In contrast to my last post makign ER docs look like fools, this article shows how ER docs can be the good guys when it comes to acute myocardial infarction.

Not only that, but EMS has a huge role as well, but only if we listen to what the medics have to say. It is important for paramedics to be able to do pre-hospital EKGs, be able to READ the EKG in terms of whether or not they are actively having a heart attack, and lastly, the ER docs need to listen to them and trust that they know what they are seeng. This quote describes the impact of prehospital EKGs, with time saved on the order of 15 minutes…a lifetime for someone with a dying heart.

Also, steps like having paramedics do EKGs on the way to the hospital turned out to matter less than what hospitals did with the information.

“It’s only when they acted on the pre-hospital electrocardiograms that they really speeded up the time” to treatment, Krumholz said.

It’s about time the laypress recognized that sometimes we are the good guys…

Hospitals now are wasting too much time summoning too many people to consult on a case before starting treatment, Bradley said.

“You can imagine all those calls and all those people involved,” she said. “Our recommendation is to allow the emergency room physician to decide” and assemble a team, “and they should be able to do it with one single call.”