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A study from Belgium describes alarming figures regarding the transport of patients with chest pain from General Practice (GP) premises to hospital. Almost half of all urgent referrals were transported by the family, neighbours or even the consulting GP themselves. These patients did, however, have the lowest mortality rate, and no deaths were reported when the family and GPs transported the patients. Despite the low complication rate, unsafe methods of transfer need to be discouraged (Eur J Emerg Med 2008;15:330–3).


Sophia is a fan of life support courses, but always likes to look at the evidence behind their recommendations. In patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and slower response times (more than five minutes), questions have been raised over whether immediate defibrillation is the right step. There are not many robust randomised studies in cardiac arrest. However, one in Resuscitation examined whether three minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before defibrillation resulted …

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