Research Article

Home care for patients with suspected myocardial infarction: use made by general practitioners of a hospital team for initial management.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 18 August 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:403
  1. J M Rowley,
  2. J R Hampton,
  3. J R Mitchell


    Two hundred and sixty three general practitioners were offered the use of a hospital based service consisting of a medical senior house officer, a nurse attached to a coronary care unit, and a specially equipped ambulance estate car to help with the initial management of patients with suspected myocardial infarction who might be suitable for home care. One hundred and sixty nine general practitioners registered as potential users of this service; during 22 months they called the hospital team to see 271 patients, 235 of whom the team suspected had indeed suffered a myocardial infarction. During the same period, however, these general practitioners also admitted 317 patients with suspected myocardial infarction directly to hospital. Other general practitioners admitted 323 patients and deputising doctors 258. A further 529 patients with suspected infarction were admitted without the intervention of a general practitioner. Of the patients seen by the team, 54 required immediate admission to hospital; 17 of the remaining patients who initially appeared suitable for home care later required admission to hospital. In a large city such as Nottingham the provision of hospital based facilities to help general practitioners with home management is unlikely to make an appreciable impact on the overall pattern of care of patients with suspected myocardial infarction.