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From the prehospital literature
 Edited by Malcolm Woollard, from the British Paramedic Association Research and Audit Committee and the Faculty of Prehospital Care Research Unit

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Elderly patients recover mentally and physically to the same extent as younger patients following prehospital thrombolysis ▸

A recent study in Finland found no difference in the quality of life experienced by older patients (over 65 years of age) following pre-hospital thrombolysis for ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) compared with younger patients (below 65 years of age). Older patients showed no increased frequency in arrhythmias, haemodynamic problems during thrombolysis, or complications such as intracranial bleeding after thrombolysis. Older patients also recovered mentally to the same extent as younger patients.

As the health service faces continued questions surrounding ageism, it is a timely reminder that older age should not influence the paramedic’s decision to administer or withhold thrombolytics to an indicated patient. It is also perhaps time for the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) to review the upper age limit of 75 for eligibility for pre-hospital thrombolysis recommended in its pre-hospital guidelines …

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