Cardiac patient walked down stairs, medics don't document it


If you dont have a stair chair... what about a reeves? a backboard? take one flight at a time and rest for a minute before descending the next. The FD was there... have them carry the pt. And if the pt. refuses to be carried... document it and make sure you also document that the associated risks of that action were explained to the pt. Even if a pt. refuses a specific treatment, its an obligation of the EMS provider to specifically inform the pt. of all associated risks so the pt. can make an informed decision. Because a refusal by a pt. can be disregarded completely if they were not informed of the risks involved.

Now that would be a tough call. A reeves, backboard or breakaway transfer flat would be a tough choice over walking. In general they are extremely unstable since the center of gravity is above the support. Additionally, unlike a stair chair and basket stretcher, there's nothing besides the straps preventing the patient from sliding off. A basket stretcher would definitely work better, but I sincerely wonder if the stress of being strapped and carried in something so unstable would be worse than the exertion of walking.


Forum Asst. Chief
I've carried many pts in a reeves and they are great for navigating down steps... the reeves encircles the pt. somewhat and they are strapped. So you have some flexibility to manipulate the reeves when rounding corners and what not. I love the reeves. A backboard would not have been an ideal choice but would work. For one, its hard and prob a little more uncomfortable then the reeves and its more difficult to maneuver around corners. One of the newer Stryker stair chairs with the tracks would be perfect... they are awesome for steps!

Sasha ::
When the Paramedics don't take the time to document their actions and justifications... and instead lie and falsify a report... it leads to the old saying "if your didn't write it, you didn't do it". Its one thing to accidently omit and another to lie. Agreed? So, that is in part where my opinion draws from. And not to mention they lied to investigators... if the pt. was adamant about walking down steps... then why didn't they say that. Instead, they lied and tried to say the FD was not there yet. And I even said, I could be wrong in my impression... the news story was posted for discussion and if new information comes to light I will change my opinion accordingly.

And I've dealt with many, many, many "old and stubborn" pt's. Luckily, I have a pretty great ability of convincing pt's not to refuse or let their pride get in the way ;) That's just me advocating for my pt. Not always successful, but that's when I document it.

And the stress of laying still on a reeves would by far be much less stress on the heart then walking down three flights of stairs.
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