Date Archives: 6-Mar-2013

Question: I have a question regarding nitro use with lung cancer patients. I recently had a patient who was obviously in the end stages of lung CA. Patient was complaining of mild SOB due excessive amounts of fluid buildup in his lungs. He stated that he needed to go to the hospital to have the fluid drained. Patent had 5-6 word dyspnea, O2 sats at 92 %, radial pulse 90, NSR, respiratory rate 22 regular, audible crackles when patient took a deep breath, and B/P 124/86. Patient stated that within the last couple of days he had noticed swelling to his ankles and abdomen which were abnormal for him. Patient had a previous history of nitro use due to angina. Would this patient benefit at all with nitro use? He wasn't in severe respiratory distress nor did he require assisted ventilations.

Question: I had a call today to a nursing home where the patient had a valid DNR. The patient was in agonal respirations. The staff stated the patient HAD to be transported to ER as per direct orders from the doctor on call for the nursing home. She kept saying the patient was a level 3 and he had to go to ER. My partner and I told the staff we cannot do anything for him and with a valid DNR the patient does not need to be transported. The staff argued with us more saying the patient had to go and that they already called ER. Instead of getting into it further with staff my partner and I loaded the patient and went to ER. We transported Code 3 as the patient expired as soon and we left for ER. Were we right in doing so? I pre alerted ER about the situation and they were accommodating when we got there.

Question: There is certainly a lot of confusion that remains in regards to DNR's. From your replies, I get the impression that if someone is breathing, has a pulse and a valid DNR, but has respiratory or cardiac problems which may or may not be corrected with artificial ventilation, assisted ventilation without an artificial airway (conscious CHF)or chest compressions we are to provide NRB O2, symptom relief meds and comfort measures. That being said, if someone has a valid DNR becomes obstructed with a FB, we have been instructed by BH personnel to attempt to clear the FB and if death results in the process, validate the DNR and stop the efforts. If this is correct, are we not providing or at least attempting to provide A/R in one of the steps to alleviate the obstruction? This would be in contraindication to past answers which the committee has provided. Not trying to be a pain, just looking for clarity for viewers and myself. Great site – your time and effort is appreciated.

Question: I like to give O2 to patients for pain (when not contraindicated) even if their stats are good. I have done this for years and have found that it seems to help. A fellow paramedic felt that this was a very useless application. I disagreed. I have looked for scientific evidence for this working and have found little on it. I was wondering if you would comment.

Question: If you have a VSA patient with a previous history of methadone use, is it beneficial to patch for Narcan while the patient is VSA or until you get a ROSC?

Question: Recently I had a call for a 2 year old anaphylaxis that I ended up treating with epi and ventolin. The patient was very short of breath and had a decreased LOC and ended up having to be ventilated. Eventually the patient came around with the epi and the bagging. This patient's heart rate was approx. 70/min. My questions is, are we still starting CPR on pediatrics with signs of poor perfusion with a heart rate of less than 60 or is this just for neonates?

Question: This question is regarding advance airway. I really don't like the basic airway first then if there is a problem, now go to the advance airway, ie: intubation, I have had saves due intubation right away. Once the vomit starts it's very hard to control the airway or intubate, during CPR, the vomit can come out in excess amounts that the suction cannot keep up with, let alone if by chance you do get a save, the patient dies of aspiration pneumonia later! Yes it's a paramedic's discretion to intubate or not, if you have a good seal with a basic airway and an IV you can run a code, and it's also said intubation stops CPR, well all the CPR in the world won't help if the airway is uncontrolled. This ROC survey with basic airway for the first 6 minutes can really cause a negative patient outcome if he vomits in excess. Well at least my compression stats are good!!!! Maybe this should be discussed in the next recert. Signed an ALS Paramedic.

Question: Patient is unconscious respirations of 8 but DNR is present. We can't assist respirations using a BVM? Sorry if this question had already been asked / answered.

Question: This question is regarding not giving Narcan to a DNR patient. Obviously, if there is not an underlining medical issue (e.g. terminal CA) and a patient ODs, even with a DNR, we attempt to reverse any issues. However, if the patient does have a medical issue with a DNR, has decided to OD to commit suicide and is in a pre-arrest / arrested state, is it reasonable to assume that since they are breaking the law, that the DNR can no longer be valid?