The challenges of responding to "high-tech" cardiac implant patients in crisis

Prehosp Emerg Care. 2002 Oct-Dec;6(4):425-32. doi: 10.1080/10903120290938076.


Complex new technologies are frequently added to the palate of modern cardiac care, and numerous potential technologies are poised for patient availability upon successful clinical trials. Some cardiac implants, while thoroughly understood by many cardiologists and most cardiac surgeons, are poorly understood by prehospital (e.g., paramedic, emergency medical technician) and emergency department care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists), potentially facilitating improper or inadequate patient care. Exploring the technologies of coronary stents, left ventricular assist devices, and the currently experimental total artificial heart, it is offered that prehospital and emergency department care providers (and ultimately their patients) would benefit by formal training regarding these devices.

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives
  • Biomedical Technology
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / education*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Heart, Artificial*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Resuscitation Orders
  • Stents*
  • United States
  • Workforce