While the negative attitude of the DHSS towards emergency coronary care in the UK continues, some 30 000 deaths from coronary artery disease occur annually outside hospital. The majority of premature deaths occur in middle-aged men of economic importance to the country and to their families. Coronary heart disease is the major cause of death in the Western world. The majority of deaths are sudden and result from ventricular fibrillation. Correction of ventricular fibrillation outside hospital is a practicable proposition. If the Seattle results were extrapolated to the UK, and allowing for the saving of lives in rural areas by trained general practitioners, then some 7500 lives might be saved annually in Great Britain.
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