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Is there still a place for emergency department thrombolysis following the introduction of the amended Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee criteria for thrombolysis?
  1. N R Castle1,
  2. R C Owen2,
  3. M Hann2
  1. 1
    Department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
  2. 2
    National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Mr Robert C Owen, 5th Floor, Williamson Building, University Of Manchester, Oxford Road Manchester, M139PL, UK; robert.owen{at}


Objective: To apply the current (2004) and the amended (2006) Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) criteria for paramedic initiated thrombolysis to all patients who received thrombolytic treatment in an emergency department (ED) to determine if the amendments increase the proportion suitable for paramedic initiated thrombolysis.

Design: Retrospective descriptive analysis.

Method: The ED clinical notes, ambulance clinical record and the first recorded ECG (ED or ambulance) of all patients thrombolysed in the ED during a 12 month period were reviewed against the previous JRCALC guidelines (2004) and the amended JRCALC guidelines (2006) for thrombolysis.

Results: Using the JRCALC guidelines (2004), 26 of the 147 patients (17.7%) were eligible for paramedic initiated thrombolysis. Using the JRCALC guidelines (2006), this increased to 41 (27.9%). This difference was statistically significant (McNemar’s Ï2 test with 1 degree of freedom  =  15.00; p<0.001). The change to the blood pressure, age and pulse rate parameters has increased the percentage eligible for paramedic initiated thrombolysis by 10.2% (95% confidence interval 4.6% to 15.8%).

Conclusion: The amended JRCALC guidelines (2006) for paramedic initiated thrombolysis have successfully increased the proportion of patients suitable for prehospital thrombolysis by approximately 10%, although the ED retains an important role in the provision of prompt thrombolytic treatment for a proportion of patients.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    accident and emergency
    emergency department
    Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee
    prehospital thrombolysis

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