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Potential impact of emergency intervention on sudden deaths from coronary heart disease in Glasgow

Fitzpatrick, B., Watt, G., and Tunstall-Pedoe, H. (1992) Potential impact of emergency intervention on sudden deaths from coronary heart disease in Glasgow. British Heart Journal , 67 (3). pp. 250-254. ISSN 0007-0769

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: 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.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Watt, Prof Graham and Fitzpatrick, Dr Bridie
Authors: Fitzpatrick, B., Watt, G., and Tunstall-Pedoe, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine > Nursing and Health Care
Journal Name:British Heart Journal
Journal Abbr.:Br. Heart J.
ISSN:0007-0769
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