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Basic Life Support
Patient Care Standards
Version 3.3
Comes into force January 11, 2021
Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch
Ministry of Health
To all users of this publication:
The information contained in the Standards has been carefully compiled and is believed to be accurate at
date of publication.
For further information on the Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards, please contact:
ParamedicStandards@ontario.ca
© Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2020
Document Control
Version
Number
Date of Issue Comes into Force
Date
Brief Description of Change
3.0 July 2016 N/A (amended prior
to in force date)
Full update. See accompanying training
bulletin for further details
3.0.1 November 2016 December 11, 2017 Update to Paramedic Prompt Card for Acute
Stroke Protocol: Contraindication changed
from “CTAS Level 2” to “CTAS Level 1”.
3.1 February 2018 March 1, 2018 Partial update. See accompanying Summary
of Changes for further details.
3.2 May 2019 September 3, 2019 Partial update. See accompanying Summary
of Changes for further details.
3.3 November 2020 January 11, 2021 Updates to the Acute Stroke Protocol section
in the Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA,
“Stroke”) Standard and updates to the Soft
Tissue Injuries Standard
Table of Contents
Preamble ............................................................................................................................. 7
Preface............................................................................................................................................. 1
Definitions....................................................................................................................................... 1
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 2
Research .......................................................................................................................................... 2
Quality Assurance ........................................................................................................................... 3
Commonly Used Abbreviations ...................................................................................................... 4
Section 1 General Standard of Care ............................................................................... 6
Paramedic Conduct Standard .......................................................................................................... 7
General Measures Standard ............................................................................................................ 9
Patient Assessment Standard ........................................................................................................ 10
Patient Management Standard ...................................................................................................... 12
Patient Transport Standard ............................................................................................................ 13
Patient Refusal/Emergency Treatment Standard .......................................................................... 15
Reporting of Patient Care to Receiving Facility Standard ............................................................ 17
Patch to Base Hospital Physician Standard .................................................................................. 18
Regulated Health Professionals Standard ..................................................................................... 19
Transfer of Care (TOC) Standard ................................................................................................. 20
Documentation of Patient Care Standard ...................................................................................... 21
Patient Care Equipment Use Standard .......................................................................................... 22
Oxygen Therapy Standard ............................................................................................................ 23
Field Trauma Triage Standard ...................................................................................................... 24
Air Ambulance Utilization Standard ............................................................................................ 27
Spinal Motion Restriction (SMR) Standard .................................................................................. 30
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Standard ............................................................................................ 33
Deceased Patient Standard ............................................................................................................ 36
General Pediatric Standard ........................................................................................................... 39
Child in Need of Protection Standard ........................................................................................... 40
General Geriatric Standard ........................................................................................................... 43
Mental Health Standard ................................................................................................................ 45
Violent/Aggressive Patient Standard ............................................................................................ 48
Intravenous Line Maintenance Standard ...................................................................................... 49
Load and Go Patient Standard ...................................................................................................... 51
Police Notification Standard ......................................................................................................... 52
Sexual Assault (Reported) Standard ............................................................................................. 54
Research Trial Standard ................................................................................................................ 55
Section 2 Medical Standards ........................................................................................ 56
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 57
Abdominal Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard ................................................................................. 58
Airway Obstruction Standard ....................................................................................................... 59
Allergic Reaction (Known or Suspected) Standard ...................................................................... 60
Altered Level of Consciousness Standard .................................................................................... 62
Back Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard ........................................................................................... 63
Cardiac Arrest Standard ................................................................................................................ 64
Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA, “Stroke”) Standard .................................................................. 66
Chest Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard .......................................................................................... 69
Dysphagia Standard ...................................................................................................................... 72
Epistaxis (Non-Traumatic) Standard ............................................................................................ 73
Excited Delirium Standard ............................................................................................................ 74
Extremity Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard ................................................................................... 75
Fever Standard .............................................................................................................................. 76
Headache (Non-Traumatic) Standard ........................................................................................... 77
Heat-Related Illness Standard ....................................................................................................... 78
Hematemesis/Hematochezia Standard .......................................................................................... 80
Nausea/Vomiting Standard ........................................................................................................... 81
Respiratory Failure Standard ........................................................................................................ 82
Seizure Standard ........................................................................................................................... 83
Shortness of Breath Standard ........................................................................................................ 84
Syncope/Dizziness/Vertigo Standard............................................................................................ 85
Toxicological Emergency Standard .............................................................................................. 86
Vaginal Bleeding Standard ........................................................................................................... 88
Visual Disturbance Standard......................................................................................................... 90
Section 3 Trauma Standards ........................................................................................ 92
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 93
General Trauma Standard ............................................................................................................. 94
Amputation/Avulsion Standard .................................................................................................... 96
Blunt/Penetrating Injury Standard ................................................................................................ 97
Abdominal/Pelvic Injury ......................................................................................................... 97
Bite Injury ................................................................................................................................ 97
Chest Injury ............................................................................................................................. 98
Eye Injury ................................................................................................................................ 98
Face/Nose Injury...................................................................................................................... 99
Head Injury .............................................................................................................................. 99
Neck/Back Injury ................................................................................................................... 101
Burns (Thermal) Standard........................................................................................................... 102
Cold Injury Standard ................................................................................................................... 104
Electrocution/Electrical Injury Standard..................................................................................... 106
Extremity Injury Standard........................................................................................................... 107
Foreign Bodies (Eye/Ear/Nose) Standard ................................................................................... 108
Hazardous Materials Injury Standard ......................................................................................... 109
Soft Tissue Injuries Standard ...................................................................................................... 111
Submersion Injury Standard ....................................................................................................... 113
Section 4 Obstetrical Standards ................................................................................. 115
Neonate Standard ........................................................................................................................ 116
Pregnancy Standard .................................................................................................................... 118
Appendix A Supplemental .......................................................................................... 121
FTTG Prompt Card ..................................................................................................................... 122
SMR Prompt Card....................................................................................................................... 123
STEMI Prompt Card ................................................................................................................... 124
Stroke Prompt Card..................................................................................................................... 125
Basic Life Support Patient Care
Standards
Version 3.
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Preamble
i
1
Preamble
Preamble
Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Preface
The Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards (the “Standards”) is the Ministry of Health (MOH)
standard by which paramedics shall provide the minimum mandatory level of patient care in Ontario.
When providing patient care as per the Standards, a paramedic shall ensure that the patient
simultaneously receives care in accordance with the Advanced Life Support Patient Care Standards
(ALS PCS).
Definitions
For the purposes of the Standards the following definitions apply:
Paramedic
Paramedic has the same definition as set out in the Ambulance Act (Ontario) and for the purposes of
the Standards includes an Emergency Medical Attendant as defined under the Ambulance Act
(Ontario) and Regulation 257/00, as may be amended from time to time.
Patient
Patient refers to an individual for whom a request for ambulance service was made and who a
paramedic has made contact with for the purpose of assessment, patient care and/or transport,
regardless of whether or not an assessment is conducted, patient care is provided, or the patient is
transported by ambulance.
Patient Priority System
Patient Priority System means a bypass agreement implemented into an ambulance operator’s
deployment plan according to MOH/Central Ambulance Communications Centre/Ambulance
Communication Service (CACC/ACS) policies.
Guideline
General statements intended to provide information and guidance with respect to formulation of
working assessments, or, directing principles of preferred practices applicable to specific clinical
circumstances where a standard is not feasible or practical.
2
Preamb
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Introduction
In creating the Standards, an assessment-based approach was utilized, e.g. a standard was developed
for assessment and management of shortness of breath, rather than for asthma.
The Standards is composed of a number of sections, divided based on category (e.g. Medical
Standards, T
rauma Standards, etc.). Respective sections contain various discrete standards.
The majority of standards begin with a foreword that states: “the paramedic shall”. These standards
then itemi
ze differing actions, each of which is intended to be read while considering the standard’s
foreword. It is expected that the paramedic perform all listed actions in a standard unless otherwise
stated.
The Standards is applicable at all times when a paramedic is on duty. Additionally, a paramedic will
follow any required applicable acts (e.g. Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004
(Ontario)), regulations, or standards while off duty (including the Standards, as applicable).
It is understood that the Standards will apply to all calls for service. A patient will be present. A
paramedic will have a partner, unless on-scene alone in a first response situation (e.g. Emergency
Response Vehicle). A paramedic will have fully operational patient care equipment as per the
Provincial Equipment Standards for Ontario Ambulance Services.
There may be circumstances and situations in which complying with the Standards is not clinically
justified, possible or prudent as a result of extenuating circumstances. Paramedics shall use all
knowledge, training, skill and clinical judgment to mitigate any extenuating circumstances.
Paramedics shall document in accordance with the Ontario Ambulance Documentation Standards
and the Ambulance Call Report Completion Manual.
Exten
uating circumstances may include:
a) Scene conditions
b) Overwhelmed resources (e.g. multi-casualty incident)
c) Equipment failure
d) Safety concerns
e) Patient location
f) Distance from receiving facility
g) Others not specified (e.g. language barrier)
Research
Clinical research is fundamental to the practice of medicine and the development of safer, more
effective treatment options for patients. At times, research protocols require temporary changes to
patient care standards. Changes to patient care standards will be approved and introduced by the
MOH.
3
Pream
ble
Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Quality Assurance
Ambulance service operators shall have a quality assurance program in place to oversee care
provided by paramedics under the Standards.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Commonly Used Abbreviations
Table 1 below outlines abbreviations commonly used in the Standards.
Table 1. Abbreviations commonly used in the Standards
Word/Phrase Abbreviation
Advanced Care Paramedic ACP
Advanced Life Support Patient Care Standards ALS PCS
Ambulance Communications Officer ACO
Ambulance Communication Service ACS
Blood Pressure BP
Canadian Transport Emergency Centre CANUTEC
Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale CTAS
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation CPR
Central Ambulance Communications Centre CACC
Cerebrovascular Accident CVA
Cervical Spine C-spine
Children’s Aid Society CAS
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD
Do Not Resuscitate DNR
Endovascular Therapy EVT
Electrocardiogram ECG
End-tidal Carbon Dioxide ETCO
2
Glasgow Coma Scale GCS
Hour hr
Intravenous IV
Kilogram kg
Kilometre km
Lead Trauma Hospital LTH
Litre L
Large Vessel Occlusion LVO
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Preamble
Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Word/Phrase
Abbreviation
Los Angeles Motor Scale LAMS
Milliequivalent mEq
Millilitre mL
Millimole mmol
Ministry of Health MOH
Patient Priority System PPS
Percutaneous coronary intervention PCI
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 PHIPA
Primary Care Paramedic PCP
Pulse oximetry SpO
2
Return of spontaneous circulation ROSC
Spinal Motion Restriction SMR
ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction STEMI
Substitute Decision Maker SDM
Termination of Resuscitation TOR
Vital Signs Absent VSA
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Section 1 General Standard of Care
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Section 1 General Standard of Care
Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Paramedic Conduct Standard
Paramedic Conduct
The paramedic shall:
1. conserve life, alleviate pain and suffering, and promote health;
2. protect and maintain the patient’s safety, dignity and privacy;
3. provide care based on human need with respect for human dignity;
4. demonstrate empathy and compassion for patients and their families;
5. provide patient care until it is no longer required or until another appropriately qualified
health ca
re professional has accepted responsibility for patient care;
6. discharge his/her duties with honesty, diligence, efficiency and integrity;
7. conduct and present oneself in such a manner so as to encourage and merit the respect of
the public
for members of the paramedic profession;
8. attempt to establish and maintain good working relationships with other professional
colleag
ues and the public;
9. assume responsibility for personal and professional development, including quality
assurance
initiatives such as reporting patient safety incidents;
10. maintain familiarity with current applicable legislation and practice, and strive to work to
the fulle
st extent of his/her competencies; and
11. report any incompetent, illegal or unethical conduct by colleagues or other health care
professiona
ls to the ambulance service operator and/or base hospital.
Paramedic Misconduct
The paramedic shall not:
1. practice beyond his/her level of certification;
2. refuse or neglect to serve persons requiring services that are part of the normal
performance
of his/her duties;
3. falsify documentation of any kind;
4. misrepresent qualifications or credentials;
5. threaten or use violent behaviour;
6. take or possess drugs from the ambulance service without authorization;
7. disclose Confidential Information to anyone, unless required or permitted by law.
“Confidenti
al Information” includes:
a. identifying information about an individual;
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
b. personal health information (as defined in the PHIPA), such as a medical record or
the name and address of a patient, whether in oral or recorded form (e.g. written,
printed, or in electronic form); and
c. information obtained through one’s position as a paramedic which is not available to
the public in general;
Guideline
If a paramedic is unsure as to whether Confidential Information may be disclosed, the
paramedic shall refrain from disclosing the Confidential Information, and shall consult with
his or her ambulance service operator for direction.
8. have any form of inappropriate sexual contact, relations or impropriety with a patient; or
9. engage in any other conduct unbecoming of a paramedic.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
General Measures Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. on receipt of a call, confirm call information with the CACC/ACS;
2. use an appropriate route and speed while operating the ambulance, adhere to approved
driving and occupa
nt restraint policies and practices, and operate the ambulance and
utilize ambulance emergency warning systems in a responsible manner;
3. on arrival at the scene, perform an assessment of the environment, park the ambulance in
a safe place,
as close to the point of patient contact as possible, and identify routes of
access and egress;
4. ensure the call environment is safe with no danger to self or others;
5. if danger exists, or there is uncertainty regarding personal and/or patient safety, request
assistance
from allied emergency services and maintain communication with
CACC/ACS;
6. bring to the point of initial patient contact all equipment required to establish baseline
vital sig
ns and perform defibrillation;
7. use call and scene information to determine any additional equipment likely to be
required to ma
nage the call, and bring to point of initial patient contact;
8. if there is more than one patient and/or additional resources or assistance is required,
make reques
ts to CACC/ACS;
9. utilize personal protecti
ve equipment according to the Patient Care and Transportation
Standards, and take appropriate safety measures;
10. identify and introduce themselves to the patient and others as appropriate;
11. obtain consent for patient care as per the Heath Care Consent Act, 1996 (Ontario);
12. use proper, effective communication techniques to establish patient trust;
13. protect the patient from hazards and exposure to adverse environmental conditions;
14. for scene responses involving hazardous materials, reference the Tran
sport Canada
Emergency Response Guidebook;
15. ens
ure safe use and disposal of equipment (e.g. sharps); and
16. perform hand hygiene as per the Patient Care and Transportation Standards.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Patient Assessment Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. assume the existence of serious, potentially life-, limb- and/or function-threatening
conditions;
2. make scene observations relevant to the patient’s status;
3. seek me
dical information tags;
4. attem
pt to determine the patient’s name, sex, age (or approximate), and weight (or
approximate
);
5. make reasonable attempts to seek other forms of patient identification, if required;
6. deter
mine the patient’s
chief complaint;
7. immediately on patient contact perf
orm the primary survey by,
a. noting the patient’s general appearance, degree of distress and CTAS (Arrive Patient)
as
per the Prehospital CTAS Paramedic Guide,
b. ensuri
ng C-spine precautions as indicated by the Spinal Motion Restriction (SMR)
Standard,
c. assessing airway patency, breathing, circulation and level of consciousness and
identify
ing critical findings (i.e. look for and if possible, quickly expose obvious or
suspected external hemorrhage and injury sites), and,
d. upon identifying absent/inadequate airway, breathing or circulation, performing
critical interventions as per the Patient Management Standard;
8. det
erm
ine history of present illness or incident (including treatment prior to arrival);
9. determin
e the patient’s symptoms, allergies, past medical history and medications;
10. dete
rmine the patient’s compliance with prescribed medications;
11. initiate rapid transport and perform further assessment and management en rou
te, if the
paramedic determines that the patients meets the criteria listed in the Load and Go
Patient Standard;
12. es
tablish baseline vital signs, which inc
lude:
a. heart rate,
b. respiration rate,
c. blood pressure
(BP),
d. Pulse oxi
metry (SpO
2
),
e. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS),
f. pupils, and
g. skin colour and
condition;
13. auscult
ate the patient’s lungs for air entry and adventitious sounds (e.g. wheezes,
crackles
), if the patient is exhibiting signs or symptoms of cardiovascular, respiratory or
neurological compromise;
14. initiate cardiac monitoring, if the
patient is exhibiting signs or symptoms of
cardiovascular, respiratory or neurological compromise;
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Guideline
The following types of calls typically warrant a cardiac monitor:
All vital signs absent (VSA) patients, except those who are obviously dead as per the
Deceased Patient Standard
Unconscious or altered level of consciousness
Collapse or syncope
Suspected cardiac ischemia
Moderate to severe shortness of breath
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
Overdose
Major or multi-system trauma
Electrocution
Submersion injury
Hypothermia, heat exhaustion or heat illness
Abnormal vital signs as per the ALS PCS
If requested by sending facility staff (for inter-facility transfers)
15. perform a secondary survey, as required by patient status or the Standards;
16. obtain a second set of vital signs;
17. if the patient is suspected to be febrile or experiencing hyperthermia, obtain the patient’s
temperature;
18. formulate a working assessment after the primary and secondary survey;
19. if at any time during a call the paramedic provides a critical intervention, or series of
interventions, or a change in patient status occurs, at a minimum reassess the patient’s
airway patency, breathing, circulation, level of consciousness, and consider further
patient assessment or management; and
20. reassess vital signs relevant to patient condition/status,
a. every 30 minutes at a minimum, and
b. more frequently, as required by patient condition, changes to patient status, or the
Standards.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Patient Management Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. if the patient is vital signs absent (VSA) and meets “obvious death” criteria as per the
Deceased Patient Standard, follow the procedures outlined within the Deceased Patient
Standard;
2.
if the patient has an MOH Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Confirmation Form, refer to the Do
Not Resuscitate (DNR) Standard;
3. perform
appropriate critical interventions to establish/improve and maintain airway
patency, v
entilation and circulation, which include:
a. protecting C-spine if C-spine precautions are indicated by the Spinal Motion
Restrict
ion (SMR) Standard,
b. initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as per current Heart and Stroke
Foundat
ion of Canada Guidelines and as per the Cardiac Arrest Standards, if the
patient is VSA (perform appropriate cardiac arrest medical directives as outlined in
the ALS PCS),
c. cle
aring airway obstructions as per the Airway Obstruction Standard, with attention
to suctioning of
saliva, blood and vomit where necessary,
d. ventilating or assisting ventilations as per the Respiratory Failure Standard or
Shortness of Br
eath Standard, and
e. controlling trauma-related external hemorrhage as per the Soft Tissue Injuries
Standard, or as s
pecified in other standards for both trauma and non-trauma related
conditions.
