A service evaluation of transport destination and outcome of patients with post-ROSC STEMI in an English ambulance service

Anthony Platt
British paramedic journal 2020 June 1, 5 (1): 32-36

Background: In the UK, there are approximately 60,000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) each year. There is mounting evidence that post-resuscitation care should include early angiography and primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) in cases of OHCA where a cardiac cause is suspected. Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) staff can transport patients with a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) directly to a pPCI unit if their post-ROSC ECG shows evidence of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). This service evaluation aimed to determine the factors that affect the transport destination, hospital characteristics and 30-day survival rates of post-ROSC patients with presumed cardiac aetiology.

Methods: All patient care records (PCRs) previously identified for the AIRWAYS-2 trial between January and July 2017 were reviewed. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they were an adult non-traumatic OHCA, achieved ROSC on scene and were treated and transported by (YAS). Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.

Results: 478 patients met the inclusion criteria. 361/478 (75.6%) patients had a post-ROSC ECG recorded, with 149/361 (41.3%) documented cases of STEMI and 88/149 (59.1%) referred to a pPCI unit by the attending clinicians. 40/88 (45.5%) of referrals made were accepted by the pPCI units. Patients taken directly to pPCI were most likely to survive to 30 days (25/39, 53.8%), compared to patients taken to an emergency department (ED) at a pPCI-capable hospital (34/126, 27.0%), or an ED at a non-pPCI-capable hospital (50/310, 16.1%).

Conclusion: Staff should be encouraged to record a 12-lead ECG on all post-ROSC patients, and make a referral to the regional pPCI-capable centre if there is evidence of a STEMI, or a cardiac cause is likely, since 30-day survival is highest for patients who are taken directly for pPCI. Ambulance services should continue to work with regional pPCI-capable centres to ensure that suitable patients are accepted to maximise potential for survival.

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