• If I attend scene and the patient has already received care outside of the 911 system (i.e. fluid bolus with homecare or community paramedicine), and they are still hypotensive, can I provide further care via the ALS-PCS (i.e. fluid bolus for a hypotensive patient)? Would I only be able to give 20cc/kg IVF bolus including the fluid administered before my arrival?

    Published On: March 21, 2024
  • Are ACPs still allowed to do EJs on patients that we are unable to get IVs on? 

    Published On: December 6, 2023
  • Why is diabetic ketoacidosis different than hyperosmolar state?

    Published On: April 17, 2023
  • My question is in regards to when an IV certified medic is working with a non-certified medic. If the certified medic establishes IV access and has a lock in place, but doesnt give any fluids or medications can the non-certified medic still continue to attend the call? Or does the certified one become the attending. Specific example would be a Code Stroke where we established IV access prior to leaving scene, but it was originally the non-certified medics call.

    Published On: October 4, 2022
  • Is it safe to use blanket warmers in the vehicles for warming IV fluids? I know that the infusion of ambient temperature (21°C) intravenous fluid may be a significant risk factor for severe hypothermia and the manufacturer of our IV fluids recommends a 40 °C for a max of 14 days. Do you know if this is being done anywhere effectively and safely and if so what are they using?

    Published On: June 20, 2022
  • If an IV medic attempts to start an IV on pt and the attempt(s) are unsuccessful do they have to remain the attending medic or can the non IV medic continue to attend the call?

    Published On: March 30, 2022
  • I have had a few calls to nursing homes where the patients IV fell out and the patient is being sent to the hospital for an IV restart. If the patient does not have any complaints otherwise, would an IV certified crew be able to start the IV and patch to not have the patient transported? If so, would this be documented as a refusal? I have always transported these patients but it would be helpful to know if there are other options to avoid an unnecessary trip to the hospital. Thank you!

    Published On: January 19, 2022
  • For the IV bolus directive when one of the contraindications is fluid overload, if a patient has CHF and is presenting hypotensive, and is not experiencing SOB but has chronic edema in his/her feet/legs is that technically a contraindication to not bolus? Considering that would fall under fluid overload ? What are the signs and symptoms of fluid overload you guys are wanting us to look out for and be aware of?

    Published On: August 5, 2021
  • In regards to an IV that you have established are other medical professionals allowed to use it to give drugs on way to hospital? Back story, picked up a female patient who had just given birth with significant post partum hemorrhage. Midwife onscene was unable to establish a line but you subsequently start one. Midwife wants to push oxytocin through the IV that you have established is this OK?

    Published On: August 5, 2021
  • *Updated* Why do we need to establish an IV in a patient with suspected pulmonary edema? If they fit the directive, they more than likely have crackles which would be contraindicated for a fluid bolus.

    Published On: May 21, 2020
  • Is a suspected pelvic fracture a contraindication to IO in the tibia?

    Published On: February 4, 2020
  • Question: Hello, When a crew arrives on scene and finds a patient VSA, the ALS and BLS Standards require CPR per the HSFO guidelines at 30:2. When considering that there is strong evidence showing high quality CPR is the most important care to impact patient survival, my question revolves around what care or priorities should be considered when there are just the 2 paramedics on scene awaiting additional crews or resources.

    The questions specifically are:

    1) While Early defib, high-quality CPR and BVM ventilation’s are a must, should an IV and medications be attempted with such limited resources? In attempting to do so, there is strong likelihood of compromising the quality of CPR because the compressor is doing about 2 compressions a second, and the 2nd medic is ventilating about every 15 seconds, thus making it next to impossible to perform any other tasks without diluting the CPR quality. This should the early defib, High-quality CPR and BVM ventilation’s be the only focus until more resources show up, or should the IV and medication process be attempted to satisfy the requirements of the directive, even if doing so will compromise the CPR quality?

    2) In regard to #1 above, when working in a rural setting, in which allied resources can sometimes take upwards of 20 minutes to arrive on scene, how does this play into the care?

