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The availability of prior ECGs improves paramedic accuracy in recognizing ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25282555     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
INTRODUCTION: Early and accurate identification of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) by prehospital providers has been shown to significantly improve door to balloon times and improve patient outcomes. Previous studies have shown that paramedic accuracy in reading 12 lead ECGs can range from 86% to 94%. However, recent studies have demonstrated that accuracy diminishes for the more uncommon STEMI presentations (e.g. lateral). Unlike hospital physicians, paramedics rarely have the ability to review previous ECGs for comparison. Whether or not a prior ECG can improve paramedic accuracy is not known.
STUDY HYPOTHESIS: The availability of prior ECGs improves paramedic accuracy in ECG interpretation.
METHODS: 130 paramedics were given a single clinical scenario. Then they were randomly assigned 12 computerized prehospital ECGs, 6 with and 6 without an accompanying prior ECG. All ECGs were obtained from a local STEMI registry. For each ECG paramedics were asked to determine whether or not there was a STEMI and to rate their confidence in their interpretation. To determine if the old ECGs improved accuracy we used a mixed effects logistic regression model to calculate p-values between the control and intervention.
RESULTS: The addition of a previous ECG improved the accuracy of identifying STEMIs from 75.5% to 80.5% (p=0.015). A previous ECG also increased paramedic confidence in their interpretation (p=0.011).
CONCLUSIONS: The availability of previous ECGs improves paramedic accuracy and enhances their confidence in interpreting STEMIs. Further studies are needed to evaluate this impact in a clinical setting.
Daniel O'Donnell; Mike Mancera; Eric Savory; Shawn Christopher; Jason Schaffer; Steve Roumpf
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-9-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of electrocardiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1532-8430     ISO Abbreviation:  J Electrocardiol     Publication Date:  2014 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-10-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  2014-10-6    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0153605     Medline TA:  J Electrocardiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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