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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-15

Paramedics beliefs and attitudes towards pre-hospital thrombolysis

Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Applied Medical Science, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdullah Foraih Alanazi
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Applied Medical Science, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, P.O. Box 3660, Riyadh - 11481
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-516X.125672

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Background: Myocardial infarction is the third leading cause of death in the developing countries. Thrombolysis as a reperfusion therapy is shown to have a great role in decreasing mortality. The efficacy of thrombolytic therapy lies in its ability to reduce the duration of occlusion by early administration. Many of the studies have supported pre-hospital thrombolysis (PHT) therapy and proven that it is beneficial in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients. Methodology: Questionnaires adopted from studies of Humphrey et al., were distributed to paramedics in Saudi Red Crescent Authority and Emergency Medical Services Departments at King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Fahad Medical City, Prince Sultan Medical Military City and Security Forces Hospital in Riyadh. A total of 7 questions were about the knowledge of risk and benefit of PHT and 12 questions were about the beliefs and attitudes of paramedics toward PHT in AMI patients. Results: The response rate was 87%. Nearly 72% were believed to be capable of performing PHT, 87% are confident about recording 12-lead electrocardiogram in pre-hospital settings and 77% are confident in the interpretation. 94% believe that PHT will have a significant impact on pain to needle time. 77% consider PHT to be safe for use by paramedics. 66% preferred on-line medical direction or telemedicine linked with the supervision of a physician. Regarding the knowledge part, majority gave a correct answer, but the major concern was that 43% of the paramedics overestimated direct relation of bleeding to thrombolysis therapy. Conclusion: Majority of paramedics in Riyadh support the principle of PHT in patients with AMI via online medical direction. They believe that they are confident in their ability to administer PHT despite the concern of authorities on their level of training, the related risks and medico-legal issues. Nevertheless, since the total duration of PHT course for paramedics is just 2 days, we consider that the procedure should be performed under expert supervision until they achieve expertise.

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