Consent for Thrombolysis

This following advice is the most recently JRCALC-approved version for consent for thrombolysis (27/11/02):

The suggested information for a patient to receive pre-hospital thrombolysis is as follows:-

‘It is likely that you have suffered a heart attack, and the best treatment is a clot dissolving drug called xxx. The quicker you receive this drug, the lower the risk from the heart attack – which is why doctors recommend the treatment is started as soon as possible. These drugs can cause serious side effects in a small minority of patients which I can explain to you in more detail if you so wish, but the risks attached to this treatment are very much less than the likely benefit. Would you like me to give you the injection or would you prefer to have more details?’

In the unlikely event that patients do want more information they should be given the following information:-

‘Treatment at this stage saves the lives of about 4 patients for every 100 we treat. But it can sometimes cause serious bleeding. The biggest risk is stroke which affects about 1 patient in every 200. Some patients also have allergic and other effects that do not usually cause any major problem.’