Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Each year more than 1 million people in the United States suffer from acute myocardial infarction (Ml) with most of the deaths occurring within hours of symptom onset. Over the last 25 years, different prehospital systems have evolved throughout the world which allow early cardiac monitoring and treatment of acute Ml patients. Thrombolytic therapy in acute Ml has been shown to decrease mortality and preserve left ventricular function when administered early after onset of symptoms. The potential role of Emergency Medical Services or Mobile Coronary Care Units in achieving early thrombolysis is under investigation. Several studies of prehospital interventions to achieve early thrombolysis are reviewed. The use of thrombolytics by prehospital personnel has been found to he feasible, safe, and effective in reducing time delays. However, whether this translates into clinical benefit remains to be seen.