4. administer oxygen therapy as per the Oxygen Therapy Standard;
5. initiate management of other life-, limb- and/or function-threatening conditions as
outlined in ot
her sections of the Standards and the ALS PCS;
6. position or re-position the patient in order to support, protect, improve and/or promote,
a. C-spine alignment,
b. airway patency,
c. breathing,
d. venous return and perfusion,
e. extremity injury, and
f. patient comfort;
7. if the patient is stable, initiate management on-scene for non-critical conditions as
outlined in ot
her sections of the Standards;
8. continually monitor the patient and provide assessment and management as required by
the Standards;
9. give the patient nothing by mouth unless indicated by the Standards or ALS PCS; and
10. ensure the patient maintains a comfortable temperature, or as required by the Standards.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Patient Transport Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. determine CTAS level (CTAS Depart Scene) as per Prehospital CTAS Paramedic Guide;
2. make a decision regarding the appropriate receiving health care facility and initiate
transport of t
he patient as confirmed or directed by an ambulance communications officer
(ACO);
3. if confirmation or direction cannot be obtained from an ACO, transport to the closest or
most appropri
ate hospital capable of providing the medical care apparently required by
the patient;
4. collect and transport all relevant patient medications, record of medications, and any
other rele
vant identification and medical records, as necessary, for review by receiving
facility staff;
5. for inter-facility transfers where the patient’s current care requirements, or reasonably
anticipate
d care requirements, exceed the paramedic’s level of certification request that a
medically-responsible escort be provided by the sending facility;
Guideline
For inter-facility transfers, obtain the following information and/or transfer documents, when
available:
Name of sending physician
Verbal
and/or written treatment orders from the sending physician
Transfer paper, e.g. case summary, lab work, x-rays, list of personal effects
accompany
ing the patient, etc.
Name(s) of facility staff and list of equipment accompanying the patient
Name of receiving facility and receiving physician
6. for all CT
AS 1 and 2 patients move the patient to the stretcher using the most appropriate
lift or ca
rry;
7. for all CTAS 1 and 2 patients transport the patient to and from the ambulance on the
stretcher;
8. for all CTAS 3-5 patients transport the patient to and from the ambulance using the
appropriate l
ift, carry or ambulatory assistance with respect to the situation, the patient’s
clinical condition, or for patient comfort;
9. in cases of inter-facility transfers transport the patient to and from the ambulance on the
stretcher;
10. ensure the patient, stretcher, equipment, and all occupants are secured
inside the
ambulance;
11. attend to the patient at all times;
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
12. provide support to an escort or team in the patient compartment, in the event the patient is
under the care of a medical escort or a transfer team;
13. if the patient deteriorates during transport, and survival to the directed receiving facility is
questionable, transport the patient to the closest or most appropriate hospital capable of
providing the medical care apparently required by the patient. Immediately notify
CACC/ACS of any destination change, and notify or ask CACC/ACS to notify the new
receiving facility; and
14. maintain temperature and lighting conditions which are comfortable for the patient in the
patient compartment, unless otherwise required by the Standards.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Patient Refusal/Emergency
Treatment Standard
Patient With Capacity Refusal
1. Where a patient requires care and/or transport to a health care facility and the patient or
substitute decision maker (SDM) refuses such treatment and/or transport, the paramedic
shall:
a. make reasonable efforts to inform the patient or SDM that treatment and/or transport
are recomm
ended and explain the possible consequences of such refusal;
b. confirm that the patient or SDM has capacity utilizing the Aid to Capacity
Assessment
as per the Ambulance Call Report Completion Manual;
c. advise t
he patient or SDM to call 911 again if further concerns arise; and
d. obtain si
gnatures and complete additional documentation requirements as per the
Ontario Documentation Standards and t
he Ambulance Call Report Completion
Manual.
Note: The patient or SDM can refuse to sign the Refusal of Service section of the Ambulance Call
Report, as there is no obligation on the patient or SDM to sign the Ambulance Call Report. Should
this occur, the paramedic shall document the patient’s or SDM’s refusal and reason for failing to
provide a signature.
Emergency Treatment and Transport of an Incapable Patient Without
Consent
1. The paramedic shall carry out emergency treatment and transport, if:
a. the patient does not have capacity;
b. the pati
ent is apparently experiencing severe suffering or is at risk, if the treatment is
not admini
stered promptly, of sustaining serious bodily harm; and
c. the delay required to obtain a consent or refusal on the patient’s behalf will prolong
the suffe
ring that the patient is apparently experiencing or will put the patient at risk
of sustaining serious bodily harm.
2. The paramedic shall document the circumstances that le
d to the decision in paragraph 1
above.
Emergency Treatment and Transport of a Capable Patient Without Consent
1. The paramedic shall carry out emergency treatment and transport, if:
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
a. the patient is apparently experiencing severe suffering or is at risk, if the treatment is
not administered promptly, of sustaining serious bodily harm;
b. the communication required in order for the patient to give or refuse consent cannot
take place because of a language barrier or because the patient has a disability that
prevents the communication from taking place;
c. steps that are reasonable in the circumstances have been taken to find a practical
means of enabling the communication to take place, but no such means has been
found;
d. the delay required to find a practical means of enabling the communication to take
place will prolong the suffering that the patient is apparently experiencing or will put
the person at risk of sustaining serious bodily harm; and
e. there is no reason to believe that the patient does not want the treatment.
2. The paramedic shall document the circumstances that led to the decision in paragraph 1
above.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Reporting of Patient Care to
Receiving Facility Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. transmit a report while en route to the receiving facility for all CTAS 1 and CTAS 2
patients, which includes,
a. unit number identification,
b. patien
t age,
c. patient
sex,
d. CTA
S level,
e. chief complaint,
f. pertine
nt history,
g. pertin
ent assessment findings,
h. per
tinent management and res
ponse to management,
i. abnormal vital signs, and
j. estimated time of arrival;
2. confirm
that the receiving facility or ACO has ackno
wledged the report; and
3. provide additional reports if the patient’s CTAS changes to a higher acuity.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Patch to Base Hospital Physician
Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. initiate a patch as required by the Standards or the ALS PCS;
2. initiate a patch where there is uncertainty about the appropriateness of a standard or when
further direc
tion is desired;
3. during the patch,
a. state his/h
er level of certification,
b. provide a re
port which includes the information necessary to convey the patient’s
condition, sit
uation, or circumstance which requires physician input,
c. provide all other information as requested by the physician, and
d. confirm
direction, authorization and orders given; and
4. document
as per the Ontario Ambulance Documentation Standards and
the Ambulance
Call Report Completion Manual.
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Regulated Health Professionals
Standard
In situations involving a patient under the care of a regulated health professional, the paramedic
shall:
Guideline
Recall paragraph 8 of Paramedic Conduct under the Paramedic Conduct Standard;
accordingly, paramedics and regulated health professionals should work cooperatively in
making decisions and providing quality patient care.
1. recognize the training and qualifications of the regulated health professional, e.g.
physician, nurse, midwife, respiratory therapist;
2. determine the nature of the request for ambulance services;
3. obtain c
onfirmation (may be
verbal) that the regulated health professional is a registered
member of his/her College within Ontario, and that the patient is under his/her care;
4. upon request, assist the regulated health professional with patient care only to the level in
which the
paramedic is authorized; and
5. in conjunction with the Documentation of Patient Care Standard, document on the
Ambulance Call Report,
a. the n
am
e of the reg
ulated health professional,
b. the type of regulated health professional, and
c. any care provided by the regulated health professional.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Transfer of Care (TOC) Standard
Upon arrival at the receiving facility, the paramedic shall:
1. liaise with receiving facility staff to determine the patient’s destination within the
receiving facility;
2. attend to the patient while awa
iting receiving facility staff acceptance of the patient;
3. provide a verbal report to receiving fac
ility staff, to include,
a. patient name,
b. patient ag
e,
c. patient sex,
d. CTAS (Arriv
e Destination) as per the Prehospital CTAS Paramedic Guide,
e. chie
f complaint,
f. a concise
history of the patient’s current problem(s) and relevant past medical history,
g. pertinent
assessment findings,
h. pertinent management performed and response
s to management,
i. vital signs, and
j. the reason for t
ransfer, for inter-facility transfers;
4. pro
vide a copy of any clinically relevant associated biometric data collected;
5. if it a
ppears likely there will be a prolonged delay in accepting the patient,
a. advise CACC/ACS,
b. advise re
ceiving facility if the patient status deteriorates,
c. seek furt
her assistance from the ambulance serv
ice operator, and/or
d. for inter-facility transfers, request receiving staff to attempt to contact t
he sending
physician or the patient’s family physician;
6. transfer the patient, from the st
retcher where applicable, to the receiving facility;
7. transfer any patient medications, record of medications, other relevant identification and
medical re
cords, and any other belongings to the receiving facility, if not already done;
8. consider Transfer of Care complete upon completion of paragraphs 1-7 above and when
the patient
is no longer dependent on ambulance service resources (excluding equipment
that is being left with the patient, e.g. spinal board); and
9. transfer documentation to the receiving facility as per the Ontario Ambulance Service
Doc
umentation Standards.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Documentation of Patient Care
Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. complete documentation as per the Ontario Ambulance Documentation Standards and the
Ambulance Call Report Completion Manual;
2. document clinical response to treatment and procedures performed;
3. document
all instances of threatened violence on the Ambulance Call Report; and
4. for int
er-facility transfers, document,
a. pertinent patient history and care information,
b. receipt of transfer papers (e.g. case
summary, treatment orders, lab work, x-rays, list
of personal effects or patient’s personal belongings), and
c. name(s) of escort, transport team members and list of equipment
accompanying the
patient, where applicable.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Patient Care Equipment Use
Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. utilize all equipment in the manner in which trained by his/her ambulance service
operator and base hospital, and as per manufacturer specifications; and
2. notify the ambulance service operator of identified equipment problems.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Oxygen Therapy Standard
General Directive
The paramedic shall:
1. administer oxygen therapy using an oxygen delivery system and flow rate to attempt to
maintain a patient’s oxygen saturation between 92-96%, as measured by SpO
2
, unless
specified otherwise in the Standards;
2. continuously administer high concentration oxygen for patients who have,
a. confirme
d or suspected carbon monoxi
de or cyanide toxicity or noxious gas
exposure,
b. upper airway burns,
c. scuba-diving related d
isorders,
d. ongoing cardiopulmonary arrest,
e. comple
te airway obstruction, and/or
f. sickle
cell anemia with suspect
ed vaso-occlusive crisis; and
3. if pulse oximetry equipment is not functioning or not providing an interpretable wave
form, admin
ister high concentration oxygen to all patients specified in paragraph 2 above,
as well as those with critical findings, which include,
a. age-specific hypotension,
b. respira
tory distress,
c. cyanosi
s, ashen colour, pallor,
d. altered level of consciousness, and/or
e. abnormal pr
egnancy or labour.
Oxygen Therapy and COPD
If a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased dyspnea, a decreased
level of consciousness, an altered mental status, and/or has suffered major trauma, the paramedic
shall:
1. titrate oxygen administration to achieve an oxygen saturation between 88-92%. If pulse
oximetry equipment is not functioning, administer oxygen by nasal cannula with oxygen flow
at two litres per minute above the patient’s home oxygen levels, or two litres per minute if
patient is not on home oxygen;
2. re-assess the vital signs approxim
ately every 10 minutes;
3. maintain oxygen flow rate at that level, if the patient’s status improves;
4. increa
se oxygen by increments of two litres per minute above starting level approximately
every two t
o three minutes if the patient’s status deteriorates or the patient indicates they feel
worse; and
5. be prepared to ventilate.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Field Trauma Triage Standard
Definitions
For the purposes of the Field Trauma Triage Standard:
Regionally Designated Equivalent Hospital
means an appropriately resourced hospital facility as defined by the Regional Trauma Network of
Critical Care Services Ontario and included in a local PPS.
Transport Time
means the time from scene departure to time of arrival at destination.
General Directive
The paramedic shall follow the procedure below when conducting field triage of patients injured by a
traumatic mechanism or who show evidence of trauma.
The paramedic shall also use this standard to assess the clinical criteria (i.e. to determine if the
patient me
ets the clinical criteria) as required by the Air Ambulance Utilization Standard.
The paramedic shall consider using the Trauma Termination of Resuscitation (TOR) contained in the
Trauma Cardiac A
rrest Medical Directive as per the ALS PCS.
CACC/ACS may authorize the transport once notified of the patient’s need for re-direct or transport
under the Fi
eld Trauma Triage Standard.
Procedure
The paramedic shall:
1. assess the patient to determine if he/she has one or more of the following physiological
criteria (Step 1):
a. Patient does not follow commands,
b. Systolic blood pressure <90mmHg, or
c. Respiratory rate <10 or ≥30 breaths per minute or need for ventilatory support
(<20 in infant
aged <1 year);
2. if the patient meets the physiological criteria listed in paragraph 1 above, AND the land
transpor
t time is estimated to be <30 minutes* to a Lead Trauma Hospital (LTH) or
regionally
designated equivalent hospital, transport the patient directly to the LTH or
regionally designated equivalent hospital;
3. if the patient does not meet the criteria listed in paragraphs 1 and 2, assess the patient to
determin
e if he/she has one or more of the following anatomical criteria (Step 2):
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
a. Any penetrating injuries to head, neck, torso and extremities proximal to elbow or
knee,
b. Chest wall instability or deformity (e.g. flail chest),
c. Two or more proximal long-bone fractures,
d. Crushed, de-gloved, mangled or pulseless extremity,
e. Amputation proximal to wrist or ankle,
f. Pelvic fractures,
g. Open or depressed skull fracture, or
h. Paralysis;
4. if the patient meets the anatomical criteria listed in paragraph 3 above and the land
transport time is estimated to be <30 minutes* to the LTH or regionally designated
equivalent hospital, transport the patient directly to the LTH or regionally designated
equivalent hospital;
5. if unable to secure the patient’s airway or survival to the LTH or regionally designated
equivalent hospital is unlikely, transport the patient to the closest emergency department
despite paragraphs 2 and 4 above;
6. despite paragraph 5 above, transport the patient directly to an LTH or regionally
designated equivalent hospital if the patient has a penetrating trauma to the torso or
head/neck, and meets ALL of the following:
a. Vital signs absent yet not subject to TOR described in the General Directive above,
and
b. Land transport to the LTH or regionally designated equivalent hospital is estimated to
be <30 minutes*;
7. if the patient does not meet the physiological or anatomical criteria listed above, use the
following criteria to determine if the patient may require other support services at the
LTH or regionally designated equivalent hospital as a result of his/her traumatic
mechanism of injury (Step 3):
a. Falls
i. Adults: falls ≥6 metres (one story is equal to 3 metres)
ii. Children (age <15): falls ≥3 metres or two to three times the height of the
child
b. High Risk Auto Crash
i. Intrusion ≥0.3 metres occupant site; ≥0.5 metres any site, including the roof
ii. Ejection (partial or complete) from automobile
iii. Death in the same passenger compartment
iv. Vehicle telemetry data consistent with high risk injury (if available)
c. Pedestrian or bicyclist thrown, run over or struck with significant impact (≥30 km/hr)
by an automobile
d. Motorcycle crash ≥30 km/hr;
8. if the patient meets the mechanism of injury criteria listed in paragraph 7 above, AND the
land transport time is estimated to be <30 minutes* to an LTH or regionally designated
equivalent hospital, determine the need for patient transport to the LTH or regionally
designated equivalent hospital;
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
9. in conjunction with the physiological, anatomical, and mechanism of injury criteria listed
above, consider the following special criteria (Step 4):
a. Age
i. Risk of injury/death increases after age 55
ii. SBP <110 may represent shock after age 65
b. Anticoagulation and bleeding disorders
c. Burns
i. With trauma mechanism: triage to LTH
d. Pregnancy ≥20 weeks; and
10. if the patient meets any of the special criteria listed above, AND the land transport time is
estimated to be <30 minutes* to an LTH or regionally designated equivalent hospital,
determine the need for patient transport to the LTH or regionally designated equivalent
hospital.
*Note: The 30 minute transport time may be amended to up to 60 minutes as per an ambulance
service PPS, but may not exceed 60 minutes.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Air Ambulance Utilization Standard
General Directive
Requests for an on-scene air ambulance response should meet at least one of the bulleted operational
criteria PLUS one of the clinical criteria (e.g. known clinical criteria as listed in the Field Trauma
Triage Standard or from the bulleted list of medical or obstetrical criteria listed below).
Procedure
The paramedic shall:
1. assess the scene response to meet one or more of the following operational criteria:
a. The land ambulance is estimated to require more than 30 minutes to reach the scene
and the ai
r ambulance can reach the scene quicker.
b. The land ambulance is estimated to require more than 30 minutes to travel from the
scene to t
he closest appropriate hospital* and the air ambulance helicopter can reach
the scene
and transport the patient to the closest appropriate hospital* quicker than
the land ambul
ance.
c. The estimated response for both land and air is estimated to be greater than 30
minutes, but
approximately equal, and the patient needs care which cannot be
provided by the responding land ambulance.
d. There are multiple patients who meet the clinical criteria and the local land
ambulance re
sources are already being fully utilized.
