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A unique initiative uses blood samples from cardiac patents to determine if they’re having a heart attack.

Scottish ambulance workers

Paramedics in Scotland are undertaking blood analysis of cardiac patients in a world-leading trial in the Borders that will produce vital test data in minutes, speeding up diagnosis and saving lives.

The initiative is the result of a unique partnership between the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare, NHS Borders and Samsung.

I want NHS Scotland to be at the forefront of new and innovative technologies such as this. Allowing clinicians to identify an appropriate course of treatment before the patient even arrives at hospital can be crucial.

Alex Neil, Health Secretary

Paramedics use a mobile unit provided by Samsung to take a blood sample from cardiac patients and run a test for troponin in the ambulance while en route to hospital. Troponin is a cardiac marker found in the blood following damage to the heart muscle caused by a heart attack. The test differentiates between a heart attack and angina.

The test, which normally has to be undertaken in hospital, provides vital results in the ambulance, which are sent ahead to the receiving cardiology team.

The early availability of this information enables ambulance crews to deliver the most clinically effective care en route and provides vital information to cardiologists quicker.

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