1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly
1 1 of HLTH1004, HLTH1210, MMED1005
2 PARA1008 - Integrated Clinical Physiology for Paramedics
3 22.5 units of level one PARA topics
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2 and 3)
Enrolment not permitted
HLTH2202 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Concurrent enrolment in PARA2001 Pathophysiology 2A and PARA2002 Paramedic Practice 1.
Quizzes, Final Examination (60%), Class participation
Topic description

This topic provides a basic understanding of how the cardiovascular system works, how it is assessed, how it fails, and emergency medical treatment options, is fundamental knowledge for paramedics. It will focus on the anatomy, physiology, electrophysiology, pathophysiology and treatment of cardiac emergencies. There is a large emphasis on reading ECGs, both rhythm interpretation and infarct recognition. Cardiovascular pharmacology will also be covered.

Educational aims

This topic will explore cardiovascular emergencies through a discussion of the cause, pathophysiology, presentation and treatment of the major disorders. The topic is divided into the following modules:

  • Cardiovascular Anatomy
  • Electrophysiology
  • ECG Analysis
  • Dysrhythmias
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Myocardial Infarction Recognition on 12 Lead ECGS
  • Imposters of Myocardial Infarction Recognition on 12 Lead ECGS
  • The systemic inflammatory aspects of shock
  • Vascular, Renal and Blood Pathophysiology
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Describe the gross anatomy of the cardiovascular system
  2. Describe the electrophysiological processes that lead to myocardial depolarization and contraction
  3. Describe the major elements of an ECG rhythm strip and correlate these to physiological processes
  4. Interpret normal and abnormal ECG rhythms and correlate these to pathophysiological processes and expected patient presentation
  5. Describe the pathophysiological causes and progression of acute coronary syndrome and correlate these to patient presentation and common treatment options
  6. Recognize signs of acute myocardial infarction on a 12 lead ECG, and be able to anatomically locate the site of the lesion
  7. Recognize the signs of common imposters of acute myocardial infarction on a 12 lead ECG and be able to differentiate these from a true acute coronary syndrome emergency
  8. Explain the inflammatory aspects of the pathophysiological processes of shock and correlate this to the presentation of a patient suffering shock
  9. Describe renal pathophysiology which leads to cardiovascular emergencies, and discuss treatment options
  10. Describe vascular changes, hypertension and blood disorders which lead to cardiovascular emergencies
  11. Identify common drug groups used in the community for the management of cardiovascular disorders and deduce the possible influence these drugs will have on a patient’s emergency presentation