Prehospital Identification of Underlying Coronary Artery Disease by Community Paramedics

Heinelt M, Drennan IR, Kim J, Lucas S, Grant K, Spearen C, Tavares W, Al-Imari L, Philpott J, Hoogeveen P, Morrison LJ.


There is a lack of definitive evidence that preventative, in-home medical care provided by highly trained community paramedics reduces acute health care utilization and improves the overall well-being of patients suffering from chronic diseases. The Expanding Paramedicine in the Community (EPIC) trial is a randomized controlled trial designed to investigate the use of community paramedics in chronic disease management ( ID: NCT02034045). This case of a patient randomized to the intervention arm of the EPIC study demonstrates how the added layer of frequent patient contact by community paramedics and real-time electronic medical record (EMR) correspondence between the paramedics, physicians and other involved practitioners prevented possible life-threatening complications. The visiting community paramedic deduced the need for an electrocardiogram, which prompted the primary care physician to order a stress test revealing abnormalities and thus a coronary artery bypass graft was performed without emergency procedures, unnecessary financial expenditure or further health degradation such as a myocardial infarction.