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To determine the potential impact of emergency intervention strategies to prevent deaths from coronary heart disease outside hospital.
DESIGN: Analysis of routine medical and legal records of all persons dying of coronary heart disease in a defined population.
SETTING: Glasgow City, north of the river Clyde, 1984.
SUBJECTS: 420 people under 65 years for whom the underlying cause of death on the death certificate was coronary heart disease (ICD 410-414, 9th Revision).
RESULTS: Of the 296 deaths outside hospital, 73% occurred at home. The deaths of 40% of those who died outside hospital were not witnessed and these people could not have received prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Only 16% of the witnesses of a death attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation before the arrival of a doctor or an ambulance crew. Over half (53%) of the cases in which cardiopulmonary resuscitation could have been attempted by a witness, but was not attempted, death occurred in the presence of the spouse or other close relative. Death occurred in the presence of a duty doctor or the ambulance crew in a maximum of 5% of deaths outside hospital. Ninety one per cent of people were dead before a call for help was made.
CONCLUSION: Unless a greater proportion of patients receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation before emergency staff arrive at the scene the provision of emergency care staff with defibrillators is unlikely to have a significant impact on deaths outside hospital caused by coronary heart disease.
|Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:||Fitzpatrick, Dr Bridie and Watt, Professor Graham|
|Authors:||Fitzpatrick, B., Watt, G., and Tunstall-Pedoe, H.|
|College/School:||College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care|
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Nursing and Health Care
|Journal Name:||British Heart Journal|
|Journal Abbr.:||Br. Heart J.|