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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 2346-2360; doi:10.3390/ijerph110202346
Article

Pre-Hospital ECG E-Transmission for Patients with Suspected Myocardial Infarction in the Highlands of Scotland

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Received: 16 December 2013; in revised form: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
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Abstract: Patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) require prompt treatment, best done by primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI). However, for patients unable to receive PPCI, immediate pre-hospital thrombolysis (PHT) is the best alternative. Evidence indicates that diagnostic and management support for staff increases the use of PHT. This study aimed to describe the patient demographics and management of patients, to determine any potential inter-area differences in referral rates to the ECG e-transmission service and to explore the views and experiences of key staff involved in ECG e-transmission within NHS Highland. Data from 2,025 patient episodes of ECG e-transmission identified a statistically significant geographical variation in ECG e-transmission and PHT delivery. Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) staff were more likely than GPs to deliver PHT overall, however, GPs were more likely to deliver in remote areas. Interviews with six Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) nurses and six SAS staff highlighted their positive views of ECG e-transmission, citing perceived benefits to patients and interprofessional relationships. Poor access to network signal was noted to be a barrier to engaging in the system. This study has demonstrated that a specialist triage service based on e-transmission of ECGs in patients with suspected STEMI can be implemented in a diverse geographical setting. Work is needed to ensure equity of the service for all patients.
Keywords: telehealthcare; telehealth; telecardiology; ECG; pre-hospital thrombolysis; cardiac triage telehealthcare; telehealth; telecardiology; ECG; pre-hospital thrombolysis; cardiac triage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rushworth, G.F.; Bloe, C.; Diack, H.L.; Reilly, R.; Murray, C.; Stewart, D.; Leslie, S.J. Pre-Hospital ECG E-Transmission for Patients with Suspected Myocardial Infarction in the Highlands of Scotland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2346-2360.

AMA Style

Rushworth GF, Bloe C, Diack HL, Reilly R, Murray C, Stewart D, Leslie SJ. Pre-Hospital ECG E-Transmission for Patients with Suspected Myocardial Infarction in the Highlands of Scotland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(2):2346-2360.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rushworth, Gordon F.; Bloe, Charlie; Diack, H. L.; Reilly, Rachel; Murray, Calum; Stewart, Derek; Leslie, Stephen J. 2014. "Pre-Hospital ECG E-Transmission for Patients with Suspected Myocardial Infarction in the Highlands of Scotland." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 2: 2346-2360.


Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert