Administration of thrombolytic therapy in the community hospital: established principles and unresolved issues.
In patients with acute myocardial infarction presenting to community hospitals, thrombolytic therapy should be initiated as rapidly as possible under the supervision of a physician. Paramedic or nurse-initiated pre-hospital therapy is currently investigational. Each hospital must have a detailed evaluation and treatment protocol for acute myocardial infarction that specifies the timetable for patient evaluation, who should or should not receive thrombolytic therapy and the proper dose and mode of administration of the agent or agents to be used. Monitoring after the administration of thrombolytic therapy should focus on arrhythmias, hemodynamic problems, recurrent ischemia and bleeding. The role of early cardiac catheterization to detect patients who have unsuccessful thrombolysis or who require mechanical revascularization procedures is under active investigation. The design of the Thrombolysis and Angioplasty in Acute Myocardial Infarction (TAMI) 5 study, which addresses the role of acute interventional catheterization in the treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction, is described.
Mark, DB; Hlatky, MA; O'Connor, CM; Pryor, DB; Wall, TC; Honan, MB; Phillips, HR; Califf, RM
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