2. if the scene response meets the requirements of paragraph 1 above, assess the patient to
determine
if he/she meets one or more of the following clinical criteria:
a. Patients meeting the criteria listed in the Field Trauma Triage Standard.
b. Patients meeting one or more of the following:
i. Medical:
1. Shock, especially hypotension with altered mentation (e.g. suspected
aortic aneurysm rupture, massive gastrointestinal bleed, severe sepsis,
anaphylaxis, cardiogenic shock, etc.)
2. Acute stroke with a clearly determined time of onset or last known to
be normal <6.0 hours
3. Altered level of consciousness (GCS <10)
4. Acute respiratory failure or distress
5. Suspected STEMI or potentially lethal dysrhythmia
6. Resuscitation from respiratory or cardiac arrest
7. Status epilepticus
8. Unstable airway or partial airway obstruction
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
ii. Obstetrical:
1. Active labour with abnormal presentation (i.e. shoulder, breech or
limb)
2. Multiple gestation and active labour
3. Umbilical cord prolapse
4. Significant vaginal bleeding (suspected placental abruption or
placenta previa or ectopic pregnancy);
3. in conjunction with the ACO, assess if an on-scene air ambulance helicopter is
appropriate, based on:
a. the perceived severity of the reported injuries and without confirmation that the
clinical criteria have been met, or
b. the patient cannot reasonably be reached by land ambulance (e.g. sites without road
access such as islands; geographically isolated places, etc.);
4. if the requirements listed in paragraph 2 or 3 above are met, request an on-scene air
ambulance helicopter response:
a. Provide the ACO with the information set out in operational and clinical criteria
above. In order for the ACO to determine if an air ambulance response and transport
will be quicker than land ambulance, the paramedic will provide the ACO with the
estimated time to prepare the patient for transport, identify separately any time
required for patient extrication, provide the estimated land ambulance driving time to
the closest appropriate hospital and any additional information as required.
b. The paramedics shall not delay patient transport by waiting for the air ambulance
helicopter, unless the air ambulance helicopter can be seen on its final approach to the
scene. If the air ambulance helicopter is en route but not on final approach to the
scene, and the land paramedics have the patient in his/her ambulance, then the land
ambulance will proceed to the closest local hospital with an emergency department.
The air ambulance helicopter will proceed to that local hospital and, if appropriate,
assist hospital personnel prepare the patient for rapid evacuation.
c. While en route to the local hospital, paramedics may rendezvous with the air
ambulance helicopter if:
i. the air ambulance helicopter is able to land along the direct route of the land
ambulance; and
ii. it would result in a significant reduction in transport time to the most
appropriate hospital.
5. if the call’s circumstances and patient(s) fail to meet the criteria set out in this standard
and an air ambulance helicopter is known to be responding based on the merits of the
initial request for ambulance service, contact the CACC/ACS and advise that an on-scene
air ambulance helicopter response is not required and why it is not required.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Guideline
Air Ambulance Helicopter Landing Site Safety and Coordination
Upon confirmation that the air ambulance helicopter is responding, the paramedic shall
follow the guidelines set out by the Ornge Aviation Safety Department, which can be found
on Ornge’s “Aircraft Safety” website at: https://www.ornge.ca/aircraft-safety.
Other Use of Air Ambulance Helicopter
Air ambulance helicopters are not permitted to respond to night calls which require a
landing at a site other than night licensed airports, helipads or night approved remote
landing sites.
Air ambulance helicopters are not permitted to conduct search and rescue calls.
In cases where a land ambulance can reach the patient(s) and an on-scene response by
air ambulance helicopter is appropriate, the ACO will assign a land ambulance and
continue the land response until the flight crew requests that the land ambulance be
cancelled.
In cases where a land ambulance arrives on-scene prior to the air ambulance helicopter,
paramedics shall inform the CACC/ACS as clinical events occur.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Spinal Motion Restriction (SMR)
Standard
The paramedic shall:
1. consider spinal motion restriction (SMR) for any patient with a potential spine or spinal
cord injury, based on mechanism of injury, such as,
a. any trauma associated with complaints
of neck or back pain,
b. sports accidents (impaction, falls),
c. diving inc
idents and submersion injuries,
d. explosions, o
ther types of forceful acceleration/deceleration injuries,
e. falls (e.g. stairs),
f. pedestr
ians struck,
g. electroc
ution,
h. lightning st
rikes, or
i. penetrat
ing trauma to the head, neck or torso;
2. if the patient meets the criteria listed in paragraph 1 above, determine if the patient
exhibits ANY
risk criteria, as follows,
a. neck or back pain,
b. spine tende
rness,
c. neurologic si
gns or symptoms,
d. altered level of consciousness,
e. suspected drug or a
lcohol intoxication,
f. a distra
cting painful injury (any painful injury that may distract the patient from the
pain of a spina
l injury),
g. anatomic deformity of the spine,
h. high-energy mechanism of injury, such as,
i. fall from
elevation greater than 3 feet/5 stairs,
ii. axial loa
d to the head (e.g. diving ac
cidents),
iii. high speed motor vehicle collisions (≥100 km/hr), rollover, ejection,
iv. hit by bus or la
rge truck,
v. motorized/ATV recreational vehicles collision, or
vi. bicyclist st
ruck or collision, or
i. age ≥
65 years old including falls from standing height;
3. if the
patient meets the criteria of paragraph 1 abov
e, but does not meet the criteria of
paragraph 2 above, not apply SMR;
4. subject to paragraph 6 below, if the patient meets the requ
irements of paragraph 2 above,
apply SMR using a cervical collar only*, attempt to minimize spinal movement, and
secure the
patient to the stretcher with stretcher straps (see Guideline below);
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
5. if the patient has penetrating trauma to the head, neck or torso, determine if the patient
exhibits ALL of the following,
a. no spine tenderness,
b. no neurologic signs or symptoms,
c. no altered level of consciousness,
d. no evidence of drug or alcohol intoxication,
e. no distracting painful injury, and
f. no anatomic deformity of the spine; and
6. notwithstanding paragraph 4 above, if the patient meets the criteria of paragraph 5, not
apply SMR.
*Note: Spinal boards or adjustable break-away stretchers may still be indicated for use to minimize
spinal movement during extrication.
Guideline
General
This standard does not allow the paramedic to “clear the spine” for blunt trauma
patients. Rather, it identifies patients where the mechanism of injury in combination
with and the absence of risk criteria mean a spine injury does not have to be
considered.
Using SMR does not mean the paramedic has “cleared” the spine for blunt trauma
patients. The paramedic must at all times manage the patient to minimize spinal
movement.
In conjunction with the Documentation of Patient Care Standard, when possible,
document the neurologic status before and after SMR on the Ambulance Call Report.
Use of spinal boards
Spinal boards or adjustable break-away stretchers should be considered primarily as
extrication/patient lifting devices. The goal should be to remove the patient from these
devices as soon as it is safe to do so. If sufficient personnel are present, the patient
should be log rolled from the extrication device to the stretcher during loading of the
patient or shortly after loading into the ambulance.
Spinal boards or adjustable break-away stretchers may remain in place if the paramedic
deems it safer/more comfortable for the patient in consideration of short transport times
(<30 min).
Recall that patients with suspected pelvic fractures should be secured on a spinal board
or adjustable break-away stretcher as per the Blunt/Penetrating Injury Standard.
Patient extrication and transport
Patient with SMR may be placed in a semi-sitting or supine position, according to
patient comfort/clinical condition.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
If patient is unresponsive/uncooperative, apply manual C-spine immobilization until
appropriate SMR has been applied.
Cervical collars should be placed on the patient prior to movement, if possible.
Patients involved in an MVC, who remain in a vehicle with isolated neck or back pain
and no neurologic signs or symptoms/indications of major trauma may be allowed to
self-extricate using a stand, turn and pivot onto the stretcher. The paramedic should
coach the patient to maintain neutral spinal alignment.
Patients who have had a spinal board or adjustable break-away stretcher applied by a
first responder prior to the paramedic’s arrival should still be assessed for SMR as per
the Standard. Unless otherwise required, SMR may be modified to meet this standard.
Patients with SMR undergoing inter-facility transfers may have SMR modified as per
the Standard in consultation with the sending physician. This may involve removal of a
spinal board.
SMR and agitated patients
Patients who are markedly agitated, combative or confused may not be able to follow
commands and cooperate with minimizing spinal movement. There may be rare
circumstances in which attempts to apply SMR using a C-collar, spinal board or
adjustable break-away stretcher leads to an increase in patient agitation that constitutes
a safety hazard to both the patient and the paramedic. In these situations, the paramedic
shall apply SMR to the best of his/her ability and secure the patient to the stretcher with
stretcher straps. In conjunction with the Documentation of Patient Care Standard, the
paramedic shall clearly document the circumstances of the safety hazard and his/her
resulting inability to apply SMR to the patient.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Standard
In a situation where a paramedic obtains a Valid MOH DNR Confirmation Form, the paramedic shall
follow the General Directive set out below.
Definitions
For purposes of the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Standard:
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
An immediate application of life-saving measures to a person who has suffered sudden respiratory or
cardiorespiratory arrest. These measures include but are not limited to basic or advanced cardiac life
support interventions outlined in the ALS PCS such as:
1. Chest compression
2. Defibrillation
3. Artificial ventilation
4. Insertion of an oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal or supraglottic airway
5. Endotracheal
intubation
6. Transcutaneous pa
cing
7. Advanced resuscitation drugs such as, but not limited to, vasopressors, antiarrhythmic agents
and opioid antagonists
Do Not Resuscitate
means that the paramedic (in accordance with his/her level of certification) will not initiate any of the
interventions listed in the definition of CPR, above.
Treatment
Any action or service that is provided for a therapeutic, preventive, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or
other health-related purpose, and includes a course of treatment or plan of treatment.
Valid MOH DNR Confirmation Form
A DNR Confirmation Form with pre-printed serial number that has been completed, in full, with the
following information:
1. The name of the patient (including both surname and first name) to whom the Form applies.
2. A check box that has been checked to identify that one of the following conditions has been
met:
a. A current plan
of treatment exists that reflects the patient’s expressed wish when
capable, or consent of the substitute decision-maker when
the patient is incapable,
that CPR not be included in the patient’s plan of treatment.
b. The physicia
n’s current opinion is that CPR will almost certainly not benefit the
patient and is not part of the plan of treatment, and the physician has discussed this
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
with the capable patient or the substitute decision-maker when the patient is
incapable.
3. A check box that has been checked to identify the professional designation of the Medical
Doctor (M.D.), Regis
tered Practical Nurse (R.P.N.), Registered Nurse (R.N.), or Registered
Nurse in the Extended Class (R.N. [EC]) who has signed the Form.
4. Printed name of the M.D., R.P.N., R.N., or R.N. (EC) signing the Form.
5. A signature by the appropriate M.D., R.P.N., R.N., or R.N. (EC).
6. The date that the Form was signed, which must be the same as or precede the date of request
for ambulance service.
A Valid DNR Confirmation Form may be a fully completed original, or a copy of a fully completed
original.
General Directive
1.
A paramedic, upon obtaining a Valid MOH DNR Confirmation Form and subject to
paragraph 2 below, SHALL NOT initiate CPR (as per the definition above) on the
patient in the event that the patient experiences respiratory or cardiorespiratory arrest (i.e.
respirations and pulse are absent for at least three minutes from the time that respiratory
or cardiac arrest was noted by the paramedic).
2. A paramedic shall initiate CPR (as per the definition above) on a patient who has
experienced respiratory or cardiorespiratory arrest when:
a.
the patient with a Valid MOH DNR Confirmation Form appears to the paramedic to
be capable and expresses clearly a wish to be resuscitated in the event that he/she
experiences a respiratory or cardiac arrest; or
b.
the patient with a Valid MOH DNR Confirmation Form appears to the paramedic to
be capable and expresses a wish to be resuscitated in the event that he/she
experiences respiratory or cardiorespiratory arrest, but the request is vague,
incomplete or ambiguous such that it is no longer clear what the wishes of the patient
are.
3. The paramedic shall provide patient management necessary to provide comfort or
alleviate pain, as required by the patient’s clinical condition.
4. Once it has been determined that death has occurred, the paramedic shall:
a. advise the CA
CC/ACS; and
b. follow the
Deceased Patient Standard.
5. In conjunction w
ith the Documentation of Patient Care Standard, the paramedic shall
note and d
ocument the time at which the paramedic confirms the patient was deceased as
per paragraph 1 above.
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Sample MOH DNR Confirmation Form
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Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Deceased Patient Standard
Definitions
For the purposes of the Deceased Patient Standard, the following definitions apply:
Deceased Patient
means a patient who is:
1. obviously dead;
2. the subject
of a medical certificate of death, presented to the paramedic crew, in the form that
is prescribe
d by the Vital Statistics Act (Ontario) and that appears on its face to be completed
and s
igned in accordance with that Act;
3.
without vital signs and the subject of an MOH Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Confirmation
Form;
4. wit
hout vital signs and the subject of a Termination of Resuscitation (TOR) Order given by a
Base Hospita
l Physician; or
5. without vital signs and the subject of a Withhold Resuscitation Order given by a Base
Hospital Phy
sician.
Expected Death
means a death that was imminently anticipated generally as a result of a progressive end stage
terminal illness.
Obviously Dead
means death has occurred if gross signs of death are obvious, including by reason of:
1. decapitation, transection, visible decomposition, putrefaction; or
2. absence of v
ital signs and:
a. a grossly cha
rred body;
b. an open head or t
orso wound with gross outpouring of cranial or visceral contents;
c. gross rigor mortis (i.e. limbs and/or body s
tiff, posturing of limbs or body); or
d. dependent lividity (i.e. fixed, non-bla
nching purple or black discolouration of skin in
dependent area of body).
Palliative Care Team
means a team of health care professionals who provide palliative care to a terminally ill patient.
Responsible Person
means an adult who, in the reasonable belief of the paramedic, is capable to remain with the
Deceased Patient and assume responsibility for the Deceased Patient.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Termination of Resuscitation (TOR) Order
means an order given by a Base Hospital Physician to a paramedic to stop resuscitation measures.
Unexpected Death
means a death that was not imminently anticipated (e.g. traumatic deaths, deaths related to the
environment, accidental deaths, and apparently natural deaths that are sudden and unexpected).
Withhold Resuscitation Order
means an order given by a Base Hospital Physician to a paramedic to not initiate resuscitation
measures.
Procedure
In all cases of death, the paramedic shall:
1. confirm the patient is deceased as per the Definitions above;
2. ensure that the Deceased Patient is treated wi
th respect and dignity;
3. consider the needs of family members of the decedent and provide compassion-informed
deci
sion-making;
4. in cases of suspected foul play, follow the directions set out in the Police Not
ification
Standard;
5. if applicable, follow all directions issued by a coroner or a person appointed by a coroner
or to whom a coron
er has delegated any powers or authority pursuant to the Coroners Act
(Ont
ario);
6. if termination of resuscit
ation occurs in the ambulance en route to a health care facility,
advise CACC/ACS to contact the coroner, and continue to the destination unless
otherwise directed by CACC/ACS; and
7. for cases of obvious death, note and document the time at which the paramedic confirms
the pati
ent was deceased as per the Standards.
In cases of unexpected death:
1. in the absence of police or a coroner on-scene, the paramedic shall advise CACC/ACS of
the death, in which case CACC/ACS shall notify the police or coroner;
2. if a coroner indicates that he/she will att
end at the scene, the paramedic shall remain at
the scene until the coroner arrives and assumes custody of the Deceased Patient. If the
coroner indicates that he/she will not attend at the scene, the paramedic shall remain on
the scene until the arrival of a person appointed by a coroner or to whom a coroner has
delegated any powers or authority pursuant to the Coroners Act (On
tario);
3. notw
ithstanding paragraph 2 above, if police are present and have secured the scene, the
paramedic may depart as soon as documentation has been completed or he/she is
assigned to another call; and
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4. where at any time the paramedic has not received any further direction from CACC/ACS,
the paramedic shall request that CACC/ACS seek direction from the coroner concerning
his/her responsibilities, including whether he/she may leave the scene.
Guideline
Although a death may be viewed as “unexpected” from the perspective of the person
reporting the death (paramedic, family members), this does not necessarily imply that the
death requires investigation by a coroner under the Coroners Act (On
tario).
In cases of expected death:
1. the paramedic shall advise CACC/ACS of the death;
2. the paramedic shall make a request of a Responsible Person, if one is present, to notify
the primary care practitioner or a member of the Palliative Care Team (if any) of the
patient and request his/her attendance at the scene;
3. if the Responsible Person is unable to provide the notice in paragraph 2 above, the
paramedic shall advise CACC/ACS of the death, in which case CACC/ACS shall attempt
to notify the primary care practitioner or member of the Palliative Care Team (if any) of
the Deceased Patient, and request his/her attendance at the scene;
4. if the Deceased Patient’s primary care practitioner or Palliative Care Team member is
contacted and indicates that he/she will attend at the scene, then the paramedic shall
remain at the scene until his/her arrival;
5. notwithstanding paragraph 4 above, if there is a Responsible Person present, and the
paramedics reasonably believe that the Responsible Person will remain until the primary
care practitioner or Palliative Care Team arrives, then the paramedic may depart as soon
as all required documentation has been completed or he/she are assigned to another call.
