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Emergency medical technician treatment of hypoglycemia without transport

Authors
Journal
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
0735-6757
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
26
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2007.05.030
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Objectives We examine the safety and efficacy of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) providing treatment to stable hypoglycemic patients without transport or paramedic involvement, which is currently beyond their scope of practice. Methods All hypoglycemic patients treated in the field without transport for 12 months were included. We used a patient follow-up survey to compare the outcomes of EMT and paramedic-treated patients on the occurrence of repeat hypoglycemic episodes, 911 calls, and/or in-hospital reevaluation within 48 hours; patients' adhering to the provided instructions; and patient satisfaction. Results Of 402 cases identified, we were able to contact and survey 203 (51%). There were no statistically significant differences for any of the outcome measures studied. Patients treated by EMTs (110) and paramedics (93) had 8 (7%) and 7 (8%) episodes of repeat hypoglycemia, 3 (3%) and 5 (5%) repeat 911 calls, and 9 (8%) and 10 (11%) hospital evaluations, respectively. Conclusions Emergency medical technicians performed comparably with paramedics treating hypoglycemia without transport.

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