Identifying barriers to prehospital thrombolysis in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction

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Background and objectives:

After an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) prehospital thrombolysis (PHT) reduces mortality compared with inhospital thrombolysis. In practice, a relatively small proportion of the total population with AMI receives PHT. This study was designed to identify the current barriers to PHT.


A retrospective practice review of 57 consecutive patients treated in or before arrival at a district general hospital emergency department. All patients received thrombolysis for an AMI.


The main barriers to delivery of PHT appear to be the inclusion and exclusion criteria laid out in the ambulance service central guidelines. Despite recent widening of the inclusion criteria, 54% of patients eligible for immediate treatment on arrival in hospital either received or were eligible for PHT.


To increase the number of patients who are eligible for PHT these guidelines need to be revised further in line with inhospital criteria for thrombolysis.

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