Alternatively, if the police are at the scene and are willing to remain until the arrival of
the practitioner or Palliative Care Team member, the paramedic may leave the scene;
6. if the primary care practitioner or Palliative Care Team member cannot be contacted or if
he/she is unable to attend, or there is no Responsible Person on-scene, the paramedic
crew shall advise CACC/ACS, in which case CACC/ACS shall notify the police or
coroner of the death and that there is no one else at the scene who can take responsibility
for the Deceased Patient; and
7. if requested by the coroner, the paramedic will provide the coroner with the
circumstances of the death; the paramedic will either be released from the scene or
instructed to remain with the Deceased Patient until the coroner or a person appointed by
a coroner or to whom a coroner has delegated any powers or authority pursuant to the
Coroners Act (On
tario) or a Responsible Person can attend the scene and assume
responsibility for the Deceased Patient.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
General Pediatric Standard
In situations involving a pediatric patient, the paramedic shall:
1. during the primary survey, be aware of problems arising due to pediatric anatomy and
physiology;
2. be aware that respiratory arres
t is the primary cause of pediatric cardiac arrest;
3. recognize normal vital signs as per the ALS PCS;
Guideline
Recall that pediatric CTAS levels and GCS differ from those for adults. Determine CTAS as
per the Prehospital CTAS Paramedic Guide.
4. consider assessments for,
a. change in a
ppetite,
b. change in b
ehaviour/personality,
c. excessive drooling,
d. for pati
ents in diapers, decrease in number of wet diapers,
e. inconsolable
crying or screaming,
f. lethargy,
g. patient posi
tioning (e.g. tripoding), and
h. work of breathing;
Guideline
Pediatric patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms and may deteriorate rapidly.
Maintain a high index of suspicion when assessing pediatric patients.
5. if performing a full secondary survey, conduct from “toe-to-head”;
6. have
caregivers present during patient care unless they are interfering with the care; and
7. for infant pa
tients, assess fontanelles.
Guideline
When handling an infant patient, ensure that proper support is provided to the head and neck.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Child in Need of Protection Standard
Definitions
For the purposes of the Child in Need of Protection Standard, the following definitions apply:
Child in need of protection
means a child who is or who appears to be suffering from abuse and/or neglect. Section 72 of the
Child and Family Services Act (Ontario) details circumstances for concern (i.e. physical, sexual, or
emotional abuse, neglect, or risk of harm).
Duty to report
means the requirement to promptly report any reasonable suspicion that a child is or may be in need
of protection directly to a Children’s Aid Society (CAS).
Reasonable grounds
refers to the information that an average person, using normal and honest judgement, would need in
order to decide to report.
General Directive
In situations where the paramedic has reasonable grounds to believe that the patient is a child who
is or may be in need of protection, the paramedic shall:
1. ensure the patient is not left alone;
2. request police assistance at the scene when it is believed that the patient is at risk of
imminent ha
rm;
Guideline
The following types of pediatric problems are noteworthy for specific attention when a
paramedic is determining if the patient may be a child in need of protection:
Submersion injury
All burns
Accidental ingestions/poisoning
Other types of in-home injuries, e.g. falls
Scene observations which may prompt consideration that the patient is a child in need of
protection i
nclude:
Household/siblings dirty, unkempt, and/or in disarray
Evidence of violence, e.g. overturned or broken furniture
Animal/pet abuse
Evidence of substance abuse, e.g. empty liquor bottles, drug paraphernalia
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Physical signs which may prompt consideration that the patient is a child in need of
protection include:
Gross or multiple deformities which are incompatible with the incident history,
especially in a child under two years of age who is developmentally incapable of
sustaining this type of injury
Multiple new and/or old bruises which have not been reported, or which have been
reported as all being new
Distinctive marks or burns, e.g. belt, hand imprint, cigarette burns;
Bruises in unusual areas: chest, abdomen, genitals, buttocks
Burns in unusual areas: buttocks, genitals, soles of feet
Signs of long-standing physical neglect, e.g. dirty, malodourous skin, hair and clothing,
severe diaper rash, uncut/dirty fingernails
Signs of malnutrition - slack skin folds, extreme pallor, dull/thin hair, dehydration
Signs of “shaking” syndrome - hemorrhages over the whites of the eyes; hand or
fingerprints on the neck, upper arms or shoulders; signs of head injury unrelated to the
incident history.
3. obtain as clear a history of the incident as possible, with no display of personal curiosity.
Attempt to determine,
a. the validity of the history provided. Consider if the patient may be a child in need of
protection if,
i. the story changes frequently or parents’ stories differ,
ii. the parents are vague about what happened or blame each other,
iii. the nature of the injury appears to be inconsistent or improbable with the
explanation provided,
iv. the mechanism of injury is obviously beyond the developmental capabilities
of the child,
v. there has been prolonged, unexplained delay in seeking treatment, or
vi. there is a history of recurrent injuries;
b. interaction (or lack thereof) between parents/caretakers and between parents and
child, e.g. the parents are openly hostile, the child is inappropriately fearful, or the
child is avoiding the parents or clinging to one parent and avoiding the other (the
child may also paradoxically protect the abusive party, either out of fear of losing a
parent or because of verbal threats to keep quiet);
c. appropriateness of parental/caretaker response to the child’s injury and/or emotional
distress, e.g. lack of concern, lack of physical comforting, anger inappropriately
directed towards the child; and
d. appropriateness of child’s behaviour relevant to the situation/injury, e.g. inappropriate
fear, indifference, lack of emotion;
4. make no accusations; make no comments about your suspicions in front of the parents or
bystanders;
5. transport the child in all cases; and
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
6. report suspicions to the receiving hospital and complete the duty to report to the CAS.
Guideline
The duty to report overrides any other provincial statute, including any provisions that
would otherwise prohibit someone from making a disclosure (i.e. PHIPA). The failure
to report a suspicion in the circumstances set out in the Child and Family Services Act
(Ont
ario) is an offence under that Act.
Para
medics should be aware that the duty to report under the Child and Family
Ser
vices Act (Ontario) extends to any child he/she encounters in his/her professional
duties and is not limited to the person(s) requesting 911 services.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
General Geriatric Standard
In situations involving a geriatric patient, the paramedic shall:
1. assume that all geriatric patients are capable of normal hearing, sight, speech, mobility
and mental function unless information is provided to the contrary;
Guideline
Geriatric patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms and may have co-
morbidities.
Diminished responses to pain, infection, heat/cold may lead the patient and the
paramedic to underestimate the severity of the illness/injury.
Geriatric patients are susceptible to skin tearing, abrasions, and bruising; use caution
when handling the patient.
Geriatric patients are more likely to experience adverse effects from medication use.
2. asse
ss living accommodations, living situation, and consider the patie
nt’s ability to
perform activities of daily living;
Guideline
Consider referral to local agency resources, when appropriate, e.g. Community Care
Access Centre (CCAC), 211.
Activities of daily living include:
o Bathing
o Dressin
g
o Transfe
rring (e.g. movement and mobility)
o Toilet
ing
o Eating
If a
relative, friend or neighbor is available, they may be able to provide, if necessary,
collat
eral information, such as patient’s usual level of function and available support.
3. be aware of patient presentations associated with elder abuse; and
Guideline
Forms of elder abuse include:
Financial abuse
Psychol
ogical abuse
Physica
l abuse
Sexual
abuse
Neglect
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
4. if elder abuse is suspected,
a. and police not on-scene, offer to contact police; and
b. alert receiving facility staff.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Mental Health Standard
In situations involving a patient with an emotional disturbance (e.g. erratic behaviour), the
paramedic shall:
1. consider underlying organic disorders;
2. give particular attention to personal safety as per the General Measures Standard;
3. in cases of patients with known or suspected suicide attempts or self-harm,
a. assume that all attempts are of serious intent, and
b. ask the patient directly whether they have ideation or intent of suicide or self-harm;
4. in cases in which a patient is being transported without consent, not proceed with
transport unless in possession of the appropriate documentation and/or escort (see
paragraph 5 below);
Guideline
The Mental Health Act (Ontario) has implications in the manner in which a paramedic may
deliver care. Recall:
A person who is recommended by a physician for admission to a psychiatric facility as
an informal or voluntary patient pursuant to the Mental Health Act (Ontario) may not
be t
ransported without consent
The following persons may be transported without consent, subject to the provisions of
the Mental Health Act (On
tario) (Note: this list is not exhaustive, please refer to the
Mental Health Act for further details):
o The s
ubject of an application for assessment signed by a physician under
subsection 15(1) or
15(1.1) of the Mental Health Act (Ontario) (Form 1)
o The s
ubject of an order for examination signed by a Justice of the Peace under
subsection 16(1) of
the Mental Health Act (Form 2); and
o A pers
on taken into custody by a police officer under subsection 17 of the Ment
al
Health Act (Ontario); and
o A pati
ent detained in a psychiatric facility under a certificate of involuntary
admission u
nder subsection 20(4) of the Mental Health Act (Ontario) (Form 3) or
a c
ertificate of renewal (Form 4).
5. recognize the need for an escort as follows:
a. If a patient is violent or potentially violent, refer to the Violent/Aggressive Patient
Standard,
b. If a
patient is in custody under Court or Ontario Review Board Disposition, a Justice
of the Peac
e or hospital’s officer in charge or delegate will designate the escort;
6. with respect to use of restraints,
a. only restrain a patient if,
i. directed by a physician or police officer,
ii. an unescorted patient becomes violent en route, or
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
iii. use of restraints is required to provide emergency treatment as per the Patient
Refusal/Emergency Treatment Standard,
b. only the reasonable and minimum force shall be used to restrain the patient,
c. where restraints are applied prior to departing a scene under the direction of a
physician or police officer, a physician escort (or delegate) or police officer ordering
the restraint is required to accompany the patient in the ambulance,
d. concurrent with paragraph 6(c) above, if a police officer has handcuffed a patient, the
paramedic shall not proceed with transport until such a time that the police officer
takes the patient into custody and is present in the patient compartment,
e. for inter-facility transports,
i. in cases in which the sending facility is requesting restraints, advise that all
restraints must be provided and applied by hospital staff or police prior to
transport, and
ii. in cases in which the patient is restrained, the paramedic shall not proceed
with the inter-facility transport unless,
1. the sending physician or sending facility has made a decision that the
patient can be transferred safely, either with or without a hospital
escort,
2. the patient does not appear to be a safety risk or have the potential to
become violent en route, and
3. the paramedic feels comfortable with the decision that the patient
does not appear to be a safety risk or who has the potential to become
violent en route, and
f. if the patient is restrained, document the following on the Ambulance Call Report, in
c
onjunction with the requirements outlined in the Documentation of Patient Care
Standard:
i. that
the patient was restrained,
ii. a description of the patient’s behaviour that required that he/she be restrained
or continue to be restrained,
iii. a description of the means of restraint, including the method of restraint,
iv. the person (e.g. physician, police officer or paramedic) ordering restraint,
v. the position of the patient during restraint, and
vi. the clinical response to restraint; and
Guideline
Restrained patients are more susceptible to rapid deterioration. Maintain a high index of
suspicion for all restrained patients.
7. not transport a patient in the prone position;
Guideline
When initiating full body restraint, or participating in full body restraint, of a patient:
Attempt to organize the team before attempting restraint.
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Prepare all equipment in advance.
Inform the patient of the need to restrain them and explain the procedure.
Immobilize the patient’s limbs and head in one coordinated effort. Grasp each limb at
the main joint and between the main joint and the distal joint, e.g. one hand on the
elbow, the other on the forearm.
Place the patient in a supine “spread eagle” position or in the left lateral position.
Restrain extremities as follows:
o Secure one arm above the head and the other to the stretcher at waist level, or
secure both hands to one side of the stretcher.
o Elevate the head of the stretcher to protect the airway and to allow the paramedic
greater visibility.
o Secure the feet.
o Ensure t
hat
the limbs are secured to the main frame of the stretcher, not to the
stretcher side rails.
If the patient is spitting, consider use of a surgical mask on the patient.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Violent/Aggressive Patient Standard
In situations involving a violent or aggressive patient, the paramedic shall:
1. consider underlying organic disorders;
2. give particular attention to personal safety as per the General Measures Standard;
3. reques
t police assistance on-scene;
4.
wait for police assistance if,
a. there i
s an active shooter scenario, or
b. there
is direct evidence of ongoing violence;
5. if electing to delay service as per paragraph 4 above, immediately notify CACC/ACS;
6. if the
patient is uncooperative, elicit information from others at the s
cene; attempt to
determine,
a. if illness, injury and/or alcohol/drug ingestion has triggered the present behaviour,
and
b. whe
ther there is a
past history of violence;
7. be alert for behavioural signs of impending violence;
8. if conf
ronted, seek a safe egress and attempt to withdraw;
9. if a
safe withdrawal is not feasible, attempt to speak wi
th and calm the patient; and
10. consider need for restraints as per paragraph 6 of the Mental Health Standard.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Intravenous Line Maintenance
Standard
General Directive
A paramedic shall monitor an intravenous (IV) line for a patient who has:
1. an IV line to keep the vein open, as follows:
a. The flow rate to maintain IV patency for a patient <12 years of age is 15mL/hr of any
isotonic crystalloid solution.
b. The flow rate to maintain IV patency for a patient ≥12 years of age is 30-60 mL/hr o
f
any isotonic crystalloid solution; or
2. an intravenous line for fluid replacement with,
a. a maximum flow rate infused of up to two mL/kg/hr t
o a maximum of 200 mL/hr,
b. thiamine, multivitamin preparations,
c. drugs w
ithin his/her le
vel of certification, or
d. potassium chloride (KCl) for pat
ients ≥18 years of age, to a maximum of 10mEq in a
250 mL bag.
Use of Escorts
1. Unless within his/her level of certification, a paramedic shall request a medically
responsible escort in the event a patient requires an intravenous:
a. that is being used for blood (or blood product) administration;
b. that
is being used to administer potassium chloride to a patient who is <18 years of
age;
c. that
is being used to administer medication (including pre-packaged medications,
except as
detailed in paragraph 2 from the General Directive above);
d. that requires electronic monitoring or uses a pressurized intravenous fluid infuser,
pump or centr
al venous line; or
e. for a neonate or pediatric patient <2 years of age.
Procedure
The paramedic shall:
Pre-transport
1. confirm physician’s written IV order with sending facility staff;
2. determine IV solution, IV flow ra
te, catheter gauge, catheter length, and cannulation site;
3. note condition of IV site prior to transport;
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
4. confirm amount of fluid remaining in bag;
5. determine amount of fluid required for complete transport time and obtain more fluid if
applicable; and
6. document all pre-transport IV information on the Ambulance Call Report.
During transport
1. monitor and maintain IV at the prescribed rate, this may include changing the IV bag as
required;
2. if the IV becomes dislodged or interstitial, discontinue the IV flow and remove the
catheter with particular attention to aseptic technique; and
3. confirm condition of catheter if removed.
Guideline
The IV bag should be changed when there is approximately 150 mLs of solution remaining.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Load and Go Patient Standard
General Directive
1. Subject to paragraph 2 below, the paramedic shall initiate rapid transport:
a. for CTAS 1 patien
ts as per the Prehospital Paramedic CTAS Guide;
b. for patients who meet bypass protocols as per the Standards (e.g. Fiel
d Trauma
Triage, Stroke); or
c. for obstetrical patients, with:
i. eclamps
ia/pre-eclampsia,
ii. limb presentation,
iii. multiple
births expected,
iv. premat
ure labour, or
v. umbilica
l cord prolapse.
2. Notwiths
tanding paragraph 1 above, the following types of patients may require
interventi
ons prior to initiation of rapid transport:
a. vital signs absent patients experiencing cardiac ar
rest in which a TOR is not indicated
as per the ALS PCS;
b. patients with conditions which require immediate, life-saving i
nterventions, which
the paramedic can perform; or
c. obstetrical patients in which deli
very appears imminent.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Police Notification Standard
General Directive
Paramedics shall ensure that police are notified in any cases involving unusual or suspicious
situations (e.g. sudden death, violence, foul play, accidents involving emergency vehicles).
Guideline
Requesting Police Assistance
Paramedics requesting police assistance will:
o Contact his/her CACC/ACS via ra
dio or telephone
o State the nature of the request
o Indicate
the urgency of response and request the
estimated time of arrival
o Advise of possible hazards
o Indicate ac
cess routes (where applicable)
o Provide police with an update of the situation when they arrive at the scene
The foll
owing radio codes should be used to contact police in extenuating
circumst
ances:
o 10-200 - No immediate danger is evident to patient or paramedic
o 10-2000 - Immediate danger is eviden
t to patient or paramedic
o Emergency button on radio and other communication equipment, when available
The use of police vehicle escorts during transport for the purpose of traffic control is
discouraged due to the prevalent danger it presents
Suspected Foul Play
In cases of suspected foul play, every effort should be made to leave the scene undisturbed
and to preserve as much evidence as possible for the police.
The following should be noted:
Once a body is moved it can never be p
ut back in its original position
Careful attention is required whenever something is moved
Wheneve
r possible use the shortest, most direct path to the patient and the same p
ath
when leaving the scene
Attempt to preserve the chain of evidence; do not discard linen/clothes after call
completion without checking with the receiving facility or investigating officer
The receiving facility staff should also be cautioned regarding the suspected foul play
Hanging
In cases of hanging, the following special precautions should be taken:
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Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Careful observation should be made of the position of the rope around the patient’s
neck.
The rope should be cut only if it cannot be readily slipped off and in such a way that
the knot will be preserved.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Sexual Assault (Reported) Standard
In situations involving a patient who is reported to have been sexually assaulted, the paramedic
shall:
1. ensure the patient is not left alone;
2. if the patient is a child, follow the Child i
n Need of Protection Standard;
3. notwithstanding paragraph 2 above, in situation where police are not on-scene, offer to
contact
police; and
Guideline
If the patient declines to report the incident to the police, it is helpful to discuss options
and be knowledgeable regarding local resources (e.g. sexual assault crisis centre; crime
victim assistance programs), and be able to provide phone numbers for same.
Advise the patient not to wash, urinate or defecate until an examination is conducted at
the receiving facility.
4. upon police request, bag the stretcher linen, dressings, and other materials in contact with
the pati
ent, and leave with the attending police officer.
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Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards – Version 3.3
Section 1 – General Standard of Care
Research Trial Standard
MOH may, at its discretion, approve research trials that include patient care practices that are
different from those otherwise set out in the Standards.
