Author Archives: SWORBHP

Question: I have a question regarding the administration of narcan. Narcan seems to be given more often now that there is no patch point. The wording of the medical directive hasn't changed though so just to confirm, are we still just to be giving it when we cannot adequately ventilate the patient? Example, if they are GCS of 3 and breathing inadequately but we are getting good compliance on the BVM and the patient’s vitals are otherwise stable, are we ok to not give it? If we do go ahead and give narcan to a patient who is NOT breathing and they start breathing on their own but are still GCS of 3 are we to stop there since we can now manage their airway or do we continue up to our maximum of 3 doses or until they become GCS of 15?

Question: If the Valsalva Maneuver is not a medically controlled act why would a PCP not be able to carry out this procedure for a symptomatic narrow complex, regular rhythm tachycardia that is symptomatic? PCP's are supposed to be able to identify sinus tachycardia, atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter which would be contraindicated and especially if no other immediate care is available. Why such be restricted to only ACP's, again especially if no other immediate care is available?

Question: Why are all the directives based upon an urban setting assumption given that there are very rural areas in which paramedics work in besides big cities? Further to this, one could suggest that certain advanced skills are more appropriate if not life saving the further from a hospital. Has there ever been any consideration to consider such advanced care skills such as midazolam for seizures, needle thoracostomy, peds IO and even cricothyrotomy to name a few. Why are these not even considered in areas with transport times exceeding well over 1-2hrs. These are skills that overall can make a significant difference in patient outcomes especially when no other care is available. To add, these are not skills that can be deemed to be well learned for even experienced ACP's as actual prevalence even in an urban setting is very low. Thus, the number needed learn position can be put forth ACP's anymore than PCP's but the difference in distance to more advanced care certainly can.

Question: One frustration or perhaps lack of knowing is why the Medical Directives differ so much from province to province even for PCPs. Does "evidence based medicine" stop at provincial borders or is it that interpretation and application of such depends more on who, as well as financial politics and liabilities more than evidence based medicine and timely patient care? I can provide examples but I do not think it is specifically necessary-helpful per say in answering the primary question. Look forward to your response.

Question: When the Ministry of Health's DNR forms are filled out, can the section where the patient's name goes have a sticker from the hospital with the patients name/health card #/DOB, etc. instead of having the name printed or does that make the form invalid. The form specifically states the patient’s name should be printed clearly. I wasn't sure if the ID sticker was something we could accept instead or if that section can only be filled out by hand.

Question: In a setting where you arrive on scene and you are presented with a patient who is unconscious and is hypotensive, the patient has a valid DNR. Can you still administer fluids to this patient or does that fall under the same category as inserting an OPA/NPA and BVM to a patient with a DNR?

Question: This question may be a very rare situation but I have not been able to get an answer from any paramedics I have asked. As per the "Patching" section in the introduction of the ALS PCS the literature states "BHP cannot be reached despite reasonable attempts by the paramedic to establish contact, a paramedic may initiate the required treatment without the requisite online authorization if the patient is in severe distress and, in the paramedic’s opinion, the medical directive would otherwise apply". In a situation where a cardioversion is required and the unstable patient is still conscious, it is fairly common practice to ask for sedation and pain control (i.e. Morphine/Midazolam) along with orders for cardioversion. If multiple BH patches cannot be completed and in the paramedics opinion cardioversion is required for the unstable but conscious patient, are we able to administer sedation and pain control? I ask this because there is not a directive that directly deals with pain and sedation prior to delivering the cardioversion, but is common to ask for such direction.

Question: For teaching purposes. While assessing a patient, how important is it to determine any and all treatments or interventions provided to the patient by allied agencies, bystanders, self-administration or other medical professionals prior to the arrival of the Paramedics? How important is it to determine an accurate time line of those treatments or interventions? Is oxygen a treatment and/or intervention?

Question: Is PEEP being considered for inclusion into the paramedic scope of practice? I recently had a patient who was in CHF to the point of unconsciousness whom we would have absolutely given CPAP had he been conscious. Although PEEP isn't exactly the same as CPAP, would it not have potentially provided some benefit?

Question: I've heard of crews being asked to transfer patients between facilities with indwelling tubes and lines that are not within their scope, and they don't have suitable escorts. I had a colleague asked to transport a patient with a chest tube, without an RN escort, to which they refused, but recently saw a crew transporting a patient with a nasal epistax in-situ. I know these have the potential to migrate and cause airway obstruction so didn't think we should move these without a hospital escort. Could the Base Hospital provide some direction so that it is clearer to paramedics as to what they should do in these cases?

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