Is it necessary to have advanced training as an EMS provider in order to correctly identify a ST-elevation myocardial infarction?
A study based in Canada with their Primary Care Paramedics shows more evidence that advance training is not needed to diagnose and triage patients with STEMI’s. In Canada the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) is the least trained EMS provider, similar to the United States EMT, but the PCP can have up to 2 years of training (600 - 800 hours). Computerized interpretations of 12 lead ECGs are accurate enough to diagnose a STEMI in the prehospital setting. This advancement in technology allows the PCP to notify the receiving facility for STEMI activation protocols. The study contributes more evidence to an already popular concept.
Cantor, Warren J., MD, and Paul Hoogeveen, MD. "Prehospital Diagnosis and Triage of ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction by Paramedics without Advanced Care Training." American Heart Journal 164.2 (2012): 201-06. Print.