Date Archives: 10-Apr-2015

Question: Recently on a call, a patient presented with the following: sudden onset of fever (approx. 1 hour prior to EMS arrival as per those on scene) @ 38.2°, angio-edema (specifically, swollen tongue only), difficulty breathing (6-7 word dyspnea) and tremors.

Upon arrival, patient was tachycardic, presented with stridor and a plural rub upon auscultation, mild hypertension and room air saturation of 87% (patient had removed home oxygen prior to EMS arrival).

Patient had a history of CHF, COPD, IDDM, MI and several others, but no history of the same and no known allergies. Patient also had been sitting on their couch all day prior to sudden onset with no precipitating event and no known causative agent (including any recent changes to their medications or the dosing levels).

On route, patient became confused, pale, diaphoretic and extremely combative (preventing any other attempts to assist).

Upon arrival, the receiving physician inquired as to what interventions, if any, were administered beyond oxygen administration and supportive care. Based on the incident history, the patient did not appear to fit with any of the directives, as there was no indication of a potential exposure.

My question is whether it would be a stretch to reason that a potential change (perhaps unknown to the patient) to the medication could have caused the reaction as a "probable allergen" and administer epinephrine as per the "Moderate to Severe Allergic Reaction" directive, or whether it is simply a matter of providing high flow oxygen and rapid transport.

It seemed unclear if this particular case was an adverse reaction to the ACE inhibitor the patient had been taking for some time, some sort of infection or an unknown allergen (deemed unlikely from sitting in a controlled home environment).

Question: My question is in regards to the Cardiac Ischemia protocol. I am currently a PCP student and we had a chest pain call. The patient was complaining of chest discomfort and described it as a pressure starting sub-sternal and going to patient’s left shoulder. The patient was also experiencing SOB. This pain was a 6/10 when it first came on and went down to a 5/10 with relaxation. The patient did not have a history of angina but had received NTG in the hospital a couple years before and did not know the why. The patient did not have NTG on their own list of meds. We gave 2 81mg ASA and did a 12-lead which was negative for a right ventricular infarct. My preceptor did establish an IV and got a line started set at TKVO before we gave the NTG.

The question is even though the patient did not have NTG on their own med list at the time of the call; does the time the patient was in hospital and was given NTG count as prior history for the Cardiac Ischemia protocol?

I did see a related question on the site but it was related to a doctor giving the NTG before EMS arrival and it was stated that it should be prescribed. So does that mean it has to be a current prescription or can a patient have it in the hospital and it count? I know it does not matter after you get an IV establish but if we weren't able to get an IV established then would we have been able to give it?

Question: Although not employed by a service under the SWORBHP, I have been closely following this site and your LINKS newsletter. Thank you for both of these invaluable resources. After reading the most recent question regarding spinal immobilization, I had to share a resource with you that can located here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eM4hxuooNN0. This is a lecture by Dr. Ryan Jacobson, a former paramedic who is now medical director of Johnson County EMS in Kansas and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. If you have already seen it, you are familiar with its informative value. If not, I'm confident that you will find it of value. This link is unplublished and cannot be found via YouTube search.

Something that I have been wondering after viewing the lecture and statistical evidence is as follows. Hypothetically, if the current practice of securing patients to backboards increases morbidity and mortality (particularly penetrating trauma) and that there is greater spinal movement than if secured directly to the stretcher, and that no negative effects have been observed by not securing to a backboard, is it reasonable to consider foregoing the backboard as care superior to the minimum requirement as written in the BLS? Similarly to a "letter of the law" vs. "spirit of the law" question. LBBs have been contraindicated for transport in Queensland, Australia for the past five years among numerous other jurisdictions. I've inquired with my employer but was given the old "We have standards" response.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this topic. I look forward to your reply.

Question: I have heard the term "best practice" used quite often in the past little while. I was wondering if you could elaborate on the means of "best practice", and if the SWORBHP guidelines can be considered "best practice"?

If not, where would one look to ensure they are using the "best practice"? For example, in recent studies, best practice may not be to administer oxygen to each and every patient, however the BLS states that we should administer oxygen to each patient.