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A qualitative study of paramedics’ attitudes to providing prehospital thrombolysis
  1. L Price1,
  2. P Keeling2,
  3. G Brown3,
  4. D Hughes2,
  5. A Barton1
  1. 1Peninsula Research & Development Support Unit, Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, Devon, UK
  2. 2South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Torquay Devon, UK
  3. 3Westcountry Ambulance Services Trust, Exeter, Devon, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Keeling
 Heart/Lung Unit, Torbay District General Hospital, Lawes Bridge, Torquay TQ2 7AA, Devon, UK;


Objectives: To explore paramedics’ attitudes to administering prehospital thrombolysis (PHT).

Method: In-depth interviews with 20 paramedics were recorded and transcribed and analysed for emergent themes using the constant comparative method.

Results: Although there was a will to provide PHT because of its benefits to patients, its associated risks, aspects of pay and working conditions, and certain organisational factors undermined the willingness of some paramedics to administer thrombolysis. The eight minute response time standard is a competing imperative which can delay thrombolysis.

Conclusions: A minority of paramedics are likely to be unwilling to deliver PHT unless countervailing imperatives are addressed.

  • PHT, prehospital thrombolysis
  • RRV, rapid response vehicle
  • STEMI, ST elevation acute myocardial infarction
  • thrombolysis
  • paramedics
  • attitudes
  • qualitative

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  • * Twenty nine per cent of services in 2003/04 and 45% in 2002/03 failed to achieve the target of 75% of Category A calls reached in eight minutes.

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