• Is there a pharmacological benefit to administering dexamethasone PO vs IV/IM or is it the preferred route simply to avoid unnecessary sharp use? 

    Published On: December 7, 2023
  • If my asthmatic patient has an anaphylactic reaction do they also get dexamethasone? 

    Published On: December 5, 2023
  • Now that the PCP scope includes utilizing an SGA in patients outside of cardiac arrest, can salbutamol be administered via SGA utilizing the airway adaptor? This would be the same piece of equipment allowing MDI of Salbutamol for BVM, CPAP, CPAP, ETT and SGA.

    Published On: October 12, 2023
  • In regards to Dex administration being contraindicated for patients currently on parenteral or PO steroids, can we get some more clarification on what we are referring to specifically – is it basically all steroids? Most patients with COPD tend to be on steroid puffers which presumably would make those patients not able to receive dexamethasone?

    Published On: October 12, 2023
  • Should we be piggy backing dexamethson every time we give ventolin if the pt has a history of copd or asthma or 20 pack history.

    Published On: May 19, 2023
  • Does Vaping or marijuana use count towards the 20 pack-year history of smoking.

    Published On: March 13, 2023
  • Does the patient need to be actively smoking to count for the Condition of 20 pack-year history in order to administer Dexamethasone?

    Published On: March 13, 2023
  • The vial of dexamethasone does not say that it can be given orally. Is it safe to give this route?

    Published On: March 13, 2023
  • hello when treating a pt with adenosine the contra indications are active bronchial constriction on exam, the companion document also states that adenosine can cause bronchial constriction in asthmatic pts. so may question is … is an asthmatic pt contraindicated for adenosine tx or is more of a relative vs absolute situation

    Published On: July 21, 2022
  • Can you rationalize the administration of Epi prior to salbutamol in severe asthma exacerbation Pt? I know they both have bronchodilatory properties, just curious as to the additional benefits

    Published On: June 20, 2022
  • Pt with Hx of URTI and a Dx of Asthma. With all signs of croup (Barking cough, low grade fever, severe respiratory distress) on auscultation you hear stridor and whizzing in lungs. Which treatment should be prioritized? Salbutamol vs Epi (NEB)? Thank you

    Published On: June 20, 2022
  • Does cpap have to be used with nitro

    Published On: March 30, 2022
  • When dealing with an anaphylactic patient, the PCP medical directive says to administer up to 2 doses of epi at a maximum single dose of 0.5mg, whereas the bronchoconstriction AND cardiac arrest medical directives are only one dose at a maximum single dose of 0.5mg. Can some explain why?

    Published On: January 19, 2022
  • Slide in conclusion portion of the course, states capnography waveform is gold standard for ETT/SGA tube placement. Previous slide during course states that this has no been studied on other airway except ETT. Can you please clarify this ambiguity.

    Published On: November 3, 2021
  • Do you recommend a c-collar in patients with SGA or ETT in order to help prevent tube displacement?

    Published On: November 3, 2021
  • Question in regards to the IM epi in ‘less than 50 year old patients with Severe Respiratory distress, bronchoconstriction, and a history of asthma without other contributing cardiorespiratory comorbidities’ Does this mean if the patients is less than 50 year old with Severe SOB and signs of bronchoconstriction and a history of asthma but also has a history of COPD or CHF, then we do not consider IM EPI?

    Published On: April 27, 2021
  • Hi Doc(s), Two unrelated questions I’ve been pondering over the last couple of days: 1. In the field I’ve noticed some paramedics withhold dimenhydrinate administration if the patient has already taken any Gravol in the last 4-6 hours. However, the medical directive does not specify a time and simply states overdose on antihistamines or anticholinergics or tricyclic antidepressants. My understanding of their logic is that additional Gravol may cause an overdose in the patient however Gravol brand themselves recommend a dose of 1-2 50mg capsules every 4hrs PRN… Could you please provide some further clarification on this practice, and if we should still be administering it if we do not suspect an overdose but that the medication has been taken appropriately. (and similar practice for if the patient is taking tricyclics or anticholinergics as prescribed to them) 2. I recently had a COPD exacerbation patient who I believe would have benefitted greatly from CPAP. He had equal lung sounds through all fields with no paroxysmal chest movement, however there was a recent history of a collapsed lung approx. 6 weeks prior. (Unknown cause, from his history I suspect possibly a bleb/bullae) The current extenuating circumstance of COVID-19 aside, should CPAP be considered in this patient? Although I am not suspecting a current pneumothorax, due to the recent history I would think that weakening of the lung tissues could put the patient at greater risk for a recurrent event if subjected to significant positive pressures. Thank you and stay safe!