    3) As a given, I would love to be able to meet all the requirements of the ACP Cardiac arrest directive effectively, but with only 2 paramedics on scene the problem is there is just so much to do, and with quality of CPR and ventilation’s/ETCO2 being able to be monitored and recorded, you can either violate the directive to maintain high-quality CPR, or risk having this data show your CPR quality was not great but got “everything done”. Which is the preferred method of care?

    4) While there is evidence supporting that CPR saves lives, is there any strong evidence supporting that the IV/Meds and the Advanced airways lead to better patient survival?

    Published On: April 13, 2017
  • Question: The IV Therapy Medical Directive lists hypotension as a required indication for a fluid bolus. In pediatric medicine, blood pressure is rarely used alone as an indication of perfusion and tends more to rely on looking at the overall presentation including: level of awareness/activity, heart rate, capillary refill etc.

    If presented with a child who is: irritable, tachycardic (or bradycardic for that matter), with delayed cap refill, and decreased urine output, but is not hypotensive (<5th percentile), is it permissible to administer a fluid bolus?

    Published On: December 22, 2016
  • Question: When administering a fluid bolus, are we to give the full bolus amount (i.e. 1000ml for a 50kg patient) reassessing for fluid overload or return to TKVO when the BP reaches 100mmHg or greater? Given so much fluid shifts, administering the full bolus when no fluid overload is present (either 10 or 20ml/kg), particularly with the septic or preload dependent patient would be beneficial.

    Published On: September 29, 2016
  • Question: My question is regarding fluid bolus for DKA. There seems to be varying belief on whether or not a DKA patient must be hypotensive to administer a bolus. There is no specific language that I can find addressing bolus protocol for DKA other than the mandatory BHP patch point if the suspected DKA pt is 2-12yrs old, but this is listed under the NaCl fluid bolus protocol where hypotension is a condition for treatment. Just looking for a little clarification on the entire DKA bolus protocol.

    Published On: June 20, 2016
  • Question: There was a question posted on Sep 23, 2014 in regards to a fluid bolus on a transfer between facilities. As I agree that there should have been an RN escort for this patient, the paramedic was certified in IV fluid therapy including boluses. Your answer has me perplexed however. If a physician gave the paramedic a fluid bolus order how would that differ from getting a similar order from a BHP through phone patch. It is in the scope of practice for the paramedic to administer NaCl 0.9% as a bolus, the volume was prescribed by the physician(s) in charge of this patient’s care. Would any paramedic be wrong in following the order given by the physician?

    Published On: December 3, 2014
  • Question: I’m a PCP with autonomous IV. It states that a contraindication for a fluid bolus is “signs of fluid overload”. I realize the obvious one is pulmonary edema as that is the example that is always brought up in this scenario. What about a pt that has a clear chest with no fluid accumulation in the lungs, but has peripheral edema in the legs or abdomen? I’ve also had pt’s with hypotension that are on dialysis and have stated that they cannot receive large amounts of fluid due to kidney failure. Do we just document their condition? I’ve heard different answers from everyone and would appreciate some clarification.

    Published On: December 3, 2014
  • Question: In which instance should a transdermal patch be removed in the pre-hospital setting? Example 1: Hypotensive patient with a Nitro patch on. Example 2: VSA with a narcotic patch on. Example 3: Suspected OD with a narcotic patch on (or several).

    Published On: November 5, 2014
  • Question: I am a PCP-IV medic who recently transferred a patient between facilities – from county hospital to trauma centre. On arrival I was told by the attending physician that the patient was to be spinal immobilized as a precaution as instructed by the trauma centre. The physician also informed me that the trauma centre requested that the patient receive 1000ml NaCl prior to arrival at the LTC. I inquired about the patient’s vitals and assessed the patient as normotensive with no indications of poor perfusion. I told the physician that my protocols did not permit me to fluid bolus the patient with up to 1000ml enroute unless the patient was hypotensive and remained hypotensive. Moreover the sending facility was not sending an escort on this long CODE 4 STAT transfer. I called my Duty Manager for advice and was told to abide by my directives and follow the BLS standard for IV monitoring – 200ml/hr max pending patient presentation enroute. This is the direction I proceeded with.

    My question is – was I correct in my course of action and was it advisable to press the physician for an escort based on the requirements of the LTC?