A paramedic properly enrolled in an approved research trial shall:
1. determine whether a patient may be treated in accordance with a research trial, only if the
following conditions have been met:
a.
MOH has approved the patient care practices set out in the research trial as an
alternate standard than to those set out in the Standards;
b. The r
esearch trial has been approved by a Research Ethics Board (REB) that:
i. abides by and is
consistent with the version of the Tri-Council Policy
Statement
on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans current at the
time of submission, and
ii. meets the requirements for an REB set out in section 15 of O. Reg. 329/04
made under PHI
PA, and
Guideline
Recall section 44 of PHIPA, which includes provisions related to personal health information
and researchers.
c. The research trial has been reviewed an
d supported in writing by the Ontario Base
Hospital Group Medical Advisory Committee;
2. obtain the appropriate patie
nt consent for participation in the research trial; and
Guideline
Recall paragraph 11 of the General Measures Standard, which specifies that the paramedic
shall also obtain consent for patient care as per the Health Care Consent Act, 1996 (Ont
ario)
3. provi
de care in accordance with the approved research trial.
2
Section 2 Medical Standards
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Section 2 – Medical Standards
Section 2 Medical Standards
Introduction
Specific standards in Section 2 – Medical Standards have been developed not on the basis of
diagnosis, but on the basis of:
a) chief complaint, as stated by the patient/bystanders;
b) presenting
problem as indicated by the patient/bystanders; and/or
c) immediat
ely obvious primary survey critical findings, e.g. respiratory failure.
Paramedics should be aware of a patient’s potential to deteriorate and prepare accordingly. Particular
attention s
hould be paid to the potential for compromises to airway, breathing or circulation, seizures,
and/or emesis.
In conjunction with history gathering, paramedics shall determine provoking factors, quality,
region/radia
tion/relieving factors, severity, and timing of the chief complaint or presenting problem.
When providing patient care as per Section 2 – Medical Standards, a paramedic shall ensure that the
patient si
multaneously receives care in accordance with the ALS PCS.
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Section 2 – Medical Standards
Abdominal Pain (Non-Traumatic)
Standard
In situations involving a patient with abdominal pain that is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin,
the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. leaking or ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm,
b. ectopic
pregnancy,
c. other non-abdo
minal disorders that may present with abdominal pain, including:
i. diabetic
ketoacidosis, and
ii. pulmonary e
mbolism,
d. perforated or obstructed hollow organs with or without peritonitis,
e. acute pancr
eatitis,
f. testi
cular torsion,
g. pelvic in
fection, and
h. stra
ngulated hernia;
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to assess the abdomen for,
i. pulsations
,
ii. scars,
iii. disc
oloura
tion,
iv. distent
ion,
v. masses,
vi. guarding,
vii. rigidity, and
v
iii. tenderne
ss;
3. if a p
ulsatile mass is discovered, not initiate, or discontinue, further abdominal palpation;
4. if abdominal aneurysm is suspected, palpat
e femoral pulses for weakness/absence; and
5. observe for melena, hematemesis, or frank rectal bleeding (“hematochezia”).
59
Airway Obstruction Standard
In situations involving a patient with an airway obstruction, the paramedic shall:
1. perform assessments and obstructed airway clearance maneuvers as per current Heart
and Stroke Foundation of Canada Guidelines; and
2. attempt to clear the airway using oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal suction.
Guideline
Consider the possibility of airway obstruction for patients who have smoke inhalation,
anaphylaxis, epiglottitis, foreign body aspiration, or oropharyngeal malignancy.
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i.
i.
i.
i.
i.
Allergic Reaction (Known or
Suspected) Standard
In situations involving a patient with an allergic reaction that is known or suspected, the paramedic
shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as anaphylaxis;
Guideline
Common allergens include:
Penicillin and other antibiotics in
the penicillin family
Latex
Venom of bee
s, wasps, hornets
Seafood - shrimp, crab, lobster, other shellfish
Nuts, stra
wberries, melons, eggs, bananas
Sulphites (food and wine preservatives)
2. perform, at
a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. the site of allergic reaction, if applicable,
b. lungs, for adventitious sounds through auscultation, and
c. skin, for ery
thema, urticaria, and edema
;
3. consider anaphylaxis if the patient presents with two or more body system manifestations
as follow
s:
a. Respiratory:
Dyspnea, wheezing, stridor or hoarse voice
b. Cardiovas
cular:
Tachycardia
or hypotension/shock
c. Neurologic
al:
Dizziness
, confusion, or loss of consciousness
d. Gastrointestinal
Nausea, v
omiting, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea
e. Dermatolo
gical/mucosal:
Facial
, orolingual, or generalized swelling/flushing/urticaria;
4. in assoc
iation with the body systems involvement in paragraph 3 above, consider
historical
findings as evidence of suspected anaphylaxis, as follows:
a. Difficulty swallowing/tightness in the throat
b. Difficu
lty breathing/feeling of suffocation
c. Fearfulne
ss, anxiety, agitation, confusion, or feeling of doom
d. General
ized itching
e. History of any of the body system involvement listed in paragraph 3; and
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5. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. cardiac arrest,
b. airway obstruction,
c. anaphylaxis,
d. bronchospasm, and
e. hypotension.
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Altered Level of Consciousness
Standard
In situations involving a patient with a suspected acute altered level of consciousness, the
paramedic shall:
1. attempt to determine a specific cause for the altered level of consciousness and provide
further assessment and management as per the Standards;
2. perform a secondary survey to assess the patient from head-to-toe;
3. pe
rform trauma assessments if trauma is obvious, suspected or cannot
be ruled out;
4. if unprotected airway, insert oropharyngeal airway/nasopharyn
geal airway; and
5. if patient is apneic or respirations are inadequate, ventilate the patient in accordance with
the Respi
ratory Failure Standard.
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Back Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard
In situations involving a patient with back pain that is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin, the
paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysm,
b. acute
spinal nerve root(s) compression,
c. intra-abdo
minal disease (e.g. pancr
eatitis; peptic ulcer), and
d. possible occult injury (e.g. pathologic fracture); and
2. perform, at
a minimum, a secondary survey to assess,
a. back, for abnormal appearance/findings,
b. chest,
as per Chest Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard,
c. abdomen, as
per Abdominal P
ain (Non-Traumatic) Standard,
d. distal pulses, and
e. extrem
ities, for circulation, sensation, and movement.
Guideline
If a thoracic aneurysm is suspected, perform bilateral blood pressures.
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Cardiac Arrest Standard
In situations involving a patient with cardiac arrest, the paramedic shall:
1. position the patient on a firm surface;
2. initiate CPR (including defibrillation);
Guideline
When two or more CPR-certified rescuers are available, attempt to switch chest
compressors approximately every two minutes
Have suction equipment readily available in preparation for emesis
As per current Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Guidelines, use
of mechanical
CPR devices may be considered (if available) when limited rescuers are available, for
prolonged CPR or in a moving ambulance
End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO
2
) monitoring may be considered if available
3. establish a patent airway using authorized techniques;
4. consid
er reversible causes of cardiac arrest and initiate further assessment and
management
as required by the Standards;
5. minimize disruptions to CPR;
Guideline
In cases where CPR must be interrupted, such as when going down a flight of stairs, plan to
reinitiate CPR as quickly as possible at a predetermined point.
6. continue cardiac arrest resusc
itation measures until a TOR order is received as per the
ALS PCS; and
7. if the patient has a spontaneous return of circulation,
a. continue to ventilate
if the patient remains apneic or respirations are inadequate,
b. administer oxygen to attempt to maintai
n the patient’s oxygen saturation 94-98%,
c. in conjunction with the Patient Assessment Standard, obtain vita
l signs,
i. at least every 15 minutes a
fter the patient’s return of spontaneous circulation
for the first hour, and
ii. at a minimum every 30 minut
es thereafter or if a change in patient status
occurs,
d. continue cardiac monitoring, and
e. resume CPR i
f cardiac
arrest recurs.
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Guideline
Cardiac Arrest in the Pregnant Patient
When performing CPR on a pregnant patient with a uterine height at or above the umbilicus
(approximately greater than 20 weeks gestation), have a second paramedic attempt to
manually perform left uterine displacement.
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Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA,
“Stroke”) Standard
In situations involving a patient with a cerebrovascular accident (CVA, “Stroke”), the paramedic
shall:
General Directive
1. consider other potentially serious conditions that may mimic a stroke, such as,
a. drug ingestion (e.g. cocaine),
b. hypoglyc
emia,
c. severe h
ypertension, hypertensive emergency, or
d. central
nervous system (CNS) infec
tion (e.g. meningitis);
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to assess,
a. head/neck, for,
i. facial sy
mmetry,
ii. pupillary s
ize, equality, and reactivity,
iii. abnormal spee
ch, and
iv. presence of
stiff neck,
b. central nervous system, for,
i. abnormal mot
or function, e.g. hand grip st
rength, arm/leg movement/drift,
and
ii. sensory loss, and
c. for incontin
ence of urine/stool;
3. ensure adequate support for the patient’s body/limbs during patient movement and place
extra paddi
ng and support beneath affected limbs;
4. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. possible ai
rway obstruction (if loss of tongue control, gag reflex),
b. decreas
ing level of consciousness,
c. seizures, and
d. agitat
ion, confusion, or combativeness; and
5. ven
tilate the patient if patien
t is apneic or respirations are inadequate,
a. if ETCO
2
monitoring is available,
i. attempt to maintain ETCO
2
values of 35-45 mmHg,
ii.
notwithstanding paragraph 5(a)(i) above, if signs of cerebral herniation are
present after measures to address hypoxemia and hypotension, hyperventilate
the patient to attempt to maintain ETCO
2
values of 30-35 mmHg. Signs of
cerebral herniation include a deteriorating GCS <9 with any of the following:
1.
dilated and unreactive pupils,
2.
asymmetric pupillary response, or
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3.
a motor response that shows either unilateral or bilateral decorticate
or decerebrate posturing, or
b. if
ETCO
2
monitoring is unavailable, and measures to address hypoxemia and
hypotension have been taken, and the patient shows signs of cerebral herniation as
per paragraph 5(a)(ii) above, hyperventilate the patient as follows:
i. Adult: approximately 20 breaths per minute
ii. Child: approximately 25 breaths per minute
iii. Infant <1 year old: approximately 30 breaths per minute.
Acute Stroke Bypass Protocol
1. assess the patient to determine if he/she has one or more of the symptoms consistent with
the onset of an acute stroke, as follows:
a. Inappropriate words or mute,
b. Slurred speec
h,
c. Unilateral
arm weakness or drift,
d. Unilatera
l facial droop, or
e. Unilateral leg weakness or drift;
2. if the pa
tient meets the c
riteria listed in paragraph 1 of the Acute Stroke Bypass Protocol
above, determine if the patient can be transported to a Designated Stroke Centre* within
6 hours of a clearly
determined time of symptom onset or time the patient was last seen in
his/her usual state of health;
3. if the patient meets the criteria listed in paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 above, assess the
patient to de
termine if he/she has any of the following contraindications:
a. CTAS 1 and/or an uncorrected airway, breathing or circulation issue
b. Stroke sympt
oms resolved prior to paramedic arrival or assessment
c. Blood Glucose Le
vel <3 mmol/L**
d. Seizure at the onset of symptoms or that is observed by the paramedic
e. Glasgow C
oma Scale <10
f. Terminally ill
or is in palliative care
g. Duration of trans
port to the Designated Stroke Centre will exceed two hours;
4. if the patient does not meet any of the contraindications listed in paragraph 3 above,
perform a secondary screen for a Large Vessel Occlusion (LVO) stroke using the Los
Angeles Motor Scale (LAMS);
5. inform the CACC/ACS of the LAMS score to assist in the determination of the closest or
most appropriate*** Designated Stroke Centre; and
6. if transport has been initiated to a Designated Stroke Centre and the patient’s symptoms
improve significantly or resolve during transport, continue transport to the Designated
Stroke Centre.
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*Note: A Designated Stroke Centre includes a Regional Stroke Centre, District Stroke Centre or a
Telestroke Centre regardless of EVT capability.
**Note: If symptoms persist after correction of blood glucose level, the patient is not
contraindicated as per paragraph 3(c) above.
***Note: Most appropriate refers to a Designated Stroke Centre as defined by a PPS.
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Chest Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard
General Directive
In situations involving a patient with chest pain that is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin, the
paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. acute coronary syndrome/acute myoca
rdial infarction (e.g. ST-segment elevation
myocardial infarction [STEMI]),
b. dissecting thoracic a
orta,
c. pneumothorax, tension pneumothorax/other respiratory disorders (e.g. pneumonia),
d. pulmonary
embolism, and
e. pericarditis;
2. acquire
a 12-lead electro
cardiogram, in accordance with the ALS PCS; and
3. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. chest, for
i. subcutane
ous emphysema,
ii. accessory muscle use,
iii. urticaria
,
iv. indrawing
,
v. shape,
vi. s
ymmetry, a
nd
vii. tenderness;
b. lungs, f
or decreased air entry and adventitious sounds (e.g. wheezes, crackles
),
through auscultation,
c. abdomen, as per the Abdominal Pain (Non-traumatic) Standard,
d. neck, for tra
cheal position and jugular vein distension, and
e. extremities, for leg/ankle edema.
STEMI Hospital Bypass Protocol
In situations in which the paramedic suspects that the patient is suffering from a STEMI, the
paramedic shall:
1. assess the patient to determine if they meet all of the follow
ing indications:
a. ≥18 years of age;
b. experie
nce chest pain or equivalent consistent with cardiac ischemia or myocardial
infarcti
on;
c. the time from onset of the current episode of pain <12 hours; and
d. the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) indicates an acute myocardial
infarcti
on/STEMI, as follows:
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i. At least 2 mm ST-elevation in leads V1-V3 in at least two contiguous leads;
AND/OR
ii. At least 1 mm ST-elevation in
at least two other anatomically contiguous
leads; OR
iii. 12-lead ECG computer interpretation of STEMI and paramedic agrees.
2. if the patient m
eets the criteria listed in paragraph 1 above, assess the patient to determine
if they have any of the following contraindications:
a. The patient is CTAS 1 and the paramedic is unable to secure the patient’s airway or
ventilate;
b. 12-lead ECG is consistent with a Left Bundle Branch Block (LBBB), ventricular
paced rhythm, or any other STEMI imitator;
c. Transport to a hospital capable of performing percutaneous coronary intervention
(PCI) ≥60 minutes from patient contact;
d. The patient is experiencing a complication requiring primary care paramedic (PCP)
diversion, as follows:
i. Moderate to severe respiratory distress or use of continuous positive airway
pressure (CPAP);
ii. Hemodynamic instability (e.g. due to symptomatic arrhythmias or any
ventricular arrhythmia) or symptomatic SBP <90 mmHg at any point; or
iii. VSA without return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).
e. The patient is experiencing a complication requiring ACP diversion, as follows:
i. Ventilation inadequate despite assistance;
ii. Hemodynamic instability unresponsive to advanced care paramedic (ACP)
treatment or not amenable to ACP management; or
iii. VSA without ROSC.
3. notwithstanding paragraphs 2(c), 2(d), and 2(e) above, attempt to determine if the
interventional cardiology program at the PCI centre will still permit the transport to the
PCI centre;
4. if the patient does not meet any of the contraindications listed in paragraph 2 above OR
the interventional cardiology program permits the transport to the PCI centre as per
paragraph 3 above, inform the CACC/ACS of the need to transport to a PCI centre;
a. provide the PCI centre the following information as soon as possible:
b. that the patient is a “STEMI patient”;
c. the patient’s initials;
d. the patient’s age;
e. the patient’s sex;
f. the paramedic’s concerns regarding clinical stability;
g. infarct territory and/or findings on the qualifying ECG;
h. estimated time of arrival; and
i. catchment area of the patient pickup.
5. upon arrival at the PCI centre, in addition to the requirements listed in the Transfer of
R
esponsibility for Patient Care Standard,
provide the following information to the PCI
centre staff:
a. tim
e of symptom onset;
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b. time of ROSC, if applicable;
c. hemodynamic status;
d. medications given and procedure;
e. history of acute myocardial infarction/PCI/Coronary artery bypass graft, if applicable;
f. a copy of the qualifying ECG; and
g. a copy of the Ambulance Call Report in accordance with the Ontario Ambulance
Documentation Standards.
*Note: Once initiated, continue to follow the STEMI Hospital Bypass Protocol even if the ECG
normalizes after the intial assessment.
Guideline
Once a STEMI is confirmed, the paramedic should apply defibrillation pads due to the
potential for lethal cardiac arrhythmias.
If intravenous access is indicated and established as per the Advanced Life Support
Patient Care Standards, then the left arm is the preferred site.
If the ECG becomes STEMI-positive en route to a non-PCI destination, the patient
should still be evaluated under this STEMI Hospital Bypass Protocol.
If, in a rare circumstance, the PCI centre indicates that it cannot accept the patient (e.g.
equipment failure, multiple STEMI patients), then the paramedic may consider
transport to an alternative PCI centre as long as they still meet the STEMI Hospital
Bypass Protocol.
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Dysphagia Standard
In situations involving a patient with dysphagia, the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. anaphylaxis, and
b. upper airway
infections (e.g. epiglottitis);
2. perform, at
a minimum, a secondary survey to assess,
a. he
ad/neck, for
i. drooling,
ii. hoarse v
oice or cough,
iii. nasal fla
ring,
iv. swelli
ng or masses, and
v. tracheal
deviation, and
b. lungs, for a
dventitious sounds through auscultation;
3. notwithstanding paragraph 2 above, if epiglottitis is suspected, not open and inspect the
airway;
4. if
epiglottis is suspected
and oxygen administration is indicated as per the Oxygen
Therapy Standard, attempt to minimize agitation;
5. position the patient sitting or semi-sitting; and
6. prepare for potential problems, including complete a
irway obstruction.
