Category Archives: Medical Directives

Question: My question relates to narcan. Do you feel it is necessary in all cases to check BGL prior to administering narcan? The Medical Directive reads uncorrected hypoglycemia as contraindication but in the presence of no diabetic history and an incident history which is clearly indicating opioid overdose combined with critically low oxygen saturation and no ability to ventilate are we to invariably to take a BGL prior to treating obvious signs and symptoms of opioid overdose or can we use clinical judgement based on findings? It goes without saying that a BGL should eventually be taken on such a patient at some point but my question is with a critical patient, no history or finding consistent with low BGL and multiple indicators for OD are we not safe to presume OD, treat accordingly and follow up with BGL afterwards to rule out hypoglycemia?

Question: In the 2015 ALS Companion Document Version 3.3 pg 13, it states this: "A clinical consideration states "Suspected renal colic patients should routinely be considered for Ketorolac". More correctly, this statement should include NSAIDS like Ibuprofen. Ketorolac is preferred when the patient is unable to tolerate oral medication.

There is some confusion over the interpretation of this. I read this statement as suspected renal colic patients should be routinely screened for an NSAID (not just Ketorolac), and therefore should be given ibuprofen first instead, unless the patient cannot tolerate oral medication. My PPC is saying differently that you should be considering Ketorolac first, since the companion document cannot overrule the ALS Directives. What is the true purpose of this statement then?

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: 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)?

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