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Medical Practice

Pre-hospital Coronary Care Service

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 03 July 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:33
  1. G. F. Gearty,
  2. N. Hickey,
  3. G. J. Bourke,
  4. R. Mulcahy


    The Dublin cardiac ambulance service operates two specially-equipped ambulances from a private ambulance station; five metropolitan hospitals provide coronary care beds on a rota system. The service covers an area of 450 square miles (1,165 sq km) and a population of 800,000. The ambulances are staffed solely by trained ambulance personnel. During the first three years 1,973 patients were transported to hospital. Primary ventricular fibrillation was encountered in 20 patients and successfully treated in 17. No deaths occurred in the ambulance.

    Over 98% of the patients were transferred uneventfully to hospital, so a medical team from the hospital on duty was called on 30 occasions only. A feature of the Dublin service is the low cost of a standard ambulance call, at about £7·50.

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