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Epistaxis (Non-Traumatic) Standard
In situations involving a patient with epistaxis that is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin, the
paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as upper airway obstruction;
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. for estimated blood loss (e.g. hemorrhage duration, rate of flow, presence of clots,
quantity o
f blood-soaked materials at scene, quantity of blood vomited), and
b. head/neck, for foreign bodies in nares, and headache;
3. attempt
to control bleeding; and
4. prepare for potential problems, including:
a. airway c
ompromise, and
b. hypotens
ion.
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Excited Delirium Standard
In situations involving a patient with excited delirium, the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. asphyxia,
b. cardiopulm
onary arrest, and
c. dysrhyth
mias;
Guideline
Excited delirium is a state of impaired thinking and violent struggling induced by a variety of
causes such as drug abuse, severe alcohol intoxication, and/or acute psychosis. These patients
are at risk of sudden death. Symptoms of excited delirium include:
Impaired thought processes, e.g. disorientation, acute paranoia, pa
nic, or hallucinations
Unexpected physical strength
Significantly decreased sensitivity to pain
Sweating, f
ever, heat intolerance, or, dry/hot skin with no sweating despite extreme
agitation
S
udden tranquility after frenzied activity
2. give pa
rticular attention to personal safety as per the General M
easures Standard;
3. if the patient is violent or potentially violent, refer to the Violent/Aggressive Patient
Standard;
4. rec
ognize the need for police assistance in conjunction with the Police Notification
Standard;
5. prov
ide patient care based on presenting signs and symptoms as per the Standards;
6. recogniz
e the potential need for advanced patient care as per the ALS PCS; and
7. prepare for potential problems, including rapid deterioration.
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Extremity Pain (Non-Traumatic)
Standard
In situations involving a patient with extremity pain that is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin,
the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. acute spinal nerve root(s) compression,
b. possible
occult fracture,
c. soft tiss
ue and joint infections, and
d. vasc
ular occlusion (e.g. perip
heral vessel, intra-abdominal vessel, intra-thoracic
vessel);
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. the affected extremity compared with the unaffected extremity, with respect to,
i. distal pu
lses,
ii. circul
ation, sensation, and movement
,
iii. skin colour, temperature, and condition, and
iv. swelling, deformity, and tenderness; and
3. attempt
to keep movement to the affected extremity to a minimum and protect from
further injury
.
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Fever Standard
In situations involving a patient with a fever (known fever >38.5°C or chief complaint of fever), the
paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. overdose,
b. sepsis,
c. me
ningitis, a
nd
d. heat-rel
ated illness;
Guideline
Consideration of sepsis is typically evidenced by all of the following:
Presence of fever: >38.5°C
Possible infection suspected, e.g. pneumonia, urinary tract infection, abdominal pain or
distensio
n, meningitis, cellulitis, septic arthritis, infected wound
Presence of any one of:
o SBP <90
o Respiratory rate ≥22 breaths/minute, or intubated for respiratory support
o Acute c
onfusion or reduced level of consciousness
If sepsi
s is suspected, report findings to receiving facility.
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary s
urvey to assess,
a. lungs, for adventitious sounds through auscultation,
b. skin, for,
i. ja
undice
ii. r
ash, and
iii. si
gns of dehydration,
c. head/neck, f
or,
i. photophobia,
ii. scl
eral j
aundice,
iii. stiff ne
ck, and
iv. headache,
d. abdomen, as
per the Abdominal Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard; and
e. tempera
ture
3. remove e
xcess layers of clothing if required to promote passive cooling;
4. not acti
vely cool the patient, and
5. prepare for potential problems, including seizures, if the patient is a febrile child or an
adult in w
hom serious disorders are suspected (e.g. meningitis).
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Headache (Non-Traumatic) Standard
In situations involving a patient with a headache that is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin, the
paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. intracranial/intracerebral events (e.g. hemorrhage, thrombosis, tumour),
b. centr
al nervous system or other systemic infection,
c. severe h
ypertension, and
d. toxic e
vent/exposure (e.g. carbon monoxi
de poisoning);
Guideline
The following signs and symptoms can indicate a serious underlying disorder or cause:
Sudden onset of severe headache with no previous medical history of headache
Recent onse
t headache (days, weeks) with sudden worsening
Change in patt
ern of
usual headaches
Any of the above accompanied by one or more of the following:
o Altered
mental status
o Decrease in level of consciousness
o Neurologic
deficits
o Obvious nucha
l rigidity and fever or other symptoms of infection.
o Pupillary abnormalities (inequality, sluggish/absent light reactivity)
o Visual d
isturbances
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. head/neck, for pupillary size, equality, and reactivity,
b. centra
l nervous system, for,
i. abnormal m
otor function (e.g. hand grip strength, arm/leg movement/drift),
and
ii. sensory
loss; and
3. prepare f
or potential problems, including seizures.
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o
Heat-Related Illness Standard
In situations involving a patient experiencing a heat-related illness, the paramedic shall:
1. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. heat stroke, and
b. hypov
olemic shock;
Guideline
Consider various heat-related illnesses in the setting of hot and/or humid outdoor or indoor
conditions with chief complaint(s), presenting problems of:
Heat syncope
Heat cram
ps: severe cramping of large muscle groups
Heat exhaustion: mild alterations in mental s
tatus, and non-specific complaints
(headache, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, malaise), with excessive sweating in healthy
adults; or hot, dry skin in the elderly
Heat stroke: severely altered mental status, coma, seizures, hyperthermia ≥40°C
Overdose of tricyclic anti-depressants, antihistamines and β-blockers, as well as
cocaine, Ecs
tasy or amphetamine abuse may also lead to heat stroke.
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. central nervous system,
b. mouth, for s
tate of hydration,
c. skin, for temperature, colour, condition, state of hydration,
d. extremi
ties, for circulation, sensation, and movement, a
nd
e. temperature;
3. move t
he patient to a cooler environment;
4. remove he
avy or excess layers of clothing;
5. if available at scene or from bystanders, provide
water or electrolyte-containing fluids in
small quantities if the patient is conscious, cooperative, able to understand directions and
is not nauseated or vomiting;
6. if working assessment indicates heat exhaustion,
a. move the
patient to the ambulance, and
b. remove as much clothing as possible; and
7. if working
assessme
nt indicates heat stroke,
a. provide patient care as per paragraph 6 above,
b. withhold or
al fluids,
c. cover the
patient with wet sheets, and
d. apply cold packs to the axillae, groin, neck and head.
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Guideline
Monitor the patient to determine if cooling procedures should be discontinued, e.g. skin
temperature feels normal to touch, generalized shivering develops, the patient’s level of
consciousness normalizes.
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Hematemesis/Hematochezia
Standard
In situations involving a patient with hematemesis and/or frank rectal bleeding (“hematochezia”),
the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. esophageal varices, and
b. gastroin
testinal disease;
Guideline
If hemoptysis is suspected, attempt to ascertain the origin. Lung tumours and other lung
diseases are common causes of hemoptysis.
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. chest, if hemorrhage is oral, as per the Chest Pain (Non-Tr
aumatic) Standard, and
b. abdomen, as per the Abdominal Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard;
3. estimate degree of blood loss (e.g. duration of hemorrhage, rate of flow, presence of
clots, qua
ntity of blood-soaked or blood-filled materials); and
4. elicit further information regarding hemorrhage (e.g. ty
pe: coffee-grounds emesis,
melena, hematochezia, etc.).
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Nausea/Vomiting Standard
In situations involving a patient with a nausea and/or vomiting, the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. acute coronary syndrome/acute myoca
rdial infarction (e.g. STEMI),
b. anaphylaxis,
c. increased
intracranial pressure,
d. toxicolo
gical emergencies,
e. bowel obstru
ctions,
f. infection,
g. acute pancr
eatitis,
h. intra-a
bdominal emergencies, and
i. ure
mia;
2. perform, a
t a minimum, a secondary survey to assess abdomen, as per Abdominal Pain
(Non-Traumatic) S
tandard; and
3. prepare for potential problems, including airway compromise.
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Respiratory Failure Standard
In situations involving a patient in respiratory failure, the paramedic shall:
1. ventilate the patient as per current Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Guidelines;
Guideline
If using ETCO
2
monitoring, attempt to maintain ETCO
2
values of 35-45 mmHg unless
indicated otherwise in the Standards. For COPD or asthma patients who have an initial
ETCO
2
of >50 mmHg, attempt to maintain ETCO
2
between 50-60 mmHg.
2. observe chest rise and auscultate lung fields to assess adequacy of ventilation (ventilation
just suffi
cient to observe chest rise is adequate);
3. minimize interruptions to ventilations; and
4. continue a
ssisted ventilations until patient’s spontaneous respirations are adequate.
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Seizure Standard
In situations involving a patient in seizure (or post-ictal), the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats and/or underlying disorders, such as,
a. intracranial event,
b. hypoglyc
emia,
c. in pregnant
patients or recent post-partum patients, eclamps
ia,
d. in patients ≥50 years of age with new onset or recurrent seizures,
i. brain tumour or
other intracranial event (e.g. hemorrhage, thrombosis),
ii. cardiac dysrhythmias,
iii. cardiovas
cular disease,
iv. cerebrovas
cular disease, and
v. severe
hypertension,
e. in neonate
s,
i. traumatic delivery,
ii. congenita
l disorders,
iii. prematurit
y, and
iv. hypoglyc
emia,
f. in young c
hildren febrile convulsions associated with infection,
g. infection (e.g. central nervous system, meningitis),
h. alcoho
l withdrawal (including delirium tremens)
i. drug ingest
ion/withdrawal, and
j. known seizure
disorder;
2. if patie
nt is in active seizure,
a. attempt to position the patient
in the recovery position,
b. attempt to protect the patient from injury, and
c. observe for,
i. eye deviat
ion,
ii. incontinen
ce,
iii. parts of body affected
, and
iv. type of seizure (e.g. full body, focal);
3. perform, a
t a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. for seizure-related occurrences, such as,
i. bleeding
from the mouth,
ii. incontinence,
iii. secondary i
njuries resulting from the seizure, and
iv. tongue inj
ury; and
4. prepare f
or potential problems, including,
a. airway c
ompromise,
b. recurrent seizures, and
c. post-ictal co
mbativeness or ag
itation.
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Shortness of Breath Standard
In situations involving a patient with shortness of breath, the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. acute respiratory disorders, including,
i. partial airway obstruction,
ii. asthma,
iii. ana
phyla
xis,
iv. aspirat
ion,
v. inhalati
on of toxic gases or smoke,
vi. pneumothorax,
vii. COPD, and
v
iii. respirat
ory infections,
b. acute c
ardiovascular disorders, including,
i. acute co
ronary syndrome/acute myocardial infarction (e.g. STEMI),
ii. congestive heart failure,
iii. pulmonary
edema, and
iv. pulmonary
embolism, and
c. other caus
es, including,
i. cerebrovasc
ular accident,
ii. toxicological effects, and
iii. metabol
ic acidosis;
2. assu
me that all hyperventilation is due to an underlying
disorder;
3. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. chest, as per Chest Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard,
b. head/neck, for
i. cyanosi
s,
ii. nasal fl
aring,
iii. excessi
ve drooling,
iv. trache
al deviation, and
v. jugular vein distension, and
c. extremit
ies, for
i. cyanosis
, and
ii. edema;
4. i
f the pa
tient is on home oxygen, elicit history regarding changes in use;
5. position the patient in sitting or semi-sitting position; and
6. ventilat
e the patient if pati
ent is apneic or respirations are inadequate in accordance with
the Respiratory Failure Standard.
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Syncope/Dizziness/Vertigo Standard
In situations involving a patient who has had a syncopal episode, is dizzy, and/or is experiencing
vertigo, the paramedic shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. hypoglycemia,
b. cardia
c dysrhythmias,
c. CVA/Transient
Ischemic Attack,
d. hypov
olemia,
e. toxicolog
ical effects,
f. heat-related illness,
g. anemi
a,
h. renal f
ailure, and
i. sepsis
;
2. position
the patient supine, or in the recovery position; and
3. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. cardiac dy
srhythmias,
b. hypotens
ion,
c. seizures
, and
d. decreased
level of consciousness.
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Toxicological Emergency Standard
In situations involving a patient with a toxicological emergency (e.g. overdose, poisioning, and/or
drug ingestion), the paramedic shall:
1. attempt to identify/determine agent(s), quantity, time and route of administration
(absorption, inhalation, ingestion or injection);
2. in cases in which the agent(s) is believed to be a prescription medication, attempt to
i
dentify date of prescription and compliance or appropriateness of remainder of
prescription amount;
Guideline
Where available, attempt to refer to a compound or substance’s Material Safety Data
Sheet
Attempts to refer to poison control resources should be made in consultation with the
BHP and not delay patient care/transport
3. if the patient is unconscious or level of consciousness decreased, refer to the Altered
Lev
el of Consciousness Standard; and
4. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. cardiac arrest,
b. airway
obstruction,
c. respiratory a
rrest,
d. respiratory
distress,
e. altered or c
hanging level of consciousness,
f. sudden violent behaviour,
g. hyperthermi
a,
h. seizures
, and
i. emesis.
Guideline
Assume carbon monoxide poisoning in setting of exposure to a fuel burning device (e.g.
automobile engine exhaust, heating devices) in an enclosed area where the patient, or
multiple patients, exhibit the following symptoms/signs without other obvious cause:
Altered mental status
Cardiac dysrh
ythmias
Emesis
Headache
Ligh
t-headed
ness
Nausea
Se
izures
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Syncope
Weakness
VSA
88
Vaginal Bleeding Standard
In situation involving a patient with vaginal bleeding, the paramedic shall:
1. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. in post-menopausal women, tumours,
b. firs
t trimester complications, including,
i. spontaneous
abortion,
ii. ectopic
pregnancy, and
iii. gestationa
l trophoblastic disease, and
c. second and third trimester complications, including,
i. spontaneous a
bortion,
ii. placent
al abruption,
iii. placenta
previa, and
iv. ruptured ute
rus;
2. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. abdomen, as per Abdominal
Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard, and
b. if the patient is pregnant,
i. note uterin
e height and palpate for contractions, and
ii. note fe
tal movements;
3. if the patient is pregnant, attempt to determine,
a. if blee
ding is painless or associated wi
th abdominal pain/cramping, and
b. number of prior episodes and causes, if known;
Guideline
Refer to the Sexual Assault (Reported) Standard if vaginal bleeding is suspected to be due to
assault.
4. assess bleeding characteristics; attempt to determine,
a. blood loss,
b.
fetal parts,
c. other tis
sues, and
d. presence
of clots;
Guideline
To assist with estimating blood loss, a soaked normal sized pad or tampon can hold
approximately five mL of blood. Normal blood loss during menstruation is 10-35 mL.
5. if bleeding is profuse,
a. place (or h
ave the patient place) an abdominal pad under the perineum and replace
pads as requi
red, and
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b. document number of pads used on the Ambulance Call Report; and
6. prepare for expected problems, including, shock, if bleeding is profuse.
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Visual Disturbance Standard
In situations involving a patient with acute visual disturbances (including generalized eye pain) that
is believed to be of a non-traumatic origin, the paramedic shall:
1. consider threats to life/limb/function, such as,
a. intracranial, intracerebral or retinal hemorrhage/thrombosis, and
b. acute
glaucoma;
2. perform, a
t a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. eyes, for,
i. pupillary
size, equality and reactivity,
ii. abnormal movements,
iii. positioni
ng,
iv. redness,
v. swelling,
vi
. teari
ng, and
vii. presence of contact lenses,
b. eye-lids, f
or ptosis, and
c. vision, f
or
i. distortion/
diplopia,
ii. loss, and
iii. vis
ual acuity; and
Guideline
Consider patching the patient’s eyes for patient comfort and to minimize movement.
3. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. alterat
ions in level of consciousness,
b. neuro
logical deficits, and
c. emesis.
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Section 3 Trauma Standards
93
Section 3 Trauma Standards
Introduction
Specific standards in Section 3 – Trauma Standards have been developed on the basis of the type of
injury.
Paramedics should be aware of a patient’s potential to deteriorate and prepare accordingly. Particular
attention shoul
d be paid to the potential for problems related to concurrent conditions, compromises
to airway, breathing or circulation, neurovascular compromise, seizures, shock, alterations in mental
status and/or emesis.
When providing care as per Section 3 – Trauma Standards, a paramedic shall ensure that the patient
simultaneously receives care in accordance with the ALS PCS.
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General Trauma Standard
In situations involving a patient with a traumatic injury, the paramedic shall:
1. if indicated by severity of patient injury or mechanism of injury, advise the patient to
remain still;
2. perform SMR if indicated by the Spinal Motion Restriction (SMR) Standard, prior to
extricat
ion;
3. perform extrication if it is safe to do so and,
a. scene surv
ey identifies condition(s) which may immediately endanger the patient, or
b. primary survey identifies condition(s) requiring immediate interventions which
cannot be p
erformed inside the area in which the patient is located;
4. perform a rapid trauma survey immediately after completion of the primary survey,
unless indi
cated otherwise in the Standards;
5. attempt to estimate blood loss (i.e. hemorrhage duration, rate of flow, presence of clots,
quantity of
blood-soaked materials, quantity of blood vomited);
6. specific to impaled objects, make no atte
mpt to remove; stabilize the object as found
using layers of bulky dressings/bandages, unless otherwise specified by the Standards, or
the object is,
a. compromising the airway, or
b. interfering with CPR in a cardiac arrest patient after attempts to change hand position
have been
made;
7. if the stabilized impaled object will not fit into the ambulance, attempt to shorten the
object or re
quest assistance from other allied emergency services;
8. assess the injury site, when appropriate, and,
a. assess for:
i. contusions/
colour/cyanosis/contamination,
ii. lacerat
ions,
iii. abrasions/
asymmetrical motion/abdominal bre
athing (diaphragmatic),
iv. penetrations/punctures/protruding objects or organs,
v. swelling/sucking wounds/subcutaneous emphysema, and
vi. distens
ion/deformity/dried blood/diaphoresis, and
b. palpate f
or,
i. tendern
ess,
ii. instabili
ty,
iii. crepitus,
iv. swelling/subcutaneous
emphysema, and
v. deformity;
9. for obvious
or suspected major/multip
le trauma, perform a complete secondary survey of
all body systems (including auscultation);
10. if history, mechanism of injury and scene observations indicate an isolated in
jury, assess
at a minimum,
a. the injury site/body
system, and
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b. other body parts/systems likely to be injured by considering potentially associated
life/limb/function threats (as indicated by the Standards and otherwise) as well as
possible secondary injuries sustained; and
11. remove any clothing or jewelry that may compromise the injury site.