    Published On: September 23, 2014
  • Question: On a recent ischemic chest pain call with an approximately 60 year old female patient, conscious and alert, 2 nitro sprays prior to arrival. The 12 lead was normal and I gave ASA, but decided to withhold nitro as I had difficulty obtaining a BP on scene. The patient had no palpable radial or brachial pulses bilaterally. My partner and I made 4 NiBP attempts on scene with no reading on either arm and manual BP attempts bilat with no sound on auscultation or deflection of the needle. I was unable to also confirm the HR that showed on the monitor as she was uncooperative while attempting a carotid (although present). After extricating the patient on a stair chair, I decided to continue my care with an IV TKVO in the truck. I did not want to delay scene time any further. While in the truck I continued to attempt NiBPs which was now displaying a reading of hypertension, yet no pulses other than carotid were palpable. Although the monitor was always showing vitals within my parameters to administer nitro, I withheld it, as I was treating the findings with the patient, not the monitor. She had stated her pulses were usually weak. She remained conscious and alert with no signs of hypotension other than weak/absent pulses. My question is€¦ was I ever justified to administer a bolus to this patient?

    Published On: April 8, 2014
  • Question: In studying for this year’s recert, I started to wonder why the administration of intramuscular epinephrine was being advocated for a first line drug in the management of an arrest where the patient was suspected to be suffering from anaphylaxis. The impression from the protocol is that this procedure should be given priority over starting an IV or an IO. Given that as a routine course in all arrests, an ACP will usually manage to initiate an IV / IO and administer epinephrine (1.0 mg €“ twice the dose that would be given IM) early in the call, it doesn’t seem to make sense to delay the initiation of the line.

    With few hands on scene, and the PCP partner performing CPR, the ACP will only likely be able to perform one procedure during the two minutes between rhythm analyses €“ draw up and deliver epi IM or initiate an IV and deliver epi IV €“ but probably not both. Since the patient was likely suffering profound vasodilation prior to the arrest, there is low likelihood that there would be much effectiveness in circulating the half millilitre of fluid that is administered IM into a deltoid using CPR alone (which, at best, is only 25% as effective as the heart pumping on it’s own). The introduction of epinephrine directly into the bloodstream would likely have a much higher probability of achieving systemic circulation and effect as compared to the IM injection.

    The recommendation seems to stem from an interpretation of Part 12 of the 2010 AHA ECC guidelines (Cardiac Arrest in Special Circumstances) where the use of IM epinephrine in arrests of suspected anaphylactic etiology is advised as a modification in the management of a BLS arrest. The recommendation is not present in the modifications in the management of an ALS arrest where, conversely, it is advised that epinephrine is administered by IV where a line is present. In fact, the one recommendation for ALS modification in the management of anaphylactic arrests in the AHA ECC guidelines is absent from our protocols. Currently, a fluid bolus is only indicated where the patient presents in PEA, however, the AHA ECC guidelines make the recommendation that “Vasogenic shock from anaphylaxis may require aggressive fluid resuscitation (Class IIa, LOE C).”

    I understand that OBHG MAC might have apprehensions in delaying the administration of epinephrine in circumstances where an IV or IO could not be initiated in short order, however, would it not be more effective to use IM epinephrine as a backup where the line could not be initiated quickly (as in the case with Glucagon vs. IV Dextrose)? The IM administration would also have a higher likelihood of success if given once optimal circulation due to CPR was achieved (which would not occur until a couple minutes into the call).

    Thanks for your consideration!

    Published On: March 3, 2014
  • Question: What is the reason why IV certified PCPs cannot bolus PEA patients?

    Published On: March 3, 2014
  • Question: Once I’ve started my bolus, do I stop once just above 90 say 92 or do I stop once normal tensive at 100? This has been tossed around so many times and I get both answers.

    Published On: March 3, 2014
  • Question: If an IV certified paramedic with a non-IV certified partner initiates a saline lock but does not give fluid or medication; can the partner without IV certification attend the call?

    Published On: February 5, 2014
  • Question: Is the IV protocol like others in that once the patient falls out of a protocol, they cannot be put back in. For example, patient initial BP less than 90 systolic, decision made to load patient prior to IV attempt, on loading patient BP now above 90.

