The role of the general practitioner in the early management of acute myocardial infarction
The recent literature on intensive coronary care units is briefly reviewed to show that much of the new knowledge should be applied by the general practitioner who is in the most important position, being the first doctor to see the patient. A much greater responsibility now rests on the GP whose attitude and management require considerable re-orientation.
A regime for the use of lignocaine and atropine is suggested for the treatment of the minor premonitory arrhythmias in an attempt to prevent the fatal major arrythmias, which are mainly responsible for the high early death rate.
By better appreciation of the emergency situation, better decision making and the application of a few therapeutic rules to prevent major arrythmias, it is hoped that the GP will play a major role in reducing the mortality of acute myocardial infarction.