Category Archives: Cardiac Ischemia

Question: My question is regarding our chest pain protocol. There is a 48 year old male complaining of chest pain. It is substernal, 7/10, onset 1 hour, provoked at rest, radiates to left arm sitting steady.

O/E patient's history is hypertension; vitals H/R 78 regular and full; breathing 20x / minute; B/P 138/99; conscious and alert x 3. Patient is not allergic to ASA, so he receives ASA.

History of nitro is in question. The patient states he was in hospital once with similar chest pain and doctor "gave me a spray of something for my chest pain". When asked if it was nitro, the patient did not know name of medication.

Could this patient receive NTG or should we patch?

Question: On a recent ischemic chest pain call with an approximately 60 year old female patient, conscious and alert, 2 nitro sprays prior to arrival. The 12 lead was normal and I gave ASA, but decided to withhold nitro as I had difficulty obtaining a BP on scene. The patient had no palpable radial or brachial pulses bilaterally. My partner and I made 4 NiBP attempts on scene with no reading on either arm and manual BP attempts bilat with no sound on auscultation or deflection of the needle. I was unable to also confirm the HR that showed on the monitor as she was uncooperative while attempting a carotid (although present). After extricating the patient on a stair chair, I decided to continue my care with an IV TKVO in the truck. I did not want to delay scene time any further. While in the truck I continued to attempt NiBPs which was now displaying a reading of hypertension, yet no pulses other than carotid were palpable. Although the monitor was always showing vitals within my parameters to administer nitro, I withheld it, as I was treating the findings with the patient, not the monitor. She had stated her pulses were usually weak. She remained conscious and alert with no signs of hypotension other than weak/absent pulses. My question is… was I ever justified to administer a bolus to this patient?

Question: What position should patients be in when we are doing do a 12-lead?

Question: A nitro virgin patient presenting with chest pain attends a doctor's office. Doctor administers 1 spray of nitro prior to EMS arrival. Upon assessment by EMS, patient still presents with chest pain. Is the patient still considered a virgin nitro patient as this is the first incident he/she has had with nitro? Or since the doctor administered a spray, does that count as a previous use of nitro?

Question: With reference to the cardiac ischemia protocol. Would it be possible to update the protocol for the administration of nitro (without a BHP consult) for normotensive patient on beta blockers by either: a) lowering the heart rate parameters from 60bpm to 50bpm or b) to lower heart rate parameter from 60bpm to 50bpm when patient is currently taking antihypertensive medications within the beta blocker family with an IV established?

Question: My question is in regards when a crew has a positive STEMI result on a cardiac ischemia call. I noticed that on these types of calls there has been incidents where patients have been going in lethal dysrhythmias as crews are trying to deliver the patient to the cath lab. Most recently I was at a hospital and as a crew was entering the elevator the patient went into V-Tach and there was a delay to defibrillating because the crew had to attach the defib pads.

I noticed myself when entering the cath lab the first thing the staff does before even accepting the patient and allowing crews to disconnect the cardiac monitor is attach defib pads. Due to the high mortality rates (5%) of STEMI patients transported by EMS and the time it takes to attach the defib pads when the patient enters the lethal rhythm, would it be wise to attach the defib pads on positive STEMI patients during transport(even though they have not gone VSA) to decrease the time to defibrillated the patient if in fact the patient enters the letahal rhythm.

Question: I have a question regarding the order of cardiac ischemia SR medication in the protocol. I have been informed by a source that 0.4mg nitro should be the first SR medication given in a suspected cardiac ischemic event, followed by x2 80 mg ASA. I respectfully disagree with him due to the fact that although nitro is significantly more fast acting, its effects only last 3-5 minutes, hence the spray every 5 minutes stated in the protocol, and although the ASA is slower in its absorption rate, is effects will benefit the Pt. more (in my opinion) than the nitro. The short and sweet version, am I correct in saying that ASA should be administer first before the initial nitro dose is given, if the protocol for both is met.

Question: My questions have to do with resolved suspected ischemic chest pain and if we should administer ASA even if the symptoms have resolved.

Question: I am a PCP student, Under the cardiac ischemia medical directive it states that indications for nitro and ASA are "suspected cardiac ischemia" my question is, a patient without chest pain but has other symptoms such as weakness SOB, N/V etc. and a positive 12 lead showing either ST elevation or depression, do they qualify for Nitro under this protocol?

Question: What are your thoughts on oxygen therapy in myocardial ischemia from a medical evidence standpoint? Even though high flow o2 is regularly administered to PTs with chest pain as per the oxygen therapy and chest pain standards in the BLS standards, there is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that in uncomplicated MI O2 is of no benefit and may cause more harm than good due to ROS and ischemia-reperfusion injury.

The recent ACLS guidelines state to only administer O2 in acute coronary syndromes if the spo2 is < 94% or the PT is in respiratory distress or obviously hypoxic and there are several recent papers and clinical guidelines that suggest a similar course of action in uncomplicated MI. Basically, the evidence is suggesting that titration to spo2 is favorable over high flow o2 due to the risk of oxidative stress injury.

Any thoughts? Obviously you still follow the protocols, but I'm just interested to see if there is any medical opinion on this. Could the standards/guidelines eventually change to reflect the newer evidence?

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