Retrospective analysis of the role and performance of family medicine versus emergency medical services in the pre-hospital management of patients with AMI in Banja Luka
Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in pre-hospital care of patients with acute myocardial infarction between emergency medical services and family medicine. Patients and methods. This retrospective descriptive study included patients treated for acute myocardial infarction at the University Clinical Centre of Banja Luka, in the period from 1st January to 31st December 2011. The patients were divided into two groups: patients who received a hospital referral from the family medicine service and those who received one from the emergency medical service. Results. The majority of patients (54.8%) received pre-hospital care from emergency medical services, while in 24.8% of cases the care was provided by family medicine physicians. The analysis showed that the time that passed from the onset of symptoms to the visit to the health institution of first medical contact was shorter in the emergency medical service (p<0.001). The average time from the onset of symptoms to arrival at the family practice was 24 hours, and to the emergency service 2 hours. The patients who established their first medical contact with the emergency service reported more severe symptoms than the ones who visited a family practice over the same period of time. Conclusion. The severity of symptoms affected the patients’ decisions to seek help in a timely manner and to choose the facility of first medical contact. Interventions to decrease delay must focus on improving public awareness of acute myocardial infarction symptoms and increasing their knowledge of the benefits of early medical contact and treatment. Continuing education of family practitioners in this field is required.
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