Responding to your own sons emergency. Could you?

EMTIsee

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This story blew me away.Threw discussion today, I learned from the EMS chief's daughter "EMT-I", and granddaughter. That the EMS Chief " Responded to a drowning of a teenage boy. She found it was her own son, as I was told she worked him all the way to the hospital, doing all things possible. He lived and is still alive to this day. I am unsure of exact details; nor did I ask. The only other details I know is it was some time ago in the early 80's I thought I would share this amazing story.
 

MonkeyArrow

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I know that is it unethical to do so. A provider's judgement would be impaired and [he] would not be able to make the right decisions in a situation like this.
 

STXmedic

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I know that is it unethical to do so. A provider's judgement would be impaired and [he] would not be able to make the right decisions in a situation like this.
Yeah, good luck keeping me from treating my son.

I know of two similar situations. Two years ago, one of my coworkers responded to an MVC. When he got there, his 19yo son was one of two involved (the other was DOA). He treated his son on the way to the ED, but his son ended up being pronounced in the ED.

The other incident was one of the ED docs my brother works for. EMS brought in a 20 or 21 year old cardiac arrest drowning patient. Ended up being the doc's son. He pronounced his son after 20min.
 

MonkeyArrow

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Yeah, good luck keeping me from treating my son.

I know of two similar situations. Two years ago, one of my coworkers responded to an MVC. When he got there, his 19yo son was one of two involved (the other was DOA). He treated his son on the way to the ED, but his son ended up being pronounced in the ED.

The other incident was one of the ED docs my brother works for. EMS brought in a 20 or 21 year old cardiac arrest drowning patient. Ended up being the doc's son. He pronounced his son after 20min.
That's the problem with treating family members. Sure, when you are the only one there, treat your son. When EMS comes, hand over care. You're not going to make the right decisions. You're going to give the wrong medications or work it for too long or break protocol.
 
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EMTIsee

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That's the problem with treating family members. Sure, when you are the only one there, treat your son. When EMS comes, hand over care. You're not going to make the right decisions. You're going to give the wrong medications or work it for too long or break protocol.

Also the lasting emotional damage.
 

STXmedic

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That's the problem with treating family members. Sure, when you are the only one there, treat your son. When EMS comes, hand over care. You're not going to make the right decisions. You're going to give the wrong medications or work it for too long or break protocol.
That's a lot of assumptions you're making. Having had to treat my own wife for a medical emergency she experienced while we were at home (albeit not a cardiac arrest), I can personally attest that that blanket statement has no bearing. If you feel that you personally couldn't handle the stress of treating a loved one, then don't. Don't paint everybody with your own personal brush, though. Some of us actually handle stress well.
 

STXmedic

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Also the lasting emotional damage.
What about the lasting emotional damage of not treating. If the outcome was poor, and I had let some other medic assume care, I would spend the rest of my life dwelling on the possibility that I would've done something different/better and the outcome would have changed.
 

MonkeyArrow

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Summarizes my thoughts in a nutshell. I don't think you could classify the AMA as "your [my] own personal brush". http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/phy...l-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion819.page?
You know, there is this branch of study called medical ethics. It's kinda important to the whole first, do no harm mantra et al.

Could you deal with the fact that you made a mistake while treating a family member because you had clouded judgement (as opposed to handing over care)? Having a family member die is a traumatic experience. You will nitpick any decision that you make. Did I do everything right? Should I have just handed over care? Should I have stayed with my son today because of that gut feeling I had?
 

STXmedic

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Thank you, I've never heard of this medical ethics thing. I appreciate you learning me and my unedumacated self.

"May" is the key phrase in that entire article. As I stated previously, I'd like to see you try to prevent me from treating my son or wife. Good luck- you'd better have PD already on scene with you. And considering my partner isn't going to call PD on me, that won't be the case.
 

MonkeyArrow

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Did I hurt your feelings? I do truly apologize for my use of the words "You know, there is this branch of study called medical ethics."
And no, this is the key phrase in the article. Independent of whether your judgement is clouded or better than its ever been, this is the AMA's official opinion on the matter.
In emergency settings or isolated settings where there is no other qualified physician available, physicians should not hesitate to treat themselves or family members until another physician becomes available.
 

STXmedic

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Did I hurt your feelings? I do truly apologize for my use of the words "You know, there is this branch of study called medical ethics."
And no, this is the key phrase in the article. Independent of whether your judgement is clouded or better than its ever been, this is the AMA's official opinion on the matter.
Yes, my feelings are crushed right now. Thanks.

And when a physician is available, they had damn well better take over. I'm certainly not going to stand in the way of the ED doc. Before we get to the hospital, though, they're going to be in my hands.
 
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EMTIsee

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Yes, my feelings are crushed right now. Thanks.

And when a physician is available, they had damn well better take over. I'm certainly not going to stand in the way of the ED doc. Before we get to the hospital, though, they're going to be in my hands.

I'm unclear what you are both getting at. What is the finial call to help or to not help? Both of you have well backed opinions.
 

STXmedic

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I'm unclear what you are both getting at. What is the finial call to help or to not help? Both of you have well backed opinions.
My opinion: If I respond to a call, and it ends up being a family member that's critically sick/injured, I will be the one to assume patient care on the way to the hospital.

Monkey seems to disagree, citing impaired judgement and poor ethics.

Final call is whatever you personally decide to do when put in that situation. It's going to be dependent on you and what you feel comfortable with.
 

DesertMedic66

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If I get called to a 911 call there is a good chance I am going to be the only paramedic on scene. For my area the paramedic is the only one who can attend a 911 call. So I'm not really going to have a choice as to hand over treatment to someone else or call for another unit.
 

STXmedic

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If I get called to a 911 call there is a good chance I am going to be the only paramedic on scene. For my area the paramedic is the only one who can attend a 911 call. So I'm not really going to have a choice as to hand over treatment to someone else or call for another unit.
I always forget that single medics are more the norm than what I'm used to. Many of the 911 EMS systems around here run dual medics.
 

DesertMedic66

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I always forget that single medics are more the norm than what I'm used to. Many of the 911 EMS systems around here run dual medics.
We only have a handful of departments that are BLS so it doesn't happen too often but it's a possibility.
 

Tigger

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Saying that it "violates ethics" is not really accurate. To an extent we all make decisions based on our personal ethics and so long as it does not negatively impact patient care it is not a big deal.

Also note the last section of the link posted:

would not always be inappropriate to undertake self-treatment or treatment of immediate family members. In emergency settings or isolated settings where there is no other qualified physician available, physicians should not hesitate to treat themselves or family members until another physician becomes available. In addition, while physicians should not serve as a primary or regular care provider for immediate family members, there are situations in which routine care is acceptable for short-term, minor problems. Except in emergencies, it is not appropriate for physicians to write prescriptions for controlled substances for themselves or immediate family members. (I, II, IV)
 

joshrunkle35

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That's the problem with treating family members. Sure, when you are the only one there, treat your son. When EMS comes, hand over care. You're not going to make the right decisions. You're going to give the wrong medications or work it for too long or break protocol.

Bear in mind that you "might" do those things, or that you "may" have a higher likelihood of making mistakes, but nothing is definite. Some people don't react the same way that others might. Also, bear in mind that the majority of the U.S.' EMS is volunteer, and that getting another responding unit may not be an option.

ETA: that being said, if you have the option of allowing someone else to take over at the same (or greater) provider level, then you should.
 

Angel

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easy, dont work where you/close family members live...
my system is also BLS fire, and medic/emt so...calls mine either way.
 
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