Guideline
Splinting
If the injury site is dressed or splinted before paramedic arrival, use judgement when
deciding to remove the dressing or splint. If the site is correctly managed as per the
Standards, leave the dressing or splint as found.
Splinting priorities are:
o Spine (neck, thoraco-lumbar, head)
o Pelvis
o Femurs
o Lower legs
o Upper limbs
Trauma and the pregnant patient:
In pregnant patients, trauma is most often associated with domestic violence.
In pregnant patients, signs of shock may not be obvious until shock is well advanced.
Hemorrhagic shock and associated fetal hypoxemia are the major causes of trauma
related maternal death and fetal death respectively.
A pregnant patient’s enlarged uterus is more susceptible to injury and hemorrhage.
Blunt trauma may result in premature labour, spontaneous abortion, placental
abruption, ruptured diaphragm, liver, spleen, or uterine rupture.
Placental abruption and subsequent stillbirth can occur within hours of even minor
blunt trauma if acceleration/deceleration forces are involved; these patients may have
no evidence of abdominal trauma on examination; maintain a high index of suspicion
for occult internal injury.
For blunt trauma to the abdomen, observe for abdominal/uterine enlargement.
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Amputation/Avulsion Standard
In situations involving a patient with a complete or partial amputation or avulsion, the paramedic
shall:
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. hemorrhagic shock,
b. loss o
f limb, and
c. loss of
function;
2. if patie
nt has a partial amputation or avulsion,
a. assess th
e injury site for circulation, sensation and movement, and
b. assess distal pulses, circulation, sensation and movement;
3. with r
espect to the injury site,
a. control hem
orrhage as per
the Soft Tissue Injury Standard,
b. cleanse wound of gross surface contamination,
c. if partia
l amputation or avulsion, place remaining tissue or skin bridge in as near-
normal anat
omical position as possible,
d. if complete amputation, cover the stump with a moist, sterile pressure dressing,
followed by
a dry dressing, while taking care not to constrict or twist remaining
tissue,
e. immobilize affected extremity, and
f. if possible, elevate; and
Guideline
Recall that any patient with an amputation proximal to wrist or ankle should be evaluated
under the Field Trauma Triage Standard.
4. with respect to the am
putated/avulsed part,
a. if located prior to ambulance transport,
i. preserve all amputated tissue,
ii. if the part
is grossly contaminated, gently r
inse with saline,
iii. wrap or cover the exposed end with moist, sterile dressing, and
iv. place t
he part in a suitable contai
ner/plastic (water-tight if possible) bag and
immerse in cold water, if available, or
b. if not able to locate part prior to ambulance transport,
i. attemp
t to engage others at scene (e.g. all
ied agencies, bystanders) to look for
the amputated/avulsed part and advise them to have it transported to receiving
facility if found, and
ii. not delay transport.
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Blunt/Penetrating Injury Standard
In situations involving a patient with a blunt or penetrating injury, the paramedic shall:
Abdominal/Pelvic Injury
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. rupture, perforation, laceration, or hemorrhage of organs and/or vessels in the
abdomen and pot
entially in the thorax or pelvis, and
b. spinal cord injury,
2. if the
patient has evisceration of intestines,
a. make no
attempt to replace intestines back into the abdomen, and
b. cover eviscerated intestines using moist, sterile large, bulky dressings; and
3. if the
patient has a pelvic
fracture,
a. attempt to stabilize the clinically unstable pelvis with a circumferential sheet
wrap or
a commercial device,
b. secure the patient to a spinal board or adjustable break-away stretcher,
c. avoid placing spinal immobilization or stretcher straps directly over the pelvic area,
and
d. sec
ure and immobilize lower limbs to prevent additional pelvic inju
ry.
Bite Injury
1. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. injuries to underlying organs, vessels, bone, and
b. specifi
c to snake bites,
i. anaphylaxi
s,
ii. shock,
iii. centra
l n
ervous system toxicity, and
iv. local tissue necrosis;
Guideline
Recognize the potential for bacterial contaminations or disease transmission (e.g. rabies,
Hepatitis B, HIV) through bites.
2. attempt to determine,
a. source of bit
e and owner, if applicable, and
b. immunizati
on and communicable disease status of patient and bite source;
3. if patient is stable, irrigat
e bites for up to five minutes; and
4. if envenomation is known or suspected,
a. position
the patient supine,
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b. immobilize the bite area at or slightly below heart level, and
c. not apply cold packs.
Chest Injury
1. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. tension pneumothorax,
b. hemothorax,
c. cardiac t
amponade,
d. myoca
rdial contusion,
e. pulmonary c
ontusion,
f. spinal cord injury, and
g. flail che
st;
2. auscult
ate the patient’s lungs for air entry and adventitious sounds;
3. if the
patient has a penetrating chest i
njury,
a. assess for,
i. entry and exit wounds,
ii. trachea
l deviation,
iii. jugular ve
in distension, and
iv. airway
and/or vascular penetration (e.g. frothy/
foamy hemoptysis sucking
wounds);
4. if the patient has an open or sucking chest wound,
a. seal wound w
ith a commercial occlusive dres
sing with one way valve; if not possible,
utilize an occlusive dressing taped on three sides only,
b. apply dressing large enough to cover entire wound and several centimetres beyond
the edges
of the wound,
c. monitor for development
of tension pneumothorax, and
d. if tension pneumothorax becomes obvious or suspected (i.e. rapi
d deterioration in
cardiorespiratory status), release occlusive dressing and/or replace;
5. for patients who have a suspected pneumothorax and require ventilations, ventilate with
a
lower tidal volume and rate of delivery to prevent exacerbation of increasing intrathoracic
pressure;
6. if the patient is conscious and SMR is not indicated as per the Spinal Motion Restriction
(SMR) Standard, pos
ition the patient sitting or semi-sitting;
7. if the patient has a chest injury, prepare for potential problems, including,
a. tension pne
umothorax,
b. cardiac tamponade,
c. cardiac
dysrhythmias, and
d. hemopty
sis.
Eye Injury
1. assume threats to vision;
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2. assess patient as per the Head Injury subsection below;
3. assess eye as per Visual Disturbance Standard;
4. notwithstanding paragraph 3 above, leave eyelids shut if swollen shut;
5. if active bleeding, control bleeding using the minimum pressure required;
6. if obvious or suspected rupture or puncture of the globe avoid manipulation, palpation,
irrigation,
direct pressure, and application of cold packs;
7. cover the eye with a dressing;
8. if injury/pain is severe in the affected eye, cover both eyes;
9. notwithstanding paragraphs 7 and 8 above, if the eye is extruded (avulsed),
a. make no attempt to replace it inside the socket, and
b. cover the eye with a moist, sterile dressing and protect/stabilize as if an impaled
object;
10. a
dvise the patient to keep eye movement to a minimum; and
11. transport the patient supine, with head elevated approximately 30 degrees.
Face/Nose Injury
1. consider potential concurrent head, C-spine injuries;
2. assess as per the Head Injury
subsection below;
3. if nose injury is obvious or suspected, assess t
he patient as per the Epistaxis (Non-
traumatic) Standard;
Guideline
If the patient is alert and stable, replace a completely intact, avulsed tooth in the socket
and have the patient bite down to stabilize
If the tooth cannot be replaced, place it in saline or milk
4. apply a cold pack to the injury site;
5. if the pa
tient is conscious and SMR is not indicated as per the Spinal Motion Restriction
(SMR) Standard
, position the patient semi-sitting and leaning forward to assist draining
and encourage the patient to expectorate blood, as required;
6. if the patient is on a spinal board or
adjustable break-away stretcher, elevate the head 30
degrees; and
7. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. a
irway obstruction if severe injury and/or massive or uncontrolled oral hemorrhage,
and
b. epista
xis.
Head Injury
1. consider potential life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. intracranial and/or intracerebral hemorrhage,
b. neck/s
pine injuries,
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c. facial/skull fractures, and
d. concussion;
2. observe for,
a. fluid from ears/nose, e.g. cerebrospinal fluid,
b. mastoid bruising,
c. abnormal posturing,
d. periorbital ecchymosis,
e. agitation or fluctuating behaviour,
f. urinary/fecal incontinence, and
g. emesis;
Guideline
Patients with suspected concussions require transport for further assessment.
3. ventilate the patient if patient is apneic or respirations are inadequate,
a. if ETCO
2
monitoring is available,
i. attempt to maintain ETCO
2
values of 35-45 mmHg,
ii. notwithstanding paragraph 3(a)(i) above, if signs of cerebral herniation are
present after measures to address hypoxemia and hypotension, hyperventilate
the patient to attempt to maintain ETCO
2
values of 30-35 mmHg. Signs of
cerebral herniation include a deteriorating GCS <9 with any of the following:
1. Dilated and unreactive pupils,
2. Asymmetric pupillary response, or
3. A motor response that shows either unilateral or bilateral decorticate
or decerebrate posturing, or
b. if ETCO
2
monitoring is unavailable, and measures to address hypoxemia and
hypotension have been taken, and the patient shows signs of cerebral herniation as
per paragraph 3(a)(ii) above, hyperventilate the patient as follows:
i. Adult: approximately 20 breaths per minute
ii. Child: approximately 25 breaths per minute
iii. Infant <1 year old: approximately 30 breaths per minute;
4. if protruding brain tissue is present, cover with non-adherent material (e.g. moist, sterile
dressing; plastic wrap);
5. if cerebrospinal fluid leak is suspected, apply a loose, sterile dressing over the source
opening;
6. if the patient is conscious and SMR is not indicated as per the Spinal Motion Restriction
(SMR) Standard, position the patient sitting or semi-sitting;
7. if the patient is on a spinal board or adjustable break-away stretcher, elevate the head 30
degrees; and
8. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. respiratory distress/arrest,
b. seizures,
c. decreasing level of consciousness, and
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d. agitation or combativeness.
Neck/Back Injury
1. if the patient has a penetrating neck injury, assume vascular and airway lacerations/tears;
2. auscultate the patient’s lungs for decreased air entry and adventitious sounds;
3. observe f
or,
a. diaphragm
atic breathing,
b. neuro
logical deficits,
c. priapism
, and
d. urinary/fecal incontinence/retention;
4. perform, at
a minimum, a secondary survey to asse
ss,
a. for airway and/or vascular penetration (e.g. frothy/
foamy hemoptysis),
b. lungs, for decrease
d air entry and adventitious sounds through auscultation,
c. head/neck, for, jugular vein distension; and tracheal deviation, and
d. chest, for subcutaneous emphysema; and
5. if the pa
tient has a penetrating wound,
a. assess
for entry and exit wounds,
b. apply pres
sure lateral to, but not directly over the airway, and
c. apply occl
usive dressings to wounds; use non-circumferential bandaging.
Guideline
The attending paramedic should sit within the patient’s view when possible, so the
patient does not attempt to turn his/her head.
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Burns (Thermal) Standard
In situations involving a patient with a thermal burn, the paramedic shall:
1. if the patient is in a smoke/fume filled environment, request assistance from fire
personnel and ensure that the patient is moved as quickly as possible to a fresh air zone
when safe to do so;
2. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. airway burns,
b. asphyxi
a (smoke inhalation),
c. carbon monoxide/cyanide poisoning, and
d. shock;
3. attempt
to determine,
a. source of burn,
b. i
f burn due to f
ire,
i. whether the fire occurred in an enclosed space, and
ii. whethe
r the patient was unconscious or lost consciousness during exposure to
fire/fume
s/smoke;
4. stop the burning process;
5. when att
empting to remove clothing from injury site, cut around clothing that is adherent
to skin;
6. perf
orm, at a minimum, a secondary survey burn assess
ments, as follows:
a. estimate severity to include,
i. area burned (e.g. loca
tion, circumferential),
ii. burn depth (degree), and
iii. percentage of body surface area burned,
Guideline
Utilize the Rule of Nines to estimate percentage of body surface burned (or the Modified
Rule of Nines for pediatrics)
b. assess distal neurovascular status
in burned extremities,
c. assess for signs of smoke inhalation
and upper airway injury,
Guideline
Signs of smoke inhalation and upper airway injury include decreased air entry, burns to lips
or mouth, carbon particles in saliva or sputum, cough, drooling, stridor or hoarseness, facial
burns, burned or singed nasal hair or eyebrows, or shortness of breath, shallow respirations,
audible wheezes, or tachypnea.
d. if burns involve an eye, assess eye as per Visual Disturbance Standard; and
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e. notwithstanding paragraph 6(d) above, if burns involve an eye and eye is swollen
shut, leave eye shut;
Guideline
If administering oxygen as per the Oxygen Therapy Standard, in case of facial burns,
gauze pads may be placed under the edges of the oxygen mask to decrease pain and
irritation
Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and cyanide toxicity are potential concerns for any
incident involving combustible materials. Paramedics should administer high
concentration oxygen to known or suspected cases as per the Oxygen Therapy
Standard.
7. for burn sites estimated to involve <15% of body surface area, cool burns and limit
cooling to <30 minutes to prevent hypothermia;
8. cover all 1
st
degree burns with moist sterile dressing and then cover with dry sheet or
blanket;
9. cover all 2
nd
degree burns estimated to involve <15% of body surface area with moist,
sterile dressing, and dry sheet or blanket;
10. cover all 2
nd
degree burns estimated to involve ≥15% of body surface area with dry,
sterile dressing or sheet;
11. if remoistening of the dressing is required to continue to cool the burn, remove the dry
sheet or blanket and remoisten the previously applied sterile dressing;
12. if shivering or hypotension develops, discontinue cooling efforts;
13. cover all 3
rd
degree burns with dry, sterile dressing or sheet;
14. if dressing digits, dress digits individually;
15. leave blisters intact;
16. keep the patient warm; and
17. prepare for expected problems, including,
a. airway obstruction,
b. if airway burns,
i. bronchospasm, and
ii. orolingual/laryngeal edema,
c. respiratory distress/arrest, and
d. agitation or combativeness.
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Cold Injury Standard
In situations involving a patient with a cold injury, the paramedic shall:
1. remove the patient from the cold as soon as it is safe to do so after completing the
primary survey; if the patient is trapped, prevent additional heat loss (e.g. cover with a
blanket or put a blanket between the patient and ground);
2. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. severe
hypothermia,
b. severe
frostbite, and
c. underlying disorders/precipitating factors (e.g. alcohol/drug ingestion, hypoglyc
emia,
trauma);
Guideline
For patients with known or suspected hypothermia, pulse and respirations checks should be
performed for up to ten seconds.
3. attempt to determine,
a. duration of expos
ure, and
b. type of e
xposure;
4. with respect to secondary survey,
a. only expose a
reas that are being examined; cover the area as soon as assessment is
complete
d,
b. if hypothermia is known or suspected, attem
pt to determine the severity of
hypothermia, and
c. if frostbite is known or suspected, attempt
to determine the severity of frostbite (e.g.
mild blanching of skin [frostnip]; skin waxy/white, supple [superficial frostbite]; skin
cold, hard and wooden [deep frostbite]);
Guideline
The presence or absence of shivering is an important indicator of severity of hypothermia. If
shivering is minimal or absent and level of consciousness is decreased or mental status is
markedly altered, assume core temperature is below 32
o
C.
5. attempt to remove wet or constrictive clothing and jewelry; if clothing or jewelry is
frozen to the
skin, leave until thawing occurs;
6. for mild to moderate hypothermia, (i.e. if shi
vering is present),
a. wrap the patient’s body/affected parts in a blanket or foil rescue blanket, and
b. provide external re-warming, as available (e.g. hot pa
cks, hot water bottles) to axillae,
groin, neck and head;
7. for severe hypothermia (i.e. no shiv
ering present, unconscious patient with cold, stiff
limbs, slow/absent pulse and respirations and no other signs of “obvious” death),
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a. wrap the patient’s body/affected parts in a blanket or foil rescue blanket, and
b. when suction is required, do not perform vigorous suctioning or airway manipulation
as it may trigger ventricular fibrillation; and
Guideline
SpO
2
reading may be unobtainable or inaccurate due to poor/reduced peripheral circulation in
the cold extremities.
8. for frostbite,
a. wrap the patient’s body/affected parts in a blanket or foil rescue blanket, cover and
protect the part,
b. not rub or massage the skin,
c. leave blisters intact, and
d. if dressing digits, dress digits separately.
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Electrocution/Electrical Injury
Standard
In situations involving a patient with an electical injury, the paramedic shall:
1. make no attempt to touch a potential energized source or a patient who is still in contact
with a potential energized source;
Guideline
If there are multiple patients as a result of a lightning strike, focus efforts on those who are
VSA, due to his/her high potential for resuscitation.
2. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. cardiopulmona
ry arrest,
b. dysrhyth
mias,
c. extremity neurovascular compromise,
d. multiple
and/or severe trauma,
e. seizures, and
f. sig
nificant
internal tissue damage;
3. attempt to
determine,
a. type of current, and
b. voltage;
4.
assess for
signs of signif
icant electrical injury, including,
a. burns,
b. cold/mottled/pulseless extremities,
c. dysrhythmias,
d. entry/e
xit wounds,
e. muscle spa
sms,
f. neurologic
impairment, and
g. shallow
/irregular respirations;
5. re-assess distal neurovascular status in the affected extremity approximate
ly every 10
minutes if status was compromised on initial assessment; and
6. prepare for potential problems, including,
a. dysrhythmia
s, and
b. extrem
ity neurovascular compromise.
