Category Archives: Medical Cardiac Arrest

Question: There was a question posted in January 2012 that asked if CO poisoning leading from VSA would be considered an unusual circumstance and whether performing one analysis and transporting would be acceptable. Medical Council’s answer was that this would be analogous to an asphyxial cardiac arrest such as a drowning and hanging. In these cases, the SWORBHP Medical Directors have preferred that the Medical Cardiac Arrest Medical Directive be followed.

This question was asked a long time ago, however, during one of my Base Hospital training sessions, I was told by an Educator that CO (it specifically said) does fall under an "unusual circumstance" and therefore you would transport after the first analysis leading to a NO SHOCK ADVISED.

Can you clarify what should be done?

Question: This question is in regards to timing during a medical VSA. Would your 2 minutes in between analysis restart when you stop to analyse or after you have analysed or shocked? For example, you stop to analyse at 1500:00 and you start your CPR at 1500:10 after shock or no shock, would your next analyze be at 1502:00 or 1502:10?

Question: If a doctor is someone who can assume care of a VSA patient and decide to have resuscitative efforts ceased, then why is a doctor not someone who counts as a witness in the 'unwitnessed arrest' condition of a TOR, along with paramedics and firefighters? Thanks in advance.

Question: You respond to a call for a 57 year old male patient who collapsed while cutting the lawn. On arrival, his neighbour who witnessed the arrest, reports that she saw him fall and when she checked on him, she realized that he was in cardiac arrest and started CPR. You confirm that the patient is VSA and quickly apply the defib pads. You deliver one shock and start CPR again but the patient begins to moan and tries to raise his arms. Your next action would be to...?

Question: I have overheard a couple of crews recently discussing the ACP cardiac arrest protocol for when you arrive on-scene and a PCP has already initiated their protocol.

I've overheard that some crews use what the PCP crew has done (say two no shocks) and then just do two more and either call for pronouncement or transport. I also know other crews that will show up and do their entire three rounds of epi, etc. and then call/leave regardless of how many or what the first arriving PCP crew has done.

I know what I do but which one is actually correct because now I'm wondering if I'm doing the right method.

Question: What is the reason why IV certified PCPs cannot bolus PEA patients?

Question: In studying for this year's recert, I started to wonder why the administration of intramuscular epinephrine was being advocated for a first line drug in the management of an arrest where the patient was suspected to be suffering from anaphylaxis. The impression from the protocol is that this procedure should be given priority over starting an IV or an IO. Given that as a routine course in all arrests, an ACP will usually manage to initiate an IV / IO and administer epinephrine (1.0 mg – twice the dose that would be given IM) early in the call, it doesn't seem to make sense to delay the initiation of the line.

With few hands on scene, and the PCP partner performing CPR, the ACP will only likely be able to perform one procedure during the two minutes between rhythm analyses – draw up and deliver epi IM or initiate an IV and deliver epi IV – but probably not both. Since the patient was likely suffering profound vasodilation prior to the arrest, there is low likelihood that there would be much effectiveness in circulating the half millilitre of fluid that is administered IM into a deltoid using CPR alone (which, at best, is only 25% as effective as the heart pumping on it's own). The introduction of epinephrine directly into the bloodstream would likely have a much higher probability of achieving systemic circulation and effect as compared to the IM injection.

The recommendation seems to stem from an interpretation of Part 12 of the 2010 AHA ECC guidelines (Cardiac Arrest in Special Circumstances) where the use of IM epinephrine in arrests of suspected anaphylactic etiology is advised as a modification in the management of a BLS arrest. The recommendation is not present in the modifications in the management of an ALS arrest where, conversely, it is advised that epinephrine is administered by IV where a line is present. In fact, the one recommendation for ALS modification in the management of anaphylactic arrests in the AHA ECC guidelines is absent from our protocols. Currently, a fluid bolus is only indicated where the patient presents in PEA, however, the AHA ECC guidelines make the recommendation that "Vasogenic shock from anaphylaxis may require aggressive fluid resuscitation (Class IIa, LOE C)."

I understand that OBHG MAC might have apprehensions in delaying the administration of epinephrine in circumstances where an IV or IO could not be initiated in short order, however, would it not be more effective to use IM epinephrine as a backup where the line could not be initiated quickly (as in the case with Glucagon vs. IV Dextrose)? The IM administration would also have a higher likelihood of success if given once optimal circulation due to CPR was achieved (which would not occur until a couple minutes into the call).

Thanks for your consideration!

Question: The medical directives state that in order to call for a medical TOR one of the conditions is for the arrest to not be witnessed by EMS.

Does this just refer to EMS or does it include other emergency services, such as Nurses, Fire, Police or PSW? For example if PSW or Fire witnessed the arrest before EMS arrival and EMS arrived on scene and completed 4 analyzes and no shocks delivered, can EMS still call for a TOR because it was not witnessed by EMS?


Question: Can ALS take a pronouncement from the on-scene doctor at a retirement home? I ran the code, since the patient was full code, and got a pronouncement on the phone with the BHP. Once we stopped care, the guy who had been watching us, said that he was her doctor and didn't think we would get her back.

I was wondering if that the on-scene doctor had said something at the beginning of the call, could I just ask him for the pronouncement instead of waiting for the BHP to come to the telephone? We cleared it with management to leave care with that doctor since police didn't come to the scene to call the coroner and take over. Otherwise we would wait for police until we left scene.

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