Prehospital Intervention Improves Outcomes for Patients Presenting in Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Response

Fornage, Louis B., O’Neil, Christine, Dowker, Stephen R., Wanta, Eric R., Lewis, Ryan S., and Brown, Lawrence H. (2024) Prehospital Intervention Improves Outcomes for Patients Presenting in Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Response. Prehospital Emergency Care. (In Press)

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Objective: To compare outcomes of patients presenting to emergency medical services (EMS) with atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response (AF-RVR) who did and did not receive prehospital advanced life support (ALS) rate or rhythm control intervention(s).

Methods: This retrospective cohort study used the 2021 ESO Data Collaborative (Austin, TX) dataset. We identified 9-1-1 scene responses for patients aged 16 to 100 years old presenting with AF and an initial heart rate ≥ 110 beats per minute (bpm). Prehospital ALS interventions for AF-RVR included medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, etc.) or electrical cardioversion. Outcome measures included prehospital rate control (i.e., final prehospital heart rate < 110 bpm), emergency department (ED) discharge to home, ED and hospital length of stay, and mortality. We also evaluated prehospital adverse events—specifically bradycardia, hypotension, and cardiac arrest. We used propensity score matching to compare outcomes among treated and untreated patients with similar demographic and clinical characteristics. We determined the average treatment effect on the treated (ATET) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and the number needed to treat (NNT).

Results: After propensity score matching, prehospital outcomes were available for 4,859 treated patients matched with 4,859 similar untreated patients. Prehospital rate control was more frequent for treated than for untreated patients (41.0% vs. 18.2%, ATET +22.8%, CI: +21.1%; +24.6%, NNT = 5). Hospital outcomes were available for 1,347 treated patients matched with 1,347 similar untreated patients. Treated patients were more likely to be discharged from the ED (37.9% vs. 34.0%, ATET +3.9%, CI: +0.2%; +7.5%, NNT = 26) and less likely to die (4.3% vs. 6.7%, ATET −2.5%, CI: −4.2%; −0.8%, NNT = 40) compared to untreated patients. Hypotension occurred more often in treated patients (ATET +2.6%, CI: +1.5%; +3.7%), but resolved before ED arrival in 73% of affected patients. Otherwise, adverse event rates did not significantly differ for the two groups.

Conclusions: In this propensity score matched study of patients presenting to EMS with AF-RVR, prehospital ALS interventions were associated with more frequent prehospital rate control, more frequent discharge to home from the ED, and lower mortality.

Item ID: 81471
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1545-0066
Copyright Information: © 2023 National Association of EMS Physicians
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2024 02:29
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320101 Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases) @ 40%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320207 Emergency medicine @ 60%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200202 Evaluation of health outcomes @ 100%
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