Responding to your own sons emergency. Could you?

cruiseforever

Forum Asst. Chief
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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.

It's not that rare in rural areas. Treated a couple of family members and close friends. I was part of the EMS crew. What should I do call for another ambulance that is over an hour away, while the hospital is 30 minutes.
 

lifeway

Forum Crew Member
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Change the question around: could you NOT treat your family member in an emergency?
I completely agree with you. Being an EMT and having that training has allowed me to assist my family and friends on multiple occasions.
 

doc610

Forum Ride Along
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I feel that it really depends on the person. A person who took an EMT course just for college credits/ had nothing else to do would be of little help in an actual emergency. However, a good EMT or Paramedic with a fair amount of field of experience would probably be able to keep their cool to a certain degree and be able to help their loved one.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Would I want to? no.... could I? sure.

would I turn them over to another crew to treat? absolutely. would I leave their side before they made it to the ER, especially if it was a crew I didn't know or trust? probably not.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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IF you were the first crew in, or first provider to the scene or first ALS; and it was a family member; you don't get a choice till help shows up. Can't let them die, "Because it is my son".
 

Handsome Robb

Youngin'
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I'm with @STXmedic on this one.

Over my dead body would I let someone else care for my loved one, especially knowing the standard for the majority of EMS providers in this country.
 

Carlos Danger

Forum Deputy Chief
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Interesting topic. I know in rural areas it's not at all unheard of for this to happen.

Assuming we are talking about a critical situation and assuming we aren't the only person around who can provide treatment, I think it's clearly best avoided, personally.

This is the type of stress that is well known to decrease cognitive function and performance substantially. Memory doesn't work as well, we are more likely to make mistakes or forget something important, we fumble with things we are normally smooth at. Same exact reason that protocols and checklists are becoming more commonplace in EM and anesthesia.

I imagine that I would *probably* perform just fine in this scenario, but I can't count on it. I wouldn't want to take the chance. Let someone else handle it who doesn't have the emotional investment that I do.
 

MonkeyArrow

Forum Asst. Chief
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^^^^^^Exactly what I was trying to say in my earlier posts more eloquently worded.
 

EMT11KDL

Forum Asst. Chief
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Just to add my 2 cents, Could I treat a family member, YES, would I want to in a critical situation, NO. But I do have a job to do, and if I am the highest level of care on scene, than it is my job to treat until I either get relieved by someone at my level or higher, or Hand off to the ER. If you are in a system that allows another unit to come take the call, or if you have a field supervisor in a sprint unit, than Ill let that unit treat, and I will have to become a family member and not participate. It might kill me not being able to help, but I know that my judgement would be impaired.
 

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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I saw a comment earlier regarding "breaking protocol". I find it laughable that a protocol that I and my family know to be detrimental or ineffective would be followed in the care of my family member. Running a family member may be dangerous to employment depending on what's wrong with them, but the medical care would be stellar.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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I have never seen a protocol or SOP that makes "it dangerous to your employment" to treat a patient. and that is exactly what the situation would be A PATIENT. Doesn't matter if it is family or not; it is your patient.
 

Joey DeMartino

Forum Crew Member
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I can honestly say that I am closer to the members of my crew and have a stronger love for them than any of my natural family members. This was/is often the case in the military, law enforcement, even ems and many other occupations where we develop a strong bond through adversity and trial by fire. For me there is a sort of toggle switch that may be a natural-not too sure- (gift?) that literally shunts that emotion of fear of failing from my immediate existence. This "toggle" seems to be there to provide the best care possible for my "loved ones" as if they were total strangers. I feel much more confident not passing care on unless I am sure the medic / doc etc. has not only the experience/expertise but the tools and meds available and is not afraid to use them. Often I don't have that option. I prefer to stay on board to assist- and I do so when possible- but it's an eerie feeling watching from the tail rotor or tail light (respectively) end as you stand up, and begin cleaning up the remnants of the last incident. I don't consider the likelihoods of possibilities of dangers due to emotional ties - I'm usually too busy. But a mom working on her son? I guess she gave him life and she'll be damned if she lets it be taken away. The ultimate in patient care.
 

Rin

Forum Captain
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Parents take care of their children through all sorts of injuries and ailments. What parent has never seen their child bleeding or unconscious, in respiratory distress, or wailing with an injury? I think it's reaching to say a parent can't remain calm and treat their child. Parents get a lot of practice putting aside their emotions in the midst of chaos and focusing on what's best for their child.
 

Calico

Forum Probie
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Around here, everyone pretty much knows everyone and who they're related to and where they live, so if a call came through that someone's kid was having a life-threatening emergency, they would generally try to swap out medics before even leaving the station, or just letting it go to city/metro and eat the consequences later. Of course this posed a problem once when the victim of a car accident was a friend of the entire station (had to call in a station from the next county to take care of it).

Now if someone's kid broke their leg at school and we got paged out, yeah, so what? Mama's gonna break the other one, too, when she takes him home.

My husband and I don't have kids, but I did end up taking care of him when he got run over by a tractor until help arrived. Nothing serious, thankfully, and he'd pretty well already recovered from shock and his altered mental status by the time help got there.
 

Giant81

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You have to think, I live in a very small community (1 rig, 500 people) and our RS responds to a very large area (amy other communities around only have first responders with not transport capability so we are their ALS/transport). Couple that with everyone knows everyone + accidents happen < 20mi from home, and chances are if there is a 1050, someone knows them.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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Around here, everyone pretty much knows everyone and who they're related to and where they live, so if a call came through that someone's kid was having a life-threatening emergency, they would generally try to swap out medics before even leaving the station, or just letting it go to city/metro and eat the consequences later. Of course this posed a problem once when the victim of a car accident was a friend of the entire station (had to call in a station from the next county to take care of it).

Now if someone's kid broke their leg at school and we got paged out, yeah, so what? Mama's gonna break the other one, too, when she takes him home.

My husband and I don't have kids, but I did end up taking care of him when he got run over by a tractor until help arrived. Nothing serious, thankfully, and he'd pretty well already recovered from shock and his altered mental status by the time help got there.
Wait, so for serious conditions and car accidents where people you know are involved you guys will not respond and will have a unit from further away respond? That sounds safe..
 

Calico

Forum Probie
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Wait, so for serious conditions and car accidents where people you know are involved you guys will not respond and will have a unit from further away respond? That sounds safe..

There was a huge debate on policy afterwards regarding safety vs. trauma. Do we force the guys to pull out a body of one of their closest friends (who I believe was either a former firefighter of the station or a station we usually work with) or call it on scene and stick to traffic control and get them into debrief until help arrives? (And for the record, we're only about three miles from the county line, and it might be another two to the station that responded).
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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There was a huge debate on policy afterwards regarding safety vs. trauma. Do we force the guys to pull out a body of one of their closest friends (who I believe was either a former firefighter of the station or a station we usually work with) or call it on scene and stick to traffic control and get them into debrief until help arrives? (And for the record, we're only about three miles from the county line, and it might be another two to the station that responded).
How about a debate on safety vs. trauma vs. patient care. 5 miles can make the difference between life and death for critical patients (i.e. major bleeding, resp arrest, cardiac arrest, etc).
 

Calico

Forum Probie
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Self, partner, patient. If you can't do the job, step aside for someone who can. A bumbling medic is worse than a level-headed EMR.
 
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