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Extremity Injury Standard
In situations involving a patient with an extremity injury, the paramedic shall:
1. splint injured extremities, as follows:
a. assess distal circulation, sensation, and movement before and after splinting,
b. splint j
oint injuries as found,
c. notwithst
anding paragraph 1(b) above, if the distal pulse is absent or the fracture is
severely
angulated, apply gentle traction; if resistance or severe pain is encountered,
splint as found,
d. if open or closed femur fractures, splint with traction splint unless limb
is partially
amputated,
e. if extremity injury affects a joint, immobilize above and below the injury site,
f. i
f adequate circulation/sensation is absent after splinting and re-manipulation is
possible, g
ently re-manipulate the extremity to restore neurovascular status,
g. if it is practical to do so, elevate the affected extremity, and
h. cons
ider application of a cold pack over the affected extremity;
2. in case
s of open fractures,
a. irrigate
with saline or sterile wate
r if gross contamination, and
b. cover ends with moist, sterile dressings and/or padding; and
Guideline
With respect to children: if splints do not fit, splint body parts together (e.g. arm-to-
trunk, leg-to-leg) and pad in-between.
With respect to fractured femur or tibia:
o Stabilize by securing it to the uninjured leg prior to transfer to a spinal board or
adjustabl
e break-away stretcher when utilized
o If log-rolling, log roll onto the uninjured side, if possible
3. re-ass
ess distal neurovascular status in the affected extremity every approximately 10
minutes if
status was compromised on initial assessment.
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Foreign Bodies (Eye/Ear/Nose)
Standard
In situations involving a patient with a foreign body in his/her eye, ear or nose, the paramedic shall:
1. advise the patient not to attempt removal of the foreign body or discontinue attempts;
2. inspect the affected area for visible signs of foreign body, injury, bleeding and discharge;
3. if the forei
gn body is in the eye,
a. assess eye as pe
r the
Eye Injury subsection in the Blunt/Penetrating Injury Standard,
and
b. if penetration of the globe is not suspected, flush the affected eye;
Guideline
For foreign body on the surface of the eye, attempt manual removal if the object is not on the
cornea and is visible, accessible and easily removed, e.g. using a wet cotton-tipped swab or
gauze.
4. if the foreign body is in the ear,
a. consider t
he potential for a perforated ear drum if a blunt/penetrating object was
inserted, and
b. leave the object in place and support/cover; and
5. if the f
oreign body is in the nose, leave the object in place.
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Hazardous Materials Injury Standard
In situations involving a patient with exposure to a hazardous material, the paramedic shall:
1. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. if chemical in eye, vision loss,
b. burns, and
c. sys
temi
c toxicity secondary to chemical absorption through the skin;
Note: Specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required when exposed to hazardous
materials. Consult CANUTEC and other resources, as appropriate.
2. attempt to determine the type and concentration of hazardous material, and duration of
exposure;
Guideline
When attempting to determine the type and concentration of the hazardous material, use
resources:
Allied emergency services
Bystanders
CANUTEC Res
ources:
o CANUTEC Em
ergency Line
o Transport Canada Emergency Response Guidebook
Dangerous goods placard or product code
number
Material Safety Data Sheet
Poison Control Ce
ntre
3. attempt to remove any contami
nated clothing or jewelry;
4. attempt decontamination prior to departing scene;
5. if chem
ical injury to the eye,
a. assess th
e eye as per the Visual Disturbance Standard, and
b. advise patient to remove contact lens if lens is readily removable;
6. if chemi
cal injury to extremity, assess distal neurovascular status in affected extremity;
7. brush off or manual
ly remove solid, powdered hazardous materials;
8. attemp
t to follow first aid and decontamination procedures outlined in the Transport
Canada Em
ergency Response Guidebook;
9. irrigate exposure site using large volumes of cool, not cold water;
10. notwithst
anding paragraph 9 above, not irrigate if chemical known to be water-reactive;
11. if irriga
ting, contain rinse water, if possible;
12. if an alka
li burn is known or suspected, irrigate
for a minimum of 20 minutes at scene if
patient is stable, and attempt to continue irrigation en route;
13. for a known acid burn, irrigate for a minimum of 10 minutes at scene if patient is stable;
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14. for unknown chemical exposure, irrigate for a minimum of 20 minutes at scene if patient
is stable;
15. with respect to eye irrigation,
a. attempt to utilize eye wash station/equipment if available at scene,
b. advise patient not to rub eye(s),
c. position the patient with his/her affected side down if one eye is affected or supine if
both eyes are affected,
d. manually open eyelids if required, and
e. attempt to irrigate away from tear duct(s);
16. provide burn care as per the Burns (Thermal) Standard;
17. if solid particles remain stuck to the skin after irrigation is complete, attempt manual
removal and then cover affected areas with wet dressing and/or towels;
18. in conjunction with the Reporting of Patient Care to Receiving Facility Standard, notify
the receiving facility of the hazardous material exposure and associated decontamination
efforts; and
19. if gross contamination of ambulance or self, decontaminate immediately after call
completion.
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Soft Tissue Injuries Standard
In situations involving a patient with soft tissue injuries, the paramedic shall:
1. consider underlying injuries to deep structures (e.g. nerves, vessels, bones);
2. control wound hemorrhage on the following anatomical basis,
a. if the wound is located on an extremity,
i. apply well-aimed, direct digital pressure at the site of bleeding,
ii. apply a tourniquet, if tourniquet fails to stop bleeding completely or cannot be
used for any reason then apply a second tourniquet, and/or,
iii. pack the wound with hemostatic dressing if appropriate and available or
standard gauze if contraindicated or unavailable, maintain pressure and secure
with a pressure dressing;
b. if the wound is located in a junctional location (e.g. head, shoulders, armpit, neck,
pelvis, groin),
i. apply well-aimed, direct digital pressure at the site of bleeding,
ii. pack the wound with a hemostatic dressing if appropriate and available or
standard gauze if contraindicated or unavailable, maintain pressure and secure
with a pressure dressing;
c. if the wound is located in the hollow spaces of the skull, chest or abdomen,
i. apply manual pressure with a flat palm and a hemostatic dressing where
available and appropriate or standard gauze if cannot use hemostatic dressing,
ii. do not pack dressings of any kind into the hollow spaces of the skull, chest or
abdomen,
iii. do not insert fingers into the hollow space of the skull, chest or abdomen;
Guideline
Application of well-aimed direct pressure
Expose the wound cavity
Attempt to visualize the source of bleeding inside the wound cavity
Clear away blood, debris to better visualize source
Be firm and aggressive in applying pressure; be prepared for local tissue destruction as
a result of applying pressure and packing
Apply pressure as accurately, directly, firmly and with as small a surface area as
possible
Use of a tourniquet
Tourniquets work best when placed over large muscle mass (e.g. thigh, upper arm
muscles)
Tourniquets work poorly when placed on joints (e.g. knee, elbow) or twinned long
bones (e.g. radius/ulna, tibia/fibula)
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If a tourniquet is applied to stop uncontrollable extremity hemorrhage, it should not be
removed in the pre-hospital setting
The time of tourniquet application must be documented and communicated to the
receiving facility at transfer of care
In situations such as multi-casualty incidents (MCI), the time of tourniquet application
must be listed on the patient and tourniquet
Do not cover the tourniquet once in place
If a single tourniquet fails, a second may be used. If a second fails, move immediately
to use of pressure and hemostatic dressings
Use of hemostatic dressings
Maintain pressure on bleeding site continuously while packing junctional or extremity
wounds
Ensure wound cavity is completely filled with densely packed dressing material
Do not remove dressings, once wound is packed, do not apply subsequent dressings on top
3. attempt removal of large surface contaminants; leave embedded objects in place;
4. in the stable patient, cleanse injury surfaces using saline or sterile water;
5. during injury care, manually stabilize any impaled objects if object not yet stabilized;
6. cover protruding tissue/organs with non-adherent materials (e.g. moist, sterile dressings
or plastic wrap);
7. dress and bandage open wounds, prior to splint application, if applicable;
8. if dressing digits, dress digits individually; leave tips of fingers/toes uncovered to allow
observations of neurovascular status unless otherwise indicated by the Standards; and
9. re-assess and monitor distal neurovascular status after dressing, bandaging, and/or
splinting is completed; loosen bandages to restore neurovascular status.
113
Submersion Injury Standard
In situations involving a submersion injury (including scuba-diving related disorders), the
paramedic shall:
1. request appropriate personnel to carry out rescue operations, if required;
2. unless authorized, make no
attempt to participate in water or other types of rescue
operations;
3. consider life/limb/function threats, such as,
a. asphyxia,
b. aspirat
ion,
c. hypothermia,
d. pulmonary
edema,
e. underlying di
sorders which may h
ave precipitated events (e.g. drug or alcohol
consumption, hypoglycemia, cardiac dysrhythmias, trauma [spinal/head injury]), and
f. specific to scuba-diving related disorders,
i. barotrauma (ears, sinuses, pneumothorax),
ii. decompres
sion sickness, and
iii. arterial g
as embolism;
4. attempt
to determine,
a. duration of subm
ersion,
b. if water contains known or obvious chemicals, pollutants or other debris, and
c. water tem
perature; and
5. if scuba
-diving related,
a. attempt to
determine,
i. number, depth
and duration of dives,
ii. rate of ascent, and
iii. when
symptoms occurred (e.g. underwater, upon surfacing or within minutes
thereof [poss
ible gas embolus], more than 10 minutes after surfacing
[possible decompression sickness],
b. where air embolism is suspected and the patient is on a spinal board or adjustable
break-away st
retcher, not elevate the head 30 degrees if level of consciousness is
decreased, and
c. prepare for tension pneumothorax.
Guideline
With regards to arterial gas embolisms, left-sided positioning has not been clearly shown to
offer advantages to impede movement of embolism to the head but is recommended for other
reasons, e.g. reduction of aspiration risk.
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4
Section 4 Obstetrical Standards
Section 4 Obstetrical Standards
116
Neonate Standard
In situations involving a neonatal patient, the paramedic shall:
1. be aware that the mother, in addition to the neonatal patient, may require care;
2. during the primary survey,
a. be aware of probl
ems arising due to neonate anatomy and physiology, and
b. determine if
the neonatal patient,
i. is term ge
station,
ii. has good tone, and
iii. ha
s unlaboured breathing;
3. if the pati
ent does not meet the criteria listed in paragraph 2(b) above, recognize the
potential nee
d for neonatal resuscitation in conjunction with the ALS PCS;
4. attempt to determine,
a. a brief history of
the pregnancy (e.g. length of gestation, number of pregnancies,
number of births),
b. de
tails surrounding labour (e.g. duration),
c. details reg
arding delivery (e.g. whether delivery was precipitous, complications),
d. who delivere
d the neonatal patient,
e. the neonatal p
atient’s colour, breathing and level of activity since delivery, and
f. any clinical care the neonatal patient has received since delivery; and
5. if the neon
atal patient has just been delivered (regardless of the paramedic’s participa
tion
in the delivery),
a. reassess the mother, if required,
b. wipe the nos
e and mouth of neonatal patient, if required,
c. clamp and cut umbilical cord, if not yet done, as per the ALS PCS,
d. position the
neonatal patient supine on a firm surface and with his/her neck slightly
extended (to e
stablish a patent airway),
Guideline
A small towel roll, such as a face cloth, may be placed beneath the neonatal patient’s
shoulders to facilitate head positioning; be cautious not to hyperextend the neonatal patient’s
neck.
e. record time of delivery (or approximate),
f. tag/tape the neonatal patient’s arm with the time of delivery and the mother’s name, if
time and pa
tient conditions permit,
g. if the neonatal patient does not require neonatal r
esuscitation,
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i. prior to transport, attempt to place the neonatal patient skin to skin on the
mother’s chest or abdomen (to facilitate temperature regulation), and advise
the mother she may nurse if she wishes, and
ii. swaddle the neonatal patient with a blanket,
h. recognize a neonatal patient’s inefficiency at regulating body temperature and
maintain a normal temperature by covering/re-covering the neonatal patient during
care;
i. take an Apgar score at one and five minutes post-delivery, if possible; and
j. in conjunction with the Load and Go Patient Standard, initiate rapid transport if five
minute Apgar score is less than seven.
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Pregnancy Standard
In situations involving a pregnant patient, the paramedic shall:
1. consider life/limb/function threats to both the mother and fetus, such as,
a. pre-eclampsia/eclampsia,
b. prolapsed
umbilical cord,
c. first trimeste
r complications, including,
i. spontaneous abortion
,
ii. ectopic pregn
ancy, and
iii. gestational trophoblastic disease, and
d. second and t
hird trimester complications, including,
i. spontaneous aborti
on,
ii. placental
abruption,
iii. placenta prev
ia, and
iv. ruptured uterus;
Guideline
Pre-eclampsia should be assumed for patients beyond 20 weeks of gestation with a blood
pressure ≥140/90 (severe pre-eclampsia = diastolic BP ≥110), with:
generalized edema (e.g. face, leg
s), or
non-specific complaints of headache, nausea, abdominal pain with or without vomiting,
blurred vision, fati
gue, generalized swelling or rapid weight gain.
2. give priority to maternal assessment and care;
3. during the primary
survey be aware of problems arising due to anatomic and physiologic
changes of pregna
ncy;
4. attempt to determine,
a. due date (or approxim
ate),
b. problems with t
he present pregnancy (e.g. infection, bleeding, diabetes, blood
pressure, pre-ec
lampsia),
c. presence of,
i. abdominal pain/contractions, and
ii. vaginal blee
ding/fluid discharge,
d. if contracti
ons are present, the timing and intensity thereof,
e. if vaginal bl
eeding/fluid discharge is present severity thereof,
f. pregnancy relat
ed history, including,
i. number of previous pregnancies,
ii. number of deliveri
es,
iii. latest ultra
sound findings,
iv. history of com
plications from past pregnancies, and
v. duration of labour from pa
st pregnancies;
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Guideline
Due date = Last normal menstrual period – 3 months + 7 days
5. perform, at a minimum, a secondary survey to assess,
a. abdomen, as per Abdominal Pain (Non-Traumatic) Standard, for pregnant patients
who present with,
i. a history indicative of a motor vehicle collision,
ii. abdominal pain, contractions, vaginal bleeding, or cord prolapse,
iii. acceleration/deceleration injuries,
iv. blunt trauma involving the truncal area (regardless of whether there are
specific complaints),
v. fall injuries,
vi. headache, blurred vision, nausea, or swelling,
vii. malaise, weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, seizure, or shortness of
breath, and/or
viii. penetrating trauma to the chest/abdomen,
b. concurrent with the assessments as per paragraph 5(a) above, when palpating the
abdomen of a patient beyond 20 weeks of gestation,
i. note uterine height and palpate for contractions, and
ii. note fetal movements,
Guideline
With respect to uterine height:
Uterus at the umbilicus = 20 weeks of gestational size
Uterus at the costal margins = 36 weeks of gestational size
iii. observe for contractions, as follows:
1. Note timing and intensity of contractions, if present
2. Observe for palpable fetal parts/movement, and
c. don sterile gloves prior to inspection and examination of the perineum;
6. manage labour and delivery as per the ALS PCS;
7. transport the patient in the left-lateral position;
8. notwithstanding paragraph 7 above, if the patient is on a spinal board or adjustable break-
away stretcher, tilt 30 degrees to the left; and
9. in conjunction with the Reporting of Patient Care to Receiving Facility Standard, notify
the receiving facility of status of the patient and neonate, if applicable.
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A
Appendix ASupplemental
Paramedic Prompt Card for
Field Trauma Triage Standard
This prompt card provides a quick reference of the Field Trauma Triage Standard contained in the Basic Life Support Patient Care
Standards (BLS PCS). Please refer to the BLS PCS for the full standard.
Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch
Determine the need for
transport to the LTH; paramedic
judgement is required (the
paramedic may patch to the
base hospital physician)
a. Any penetrating injuries to head, neck, torso and
extremities proximal to elbow or knee
b. Chest wall instability or deformity (e.g. flail chest)
c. Two or more proximal long-bone fractures
d. Crushed, de-gloved, mangled or pulseless extremity
e. Amputation proximal to wrist or ankle
f. Pelvic fractures
g. Open or depressed skull fracture
h. Paralysis
a. Patient does not
follow commands
b. SBP <90mmHg
c. Respiratory Rate <10
or ≥30 breaths per
minute or need for
ventilatory support
(<20 in infant aged
<1 year)
**If unable to secure the patient’s airway or survival to the LTH or regionally designated equivalent hospital is unlikely, transport the patient to the closest ED (unless patient has
penetrating trauma to the torso or head/neck). Consider the Trauma TOR as per the ALS PCS.
No
Yes
No
a. Falls
i. Adults: falls ≥6 metres (one story is equal to 3
metres)
ii. Children (age <15): falls ≥3 metres or two to
three times the height of the child
b. High Risk Auto Crash
i. Intrusion ≥0.3 metres occupant site; ≥0.5
metres any site, including the roof
ii. Ejection (partial or complete) from automobile
iii. Death in the same passenger compartment
iv. Vehicle telemetry data consistent with high
risk injury (if available)
c. Pedestrian or bicyclist thrown, run over or struck
with significant impact (≥30 km/hr) by an
automobile
d. Motorcycle crash ≥30 km/hr
a. Age
i. Older adults
1. Risk of injury/death increases after age 55
2. SBP <110 may represent shock after age 65
b. Anticoagulation and bleeding disorders
c. Burns
i. With trauma mechanism: triage to LTH or
regionally designated equivalent hospital
d. Pregnancy ≥20 weeks
Yes