Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of thrombolytic treatment for an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) immediately after resuscitation in the out-of-hospital setting.
Setting: A middle-sized urban city (population 540000) served by a single emergency medical system using a tiered response with physicians in field.
Patients and methods: Sixty-eight patients with an initial diagnosis of AMI who received thrombolytic treatment in an out-of-hospital setting after cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) between January 1st 1994 and December 31st 1998. An ECG and the myocardial enzymes (CK, CK-MB, Troponin-T) were used to diagnose AMI. Myocardial reperfusion was assessed by resolution of the ST-segment elevation. Side effects and complications were studied. The quality of secondary survival was evaluated. The Utstein style was used for a uniform style of reporting the cardiac arrest data.
Results: The accuracy of prehospital diagnosis was found to be excellent. Retrospective analysis revealed that thrombolytic therapy had been appropriately administered in 64 (94%) of the 68 patients actually treated. Reperfusion was achieved in 71% of the patients. Haemorrhagic complications were few, and included intracranial haemorrhage (one patient), gastrointestinal bleeding (two patients), bleeding from the puncture site (one patient) and epistaxis (one patient). The incidence of hypotension during streptokinase infusion was 22%. Sixty-three (93%) of the patients were admitted alive to the hospital, with 36 subsequently surviving to discharge.
Conclusions: Thrombolytic treatment is a safe and effective treatment in AMI even after out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation.