Browsing Publications - North West Ambulance Service by Subject "Electrocardiogram (ECG)"
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Is paramedic practice ready to adopt the NICE Transient Loss of Consciousness Guideline?Abstract published with permission. In 2010 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a guideline to assist clinicians, across various healthcare settings, to diagnose and subsequently manage patients experiencing a transient loss of consciousness (TLoC). The guideline emphasises that patients who are diagnosed as having had an ‘uncomplicated faint’ or ‘situational syncope’, from the initial assessment process, may not require conveyance to the nearest emergency department. JRCALC have included these recommendations within the latest published guidelines. Evidently, this may reduce inappropriate admissions and reduce unnecessary NHS expenditure. In addition it enables clinicians to provide care to patients within their home environment thus improving their experience and outcome as a service user. Furthermore, non-conveyance may reduce ambulance turn-around times enabling clinicians to become available to respond to life-threatening emergencies sooner. However, to utilise the guideline, clinicians are expected to be proficient in aspects of history taking, physical examination and 12-lead ECG interpretation. The current paucity of pre-hospital evidence base provides no support for use of the guideline by paramedics. It is questionable as to whether further education and training are required, before paramedics can utilise the guideline, to diagnose and discharge patients at scene without causing any detriment to patient outcome.
Understanding right ventricular myocardial infarction in prehospital careRight ventricular myocardial infarction (RVMI) most commonly occurs in relation to an inferior myocardial infarction. Patients with this condition where the culprit right coronary artery (RCA) is occluded have a poor prognosis. Early recognition and the specific treatment pathway for RVMI differ from the treatment for general acute coronary syndrome (ACS) which could help the paramedic to treat this condition more appropriately. This article explores current guidelines for the recognition and treatment of RVMI and the possible application of specific guidelines in a prehospital setting with regards to using right-sided precordial ECG, the administration of fluids and potential complications arising from vasodilatory drugs. Furthermore, the purpose of this article is to help educate and develop the understanding of RVMI in this high-risk subgroup who have an increased morbidity and mortality. Abstract published with permission.