Category Archives: Medical Directives

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: 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: In the event we have a patient who is STEMI positive, with symptoms of CHF (crackles/pitting edema) who is hypertensive >140 systolic BP are we to treat with 0.8mg of nitro for the CHF or 0.4 mg under the ischemic chest pain protocol? Also with the new STEMI standard dropping down to 3 - 0.4mg SL doses of nitro maximum, will that change out CHF protocol for nitro administration if both problems present together?

Question: CPR guidelines: I understand that we start CPR with a patient less than 16 years old, heart rate less than 60 and signs of poor perfusion, agonal respirations as per the CPR guidelines. My question is if we have the same situation with an adult patient, what would be beneficial for this type of patient (CPR)?

Question: How many analyses would you perform on a patient who is VSA following a drowning. Is it considered special circumstances, should the patient be transported after one analysis? Or should we transport after the first rhythm that doesn't result in a defibrillation? How many shocks total if patient stays in a shockable rhythm (4 max or more)?

Question: Can calcium gluconate be given through a CVAD? The patients requiring it (usually dialysis patients) often have difficult IV access, unstable veins and some sort of CVAD in place. If access of the CVAD for administration of fluids and cardiac arrest meds has already been performed, are we still required to start an IO for the calcium gluconate or can it be requested of the BHP to administer through the CVAD with proper flushing before and after?

Question: What is the rationale for the 18 years old and greater age for naloxone administration? (i.e. legal, risk factors?)

Question: I have a question about the benefits between using MDI vs. nebulized ventolin. I understand the direction is to use MDI as the preferred route. It certainly makes sense with anybody who is infectious but seems counterintuitive when you could be administering drug with oxygen at the same time as with the case of nebulization. There is also a perceived psychological benefit when patients can feel and see the mist. I have heard about studies that were done at Sick Kids to support MDI use. I was unable to locate them. Is there any other evidence you can suggest as to why MDI is the preferred route? Thank you so much for your time.

Question: Hello, When a crew arrives on scene and finds a patient VSA, the ALS and BLS Standards require CPR per the HSFO guidelines at 30:2. When considering that there is strong evidence showing high quality CPR is the most important care to impact patient survival, my question revolves around what care or priorities should be considered when there are just the 2 paramedics on scene awaiting additional crews or resources.

The questions specifically are:

1) While Early defib, high-quality CPR and BVM ventilation's are a must, should an IV and medications be attempted with such limited resources? In attempting to do so, there is strong likelihood of compromising the quality of CPR because the compressor is doing about 2 compressions a second, and the 2nd medic is ventilating about every 15 seconds, thus making it next to impossible to perform any other tasks without diluting the CPR quality. This should the early defib, High-quality CPR and BVM ventilation's be the only focus until more resources show up, or should the IV and medication process be attempted to satisfy the requirements of the directive, even if doing so will compromise the CPR quality?

2) In regard to #1 above, when working in a rural setting, in which allied resources can sometimes take upwards of 20 minutes to arrive on scene, how does this play into the care?

3) As a given, I would love to be able to meet all the requirements of the ACP Cardiac arrest directive effectively, but with only 2 paramedics on scene the problem is there is just so much to do, and with quality of CPR and ventilation's/ETCO2 being able to be monitored and recorded, you can either violate the directive to maintain high-quality CPR, or risk having this data show your CPR quality was not great but got "everything done". Which is the preferred method of care?

4) While there is evidence supporting that CPR saves lives, is there any strong evidence supporting that the IV/Meds and the Advanced airways lead to better patient survival?

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