of calls answered by a paramedic crew also changed, increasing from 70% to 100%. Ninety five per cent of calls were answered within 16 minutes in 1991 and within 22 minutes in 1996. Despite these changes there was no significant difference in outcome. …

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