    Published On: April 27, 2021
  • I have two questions with regards to the Bronchoconstriction Medical Directive, under the current (February 22nd, 2021) Considerations for Paramedics Managing Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 1) Are we still only administering IM epinephrine to patients who require BVM ventilations? 2) Are we only administering IM epinephrine under this medical directive to patients presenting with a cough? It was previously stated in the January 4th, 2021 update that: “Paramedics should consider administering IM epinephrine for severe respiratory distress with cough in known asthma patients…” I understand that the top of the new memo states: ” This memo replaces both the May 6th, 2020 and the January 4th, 2021 considerations documents and memos.” Just looking for some clarification on the current practice please. Thank you.

    Published On: April 6, 2021
  • With the new bronchoconstriction update, saying you cant give Epi to pts unless theyre <50, does this apply only to the covid guidelines where you can administer it up to 2x if conditions met (asthma, cough, severe respiratory distress) or does the age now apply to the normal bronchoconstriction directive for Epi where you can give up to 0.5mg once too?

    Published On: March 30, 2021
  • Question: Good afternoon. I just have a question regarding a VSA patient scenario. If the patient has a pulse with an SGA inserted (patient tolerates SGA) to give ventilations, how many ventilations would I give? 1 every 10 seconds or 1 every 5-6 seconds? And do I also wear an N95 mask?

    Published On: March 4, 2021
  • Why was an age restriction of 50 years of age placed on utilizing IM epinephrine for the Bronchoconstrictive Medical Directive in the latest update to the COVID-19 Management considerations?

    Published On: January 12, 2021
  • Is external manual compression of the chest and appropriate prehospital consideration for peri-arrested or arrested asthma exacerbated patients who are showing obvious signs of chest hyperinflation and air trapping. I have read about its anecdotal use on website like EMDocs.net and in the Prehospital Care Journal (Harrison, R. Chest compression first aid for respiratory arrest due to acute asphyxic asthma. Emerg Med J 2010;27:59€“61. doi:10.1136/emj.2007.056119) as a few sources. I have also seen it performed in the emergency department by emergency physicians. I assume with good technique, it can assist with expiration and minimize the risk of barotrauma in these patients who require ventilation. Thank you!

    Published On: September 22, 2020
  • When we have a patient who is sob and we have decided to put CPAP on, what code and ctas is mandatory even though they are stabilized because of cpap? Is it code 4 ctas 1 always? And are we suppose to pre alert for an RT?

    Published On: May 21, 2020
  • Question: The latest Base Hospital Memorandum from April 6th says we are to withhold suction via an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube unless using a closed system suction unit. Does this mean we are to withhold suction ONLY via endotracheal or tracheostomy tube? Can we suction an airway full of vomit or blood?

    Published On: April 27, 2020
  • In a previous response to a question, it was mentioned that the SGA is an effective way to create a closed system and reduce risk of aerosolization when ventilating. Would it then be reasonable to go directly to the SGA in the setting of VSAs, to further protect all those involved in the resuscitation from possible aerosolization with an OPA/BVM?

    Published On: April 21, 2020
  • Question: Was just reviewing the SWORBHP document that came out yesterday, just hoping for a little clarification RE bronchoconstriction. In the document it states that we should consider IM administration of Epinephrine for severe respiratory distress w/ cough, hx. asthma. It also states that we should consider using MDI salbutamol only for severe respiratory distress without a cough… My understanding of it would be that we want to keep a surgical mask on the pt. to minimize risk of droplet transmission via cough which you cant do while administering medication via MDI. I understand that if the pt. Has a cough we should use epinephrine as our first line medication same as we normally would if the pt. Is apneic but Are we to be considering these two separate cases for use of these medications and not giving them concurrently during this pandemic? Just wondering as I did not see it specify whether or not we should considering withholding ventolin if there is a cough.

    Published On: April 8, 2020
  • Question: Who can receive IM epi under the new COVID-19 considerations?

    Published On: April 8, 2020
  • Seeking clarification for salbutamol administration down ETT based on the Ask MAC posted April 3rd regarding ETT administration: Are we still able to use our MDI-adapter wherein the MDI canister is inserted and left in, creating a closed-system circuit?

    Published On: April 6, 2020
  • Are we entitled to the scientific reasoning why we are no longer providing CPAP to patients? What is the expectation when I am unable to confirm COVID-19 and my immediate presentation would improve with CPAP administration?

    Published On: March 23, 2020
  • With regards to considerations for Bronchoconstriction it says that with severe resp distress and a cough (with or without need for BVM) that we can consider IM epi as per the bronchoconstriction medical directive. Does that mean they still need to have a hx of asthma?

