Category Archives: Medical Cardiac Arrest

Question: I have recently received an ACR audit, and have spoken to others, within my service, who have received audits as well, stating that a DNR patient who has not arrested should be ventilated via BVM. Everyone is under the impression that a DNR patient should not be bagged. I know that I have had previous conversations with SWORBHP educators in which the final word on this subject had been no BVM in the presence of a DNR irregardless of whether then patient was VSA or pre-arrest. A similar question on this issue was previously asked and answered on 1-March-2012 with the resulting answer being "therefore, to answer your question, if a valid DNR form is available, none of these "advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation" procedures should be initiated, period. The SWORBHP medical directors would suggest that this is independent of whether or not the patient has completely arrested or not". The question now is what is the right thing to do? What we have previously been told is right or what the auditors are now saying we should be doing? Could you please shed some light on the situation because there's once again a lot of confusion surrounding the correct application of the DNR. Thanks.

Question: In the medical cardiac arrest directive it states, “In unusual circumstances (e.g. pediatric), consider initiating transportation following the first rhythm analysis that does not result in a defibrillation being deliver." My question is: What is the age range for a pediatric? Thanks in advance.

Question: Our medical cardiac arrest protocol states for pediatric patients consider initiating transportation following the first rhythm analysis that does not result in a defibrillation being delivered. My question is, "Until what age do we consider a patient a pediatric?”. Thanks in advance.

Question: I was just wondering the reasoning as to why we don't check for a pulse after we deliver a shock, and instead jump right into CPR? I have watched many VSA's ran in the ER and always see the ER physicians check for a pulse after delivering a shock before resuming CPR. I have asked several co-workers and no one seems to have an answer for this.

Question: If a patient from, for example, a structure fire is VSA with severe 3rd degree burns to the majority of their body and asystolic upon arrival would this fall under a medical or trauma cardiac arrest protocol? I would assume there is a high likelihood that the cause of arrest is more asphyxial in nature from smoke and toxic fume inhalation so it would be a medical protocol. That being said would this patient also meet medical TOR protocol since the arrest is asphyxial in origin? In discussion there seems to be so many variables put forward that there is no general consensus on which protocol to follow. Assuming there is no associated blunt trauma (e.g. structural collapse or explosion) or any penetrating trauma (e.g. explosion or injury occurred prior to burns) and the only trauma is the burns themselves what's the most advisable course of action to follow?

Question: As far as the TOR mandatory patch point goes: if we are able to relay to the BHP that we would like to transport as opposed to terminating (e.g. public place, family insists we do so etc.) then why not allow the discretion of the paramedic to dictate whether to spend the time actually doing the patch? Since the physician is relying on us to paint a picture of the scene and if the BHP will accept our interpretation of the events unfolding and most likely state to transport anyway, patching to get permission to initiate transport seems to be more of a delay than a benefit.

Question: With respect to the Medical TOR, can we leave a deceased patient with family members after the TOR has been granted? It does not state in our medical directive who we can leave the body with (I always presumed it would Police, a family doctor, Coroner, Supervisor, Nurse at Nursing Home / patient’s home, etc.). In the Deceased Patient Standards it does state under responsible person / unexpected death chart... family members would be acceptable. I would imagine it would depend on the situation at the scene and family members state of mind. If you and your partner are at the scene of a medical TOR and another call comes in down the street for a code 4 - VSA for example, can both crew members leave the scene and have family take over care of the body? I know you could do a first response with one crew member, but again, two would be optimal. If you were a Supervisor on scene taking over care for your crew, could you leave the pt in the care of family and do a first response? You are on scene with a patient who has met the Obvious Death Criteria, can you leave the patient with family members or do we wait for Police, Supervisor etc. to attend the scene?

Just wanting clarification on who would be the 'responsible person'. If a Paramedic felt that family would meet the criteria for 'responsible person', could we have family take over custody of the deceased person for Medical TOR or Obvious Death Criteria providing scene was safe, family coping well, no suspicious events at scene, etc.?

Question: I was having a debate with another paramedic about the proper order of procedure in the following situation: You are en-route to the hospital, in the back of the ambulance alone with your patient, and they go VSA. You check for pulse and respirations and confirm VSA, update your partner, and ask them to pull over and help. While they are pulling over and moving to the back of the ambulance should you: a) begin chest compressions; or b) immediately apply defib pads and analyze?

Question: This question is in regards to the TOR's and calling BHP. Some paramedic services lack having a spare cell phone while the primary cell phone for a truck is "out for service", missing etc. I have heard of some paramedics using their personal cell phones to call for the mandatory BHP patch for a pronouncement. I have spoken to Police and Crown Officials, and they have both stated that our personal phone can be submitted into evidence at an inquest or other matters, as this was the tool used to make that pronouncement (upon further investigation a paramedics credibility can be challenged as the court can see text messages, pictures, and phone calls placed on the personal phone). If our service fails to provide us with a cell phone for that shift for whatever reason, are we obligated to use our personal phone knowing it could be taking from us in an investigation for an unknown length of time? Would we document "no cell phone available" on the ACR?

Question: I have checked with a SWORBHP Educator and they did confirm that you cannot Medical TOR an OD but you can do Medical TOR on Drowning Hanging and Electrocution. There still seems to be doubt out in the field so I thought I would post so all could see answer

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