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Fibrinolysis is an acceptable treatment for acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) when primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) cannot be performed within 120 minutes. The American Heart Association has recommended Emergency Medical Services (EMS) interventions such as prehospital fibrinolysis (PHF), prehospital electrocardiogram (ECG), and hospital bypass direct to PCI center. Nova Scotia, Canada has incorporated these interventions into a unique province-wide approach to STEMI care. A retrospective cohort analysis comparing the primary outcome of 30-day mortality for patients receiving either prehospital or emergency department (ED) fibrinolysis (EDF) to patients transported directly by EMS from community or regional ED for primary PCI was conducted.
This retrospective, population-based cohort study included all STEMI patients in Nova Scotia who survived to hospital admission from July 2011 through July 2013. Three provincial databases were used to collect demographic, 30-day mortality, hospital readmission, and rescue PCI data. The results were grouped and compared according to reperfusion strategy received: PHF, EDF, patients brought by ambulance via EMS direct to PCI (EMS to PCI), and ED to PCI (ED to PCI).
There were 1,071 STEMI patients included with 145 PHF, 606 EDF, 98 EMS to PCI, and 222 ED to PCI. There were no significant differences in 30-day mortality across groups (n, %): PHF 5(3); EDF 36(6); EHS to PCI <5(2); and ED to PCI 10(4); P = .28. There was no significant difference in patients receiving fibrinolysis who underwent rescue PCI.
Prehospital fibrinolysis incorporated into a province-wide approach to STEMI treatment is feasible with no observed difference in patient 30-day mortality outcomes observed.
Long-term care (LTC) patients are often sent to emergency departments (EDs) by ambulance. In this novel extended care paramedic (ECP) program, specially trained paramedics manage LTC patients on site. The objective of this pilot study was to describe the dispatch and disposition of LTC patients treated by ECPs and emergency paramedics.
Data were collected from consecutive calls to 15 participating LTC facilities for 3 months. Dispatch determinants, transport rates, and relapse rates were described for LTC patients attended by ECPs or emergency paramedics. ECP involvement in end-of-life care was identified.
Of 238 eligible calls, 140 (59%) were attended by an ECP and 98 (41%) by emergency paramedics. Although the top three determinants were the same in each group, the overall distribution of dispatch determinants and acuity differed. In the ECP cohort, 98 of 140 (70%) were treated and released, 33 of 140 (24%) had “facilitated transfer” arranged by an ECP, and 9 of 140 (6%) were immediately transported to the ED by ambulance. In the emergency paramedic cohort, 77 of 98 (79%) were immediately transported to the ED and 21 of 98 (21%) were not transported. In the ECP group, 6 of 98 (6%) patients not transported triggered a 911 call within 48 hours for a related clinical reason, although none of the patients not transported by emergency paramedics relapsed.
ECP involvement in LTC calls was found to reduce transports to the ED with a low rate of relapse. These pilot data generated hypotheses for future study, including determination of appropriate populations for ECP care and analysis of appropriate and safe nontransport.
To determine the percentage of injured impaired drivers brought to the only trauma centre in Nova Scotia who were charged with impaired driving.
This retrospective observational study identified alcohol impaired drivers involved in a motor vehicle crash (MVC) brought to the emergency department (ED). Patients were selected based on blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) found to be above the legal limit. Medical records were examined to determine if the patient was the driver in an MVC. Patient records were then cross-referenced with a police database to determine the percentage of injured impaired drivers who were charged with impaired driving.
Between April 1, 2006, and April 1, 2008, 1,102 patients brought to the QEII Health Sciences Centre (QEII HSC) ED were found to have BACs over the legal limit. Of these patients, only 57 (5.2%) were found to have been the driver in an MVC. The majority of patients were male (49; 86%), with an average age of 32 years. Most injuries (51; 89.5%) were the result of a single-vehicle crash. The mean Glasgow Coma Scale score was 12.6, and the mean Injury Severity Score was 14.4. Cross-referencing with police records showed that only 22.8% (13 of 57) of injured drivers were charged with impaired driving. Those drivers not charged with impaired driving had a significantly lower median BAC and median age.
During the study, the majority of alcoholimpaired drivers injured in an MVC who were brought to the QEII HSC ED for assessment of their injuries were not charged with impaired driving.
This longitudinal study was designed to address four research questions and the hypothesis; that adults living in a rural community receiving primary health care and emergency services from a team that included an on-site nurse practitioner (NP) and paramedics and an off-site family physician would, over time, demonstrate evidence of improved psychosocial adjustment and less expenditure of health care resources.
In Canada, there is a growing awareness and commitment to addressing the challenges of providing primary health care services in rural areas. A literature review supported the role of NPs in primary health care and a potential role for paramedics. No studies were found that evaluated the combination of NPs, paramedics and physicians as providers of primary health care.
Structured questionnaires, individual and group interviews with patients, health and social service care providers and administrators and community members were used to describe and evaluate the impact of the model of care over the three years of the study.
The innovative model of care resulted in decreased cost, increased access, a high level of acceptance and satisfaction and effective collaboration among care providers. Organizational structures to support the innovative model of primary health care were identified.
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