Date Archives: 13-Mar-2012

Question: I don't agree with the transport consideration in case study #1 of the Acute Stroke Protocol that states the patient is excluded from transport to a Designated Stroke Centre due to not being able to determine onset of symptoms: male, age 58, found unconscious on the floor at 0800 by a friend, when he came to pick him up for work.

Shouldn't we consider it likely the symptom onset was < 3.5hrs especially in this case where it would be safe to assume symptom onset probably occurred after patient got up to get ready for work and that he probably does not get up three and a half hours prior to getting picked up at 0800.

Further, it's more likely his GCS would be worse than 10 had he been down much longer. Bottom line, shouldn't we be erring on the side of caution for these patients and give them the benefit of the doubt that symptom onset might be < 3.5hrs given the evidence at hand? Or even with less evidence? As an aside, is the time going to be extended as i believe some doctors think it should?

Question: The old protocol for Gravol stated it may be given for severe nausea or vomiting. The new one also says we may give it for nausea or vomiting. It does not say severe anymore. My question is do we have to give it to everyone who says they have nausea even if it's minor?

Question: In the ALS patient care standards it states that a Supraglottic Airway (King) is indicated when "Need for ventilatory assistance OR airway control AND Other airway management is inadequate or ineffective"

In the "un-controlled" world of EMS would it not be more effective to use a King over an oral airway after the first round of CPR is complete? The King allows for movement from the floor to stretcher with no worry about "losing" your airway. It also doesn't fall out as an oral airway will in the difficult situations/extrications we face in the field. The fear of gastric distention is also completely alleviated, making the King more effective. It would also allow for constant compressions, which is the best treatment for cardiac arrest patients in pre-hospital settings according to the Heart & Stroke. I have had many discussions with other paramedics and they seem to think that you can't use the King at all if you have an oral airway that is giving adequate control. So my question is, if you use the King on VSA patients, is it acceptable even if the oral airway will work (just not as adequately or effectively in my opinion)?

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: If we are on a call and suspect child abuse or neglect may be taking place what would be the best way to contact child services? Also could we run into confidentiality problems? An example would be if we are called to a residence for a woman with abdo pains. After assessing the scene we notice an infant sitting next to drug paraphernalia.

Question: I had a question in regards to why do we need to establish an IV in a patient with suspected pulmonary edema? If they fit this protocol, they will most likely have crackles, and therefore if we happen to bottom out their pressure with nitro sprays, we will not be able to bolus due to the patient having crackles. Thanks in advance.