Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simple test in ambulance saves lives after heart attack, new study finds

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
University of Surrey
Summary:
A positive link between the survival of heart attack patients and the use of an electrocardiogram by ambulance crews has been found. Researchers analyzed data from almost half a million adults admitted with a heart attack to hospitals in England and Wales, noting whether patients who came to hospital by ambulance had had an ECG test or not.

A new study from the University of Surrey, published today in the journal Heart, has identified a positive link between the survival of heart attack patients and the use of an electrocardiogram (ECG), by ambulance crews.

Related Articles


Researchers, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), analyzed data from almost half a million adults admitted with a heart attack to hospitals in England and Wales, noting whether patients who came to hospital by ambulance had had an ECG test or not.

The results showed that the number of patients who died within 30 days of hospital admission was significantly lower when an ECG test had been carried out by ambulance crews. The study also revealed that a third of patients admitted to hospital with a heart attack are not having the test in the ambulance, with certain groups of patients, including women, the elderly and people from black and minority ethnic groups, less likely to have an ECG. A further important finding from this study was that having an ECG in the ambulance was also the strongest predictor of a patient receiving treatment to reopen a blocked coronary artery. The use of this treatment is proven to reduce heart damage and improve the survival of patients.

Lead author, Professor Tom Quinn from the University of Surrey, said: "Every NHS ambulance is equipped with an ECG machine. While there is evidence from other countries that having an ECG test in the ambulance leads to faster treatment, our study is the first to determine that the test is actually associated with improved survival after a heart attack.

"Ambulance services in the NHS compare favourably to countries such as the USA, where only a quarter of such patients get an ECG, but we need to do more to ensure that the groups we identified as not getting the test have improved care.

"Hopefully our results will reinforce to paramedics the importance of carrying out an ECG when they suspect a heart attack, as well as flag up the types of patients who are currently less likely to receive this test, leaving them more vulnerable to poor outcomes."

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: "This research suggests that if someone suffering a suspected heart attack has a simple ECG test before they reach hospital, it can help save their life. The test helps paramedics provide the most appropriate treatment outside hospital and means that hospital staff are more prepared when the patient arrives.

"The results, made possible by studying huge numbers of medical records, clearly support existing guidelines on using an ECG test before patients reach hospital. So it's vital that all patients who show signs of a heart attack have this simple test."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Surrey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Quinn, S. Johnsen, C. P. Gale, H. Snooks, S. McLean, M. Woollard, C. Weston. Effects of prehospital 12-lead ECG on processes of care and mortality in acute coronary syndrome: a linked cohort study from the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project. Heart, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2013-304599

Cite This Page:

University of Surrey. "Simple test in ambulance saves lives after heart attack, new study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414203339.htm>.
University of Surrey. (2014, April 14). Simple test in ambulance saves lives after heart attack, new study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414203339.htm
University of Surrey. "Simple test in ambulance saves lives after heart attack, new study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414203339.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins