Papers And Originals

Acute Myocardial Infarction: Home and Hospital Treatment

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 07 August 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:334
  1. H. G. Mather,
  2. N. G. Pearson,
  3. K. L. Q. Read,
  4. D. B. Shaw,
  5. G. R. Steed,
  6. M. G. Thorne,
  7. S. Jones,
  8. C. J. Guerrier,
  9. C. D. Eraut,
  10. P. M. McHugh,
  11. N. R. Chowdhury,
  12. M. H. Jafary,
  13. T. J. Wallace


    This is a preliminary report of a co-operative study of 1,203 episodes of acute myocardial infarction in men under 70 years in four centres in the south west of England. The mortality at 28 days was 15%. A comparison is made between home care by the family doctor and hospital treatment initially in an intensive care unit: 343 cases were allocated at random. The randomized groups do not differ significantly in composition with respect to age; past history of angina, infarction, or hypertension; or hypotension when first examined. The mortality rates of the random groups are similar for home and hospital treatment. The group sent electively to hospital contained a higher proportion of initially hypotensive patients whose prognosis was bad wherever treated; those who were not hypotensive fared rather worse in hospital.

    For some patients with acute myocardial infarction seen by their general practitioner home care is ethically justified, and the need for general admission to hospital should be reconsidered.