    Published On: March 23, 2020
  • Does wheezing have to be present in the patient assessment to administer Ventolin?

    Published On: March 28, 2019
  • Our directives state that we are allowed to administer 2 doses of epinephrine to a patient suffering from a severe allergic reaction and 1 does to a VSA patient who is expected to have become VSA secondary to anaphylactic shock. Does this mean we are allowed to give a 2nd and possibly 3rd dose of epinephrine to a patient by following the moderate to severe allergic reaction medical directive post ROSC?

    Published On: March 28, 2019
  • Question: Case – Adult patient experiencing an asthma attack. Wheezing in all fields (air entry in all fields) and tachypnea. Historically, we’ve been taught to administer Epi in cases of ‘silent chest’, absent air entry in any fields or patient requiring BVM ventilation. The BVM ventilation has always been associated with diminished air entry/silent chest, but not really with hyperventilation. The old BLS stated to assist with BVM ventilation in any patient with a RR>28. Does this mean that if the patient has RR>28, therefore requiring BVM ventilation, he/she SHOULD receive Epi even if there is air entry (albeit wheezing) in all fields?

    Published On: February 14, 2018
  • Question: In the Bronchoconstriction Medical Directive, would a patient ever receive salbutamol followed by epinephrine? Is epi there in case that the patient does not respond to salbutamol and instead gets worse after salbutamol administration? If the patient does not require epi at first, but instead is given salbutamol, then gets worse requiring epi, could that epi administration follow with salbutamol again?

    Published On: November 28, 2017
  • Question: Is PEEP being considered for inclusion into the paramedic scope of practice? I recently had a patient who was in CHF to the point of unconsciousness whom we would have absolutely given CPAP had he been conscious. Although PEEP isn’t exactly the same as CPAP, would it not have potentially provided some benefit?

    Published On: July 7, 2017
  • Question: In the event we have a patient who is STEMI positive, with symptoms of CHF (crackles/pitting edema) who is hypertensive >140 systolic BP are we to treat with 0.8mg of nitro for the CHF or 0.4 mg under the ischemic chest pain protocol? Also with the new STEMI standard dropping down to 3 – 0.4mg SL doses of nitro maximum, will that change out CHF protocol for nitro administration if both problems present together?

    Published On: July 7, 2017
  • Question: I have a question about the benefits between using MDI vs. nebulized ventolin. I understand the direction is to use MDI as the preferred route. It certainly makes sense with anybody who is infectious but seems counterintuitive when you could be administering drug with oxygen at the same time as with the case of nebulization. There is also a perceived psychological benefit when patients can feel and see the mist. I have heard about studies that were done at Sick Kids to support MDI use. I was unable to locate them. Is there any other evidence you can suggest as to why MDI is the preferred route? Thank you so much for your time.

    Published On: May 18, 2017
  • Question: Pushing a dose epinephrine seems to be very popular in the FOAM world for emergency physician. Its use has been promoted for things such as post cardiac arrest, refractory anaphylaxis, and severe bradycardia (some strong pharmacology reasons supporting it over atropine have been presented). Is this something you see being added to the advanced care paramedic treatment options at some point?

    Published On: April 13, 2017
  • Question: Some years ago during a recert in the fall a question was posed regarding administering a nebulized treatment of ventolin to a patient who otherwise would not tolerate an MDI but also had a fever above 38C (all other conditions met). The question was answered by stating if all attempts fail for use of the MDI, a nebulized treatment could be administered if all droplet precautions were taken (N95 worn, gown worn closed window to cab area, goes without saying truck disinfected). Is this in fact the case? (Updated)

    Published On: September 29, 2016
  • Question: In a patient presenting with respiratory distress, crackles and a relevant cardiac history, I would assume that left ventricular failure/infarct would be a fair working assessment. If 12-lead indicated LV involvement occurring with hypotension that would place the Cardiogenic Shock and CPAP Directives out of parameters.

    Crackles = no bolus, hypotension = no CPAP. Other than vitals/cardiac monitoring, oxygenation/ventilatory support as needed, it seems like a situation such as this one may limit pre-hospital management, as far as a PCP scope goes. Any comments or suggestions?

    Published On: September 29, 2016
  • Question: I was going over the CPAP standing order today and would like clarification on whether the contraindication “Major trauma or burns to the head or torso” only means for a new occurrence or does it also include persons with prior existing major trauma or burns to head and torso?

    Published On: June 20, 2016
  • Question: In regards to the CPAP medical directive, it states in the ALS PCS Companion document that CPAP is the treatment for Acute Pulmonary Edema (REGARDLESS of origin). Does this mean that the cause does not need to be cardiogenic in nature? Could you please elaborate on this?

