Understanding right ventricular myocardial infarction in prehospital care


Right ventricular myocardial infarction (RVMI) most commonly occurs in relation to an inferior myocardial infarction. Patients with this condition where the culprit right coronary artery (RCA) is occluded have a poor prognosis. Early recognition and the specific treatment pathway for RVMI differ from the treatment for general acute coronary syndrome (ACS) which could help the paramedic to treat this condition more appropriately. This article explores current guidelines for the recognition and treatment of RVMI and the possible application of specific guidelines in a prehospital setting with regards to using right-sided precordial ECG, the administration of fluids and potential complications arising from vasodilatory drugs. Furthermore, the purpose of this article is to help educate and develop the understanding of RVMI in this high-risk subgroup who have an increased morbidity and mortality.

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