    Published On: June 20, 2016
  • Question: If a person have a near fresh water (lake water) drowning and Spo2 <90 % severe SOB, and by auscultating lungs I hear Crackles all over the places mainly on lower lobes tachypnea and normotensive. As per CPAP protocol: indication severe respiratory distress and signs and/ or symptoms of Acute pulmonary edema or COPD is the indication, and patient is above 18years and no contraindication met, can I apply CPAP on this patient ? If not please tell me why and I know Nitro is not applicable in this case because this is not a cariogenic pulmonary edema.

    Published On: June 20, 2016
  • Question: Would it be a waste of a paramedics time to deliver Salbutamol through a BVM to an unconscious patient while setting up for Epi in the case of an Asthma or anaphylaxis? Would the OPA if used, not block the mist and prevent inhalation? To me, Epi administration (scenario dependent) would be the priority. Thanks

    Published On: October 23, 2015
  • Question: A patient meets the Croup Medical Directive but has a fever, do you give Epi via nebulizer or not? I thought in the past this was dealt with but I am not able to source this through the Ask MAC website.

    Published On: October 23, 2015
  • Question: A patient is presenting with pulmonary edema. Patient became more symptomatic before calling and dyspnea worsened. Upon gathering history and taking vitals, they meet the criteria for Nitro and CPAP. The patient is currently prescribed Lasix for fluid in the lungs from doctor visit one week ago.

    With the history of pulmonary edema and being prescribed Lasix for fluid in the lungs, would this now be considered Non-Acute Pulmonary Edema?

    I need a better understanding of Acute Pulmonary Edema vs. Non-Acute Pulmonary Edema. The CPAP protocol indication lists: Suspected Acute Pulmonary Edema.

    Since the pulmonary edema is non-acute would CPAP and Nitro be withheld? Or, since the symptoms have worsened, provided I can recognize a patient that is truly in need of CPAP and Nitro, would I administer them? I want to clarify – thanks.

    Published On: July 23, 2015
  • Question: I have been talking with my paramedic colleagues and I am wondering about the role of CPAP and aspiration. My understanding of the Medical Directive is that CPAP is not indicated for pneumonia or aspiration but rather severe SOB from either COPD or pulmonary edema. Can you please clarify the role of CPAP for respiratory distress patients with either pneumonia or aspiration as the underlying precipitating factor for their SOB?

    Published On: February 18, 2015
  • Question: My question is in regards to pneumonia and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Bacterial infections are a common trigger for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations.

    If we have a patient who has possibly developed a pneumonia (isolated crackles mid lobe in one lung, low grade fever, purulent sputum) but is in respiratory distress with a history of COPD and is showing signs of a COPD exacerbation (decreased breath sounds in bases, showing signs of hypoxia, accessory muscle use, tachypnea, mild diffuse exp wheezes), are we not to treat with CPAP and just use bronchodilators and high flow O2? Thank you!

    Published On: December 3, 2014
  • Question: Last night I had a 75 year old patient calling because he was SOB x 2 days with it worsening this evening. Patient could not sleep (could not breathe very well laying down) and was more SOB on exertion. I could hear fine crackles in the bases of his lungs.

    There was no ischemic chest pain or NTG history. His vitals on contact were HR 90, BP 188/70 (ish), SPO2 95% on Room air, 100% on NRB, RR 24 verified with an with ETCO2 of 40mmHg, No ST changes in 12 lead.

    He had some slight increased work of breathing on scene with mild increased diaphragmatic use but was speaking full sentences and in good spirits with us. Patient had a history of COPD and CHF. He also stated he had taken some of his Ventolin puffers prior to our arrival with no relief (probably made things worse). I wanted to treat him with NTG but he did not seem to be in enough distress initially, so I kept him on the NRB which he stated help initially. We got to the truck and started an IV enroute, then administered 0.8mg NTG. Literally… within about 2 minutes of the NTG admin, while I was patching, the patient had a sudden onset of severe SOB. We were right outside the hospital, so I grabbed my BVM, assisted his respirations distress until my partner could get us out of the truck and help me put CPAP on. CPAP helped and he was back to normal shortly after our transfer of care.

    My question is, should I have used the CPAP right away with the NTG, even though the patient was not showing signs of severe respiratory distress at the time, and on numerous auscultations of the lung, did not have any increase in crackles… until of course, he developed that sudden severe respiratory distress? My gut was to CPAP him early, but I felt he did not fit the protocol yet given his level of dyspnea, SPO2 sats, RR and minimal accessory muscle use.

    Published On: November 5, 2014
  • For pediatric VSAs, at what heart rate do we initiate compressions?

    Published On: February 5, 2014