    Published On: November 4, 2013
  • Question: Is a non-IV certified paramedic allowed to monitor an IV started TKVO by an IV certified paramedic on route to the hospital?

    Published On: September 25, 2013
  • Question: I was just wondering if we have a patient with a valid DNR are we still allowed to Bolus if they fit our protocol or is this considered an advanced life saving technique?

    Published On: April 17, 2013
  • Question: I apologize in advance if this question is redundant, but I have searched and cannot find an answer. For a crew where both medics are IV certified (autonomous certification), are both medics allowed 2 starts (4 attempts in total) on a single patient? Or are attempts limited to 2 attempts per patient regardless of who makes the attempts? Thanks.

    Published On: April 9, 2013
  • Question: I am a PCP and was wondering what constitutes a IV attempt. Does simply palpating and visually assessing the patient constitute an attempt if I do not find an accessible vein and do not blindly pic attempt insertion?

    Published On: April 9, 2013
  • Question: I’m an IV certified PCP. A question came up last week in regards to aortic aneurysms and different blood pressures bilaterally. If one BP is hypotensive, and the other is normo- or hyper- do we bolus? Ideas that have come up include: Adding fluid may increase the overall pressure, causing the dissection to enlarge; however, the patient is losing fluid and therefore is compensating and needs more.

    Published On: December 18, 2012
  • Question: I was recently on a call with a patient presenting with a tachy rhythm of 157 and his blood pressure was 74/42. I proceeded to start a line and was going to bolus but subsequent pressures were above 90 systolic. Would it have been reasonable to not bolus due to the fact that this patient most likely had a decreased BP due to the Fast heart rate and not because of a fluid deficit?

    Published On: December 18, 2012
  • Question: I just have a quick question regarding IV Monitoring. Are PCP’s allowed to transport a patient without an escort who has an IV running lactated ringers? This question came up the other day at work and everyone seems to have a different answer. I just wanted to clear this up with you so I know the correct answer!

    Published On: September 4, 2012
  • Question: On medical VSA’s, as an IV certified PCP, if you have time and enough hands to start an IV, are you giving a fluid bolus? I realize when you get a ROSC you are doing a fluid bolus of 10ml/kg (if chest is clear), but while the patient is VSA, are you giving a bolus? Or are you starting a line, just running TKVO in preparation of getting a ROSC and then bolusing?

    Published On: September 4, 2012
  • Question: Example: A patient presents generally unwell, lightheaded and feels like their heart is beating fast, not an unusual call for any paramedic. On exam the patient has a pulse of 130-150 BPM, sinus tach to match on the monitor and BP is 100-110 systolic. Would it not be safe to assume that the BP is being maintained by the HR?

    The question: Could this patient not benefit from a one time fluid bolus/challenge of 250ml to see if it decreases the HR decreasing cardiac demand and maintain the BP thus being beneficial for the patients overall condition? I realize that the IV and fluid therapy directive is for a BP less that 90 Systolic and is to ensure that a patient has an adequate perfusion or actual/potential need for medication, however would this not fall under the fluid therapy part of the IV and fluid therapy directive?

    Published On: August 22, 2012
  • Question: I have recently heard several answers to the following question, so I would really appreciate hearing the answer. How many IV attempts are allowed/permitted/encouraged per paramedic/patient?

    Published On: August 22, 2012
  • Question: I am wondering if it is acceptable to initiate a bolus for hypotension based on “estimated” blood pressures. I.e. you are unable to obtain a BP through auscultation and the patient has no palpable radial pulses. We have been taught that you can estimate a patient’s blood pressure to be 80 systolic or less with the absence of palpable radial pulses. So, can I treat a patient with a bolus, based on estimated BP’s and in conjunction with other symptoms, or do I need an actual and specific number. Thanks in advance.

    Published On: July 3, 2012
  • Question: In a PCP crew with one of those PCP IV certified, should the PCP IV attend on all VSA’s? All chest pains with nitro use? It’s just that the IV directive is very vague and leaves it very open to interpretation. Thanks in advance!

    Published On: April 24, 2012
  • Question: ALS paramedics have directives as to when they must attend/start IV’s to give meds in various situations/bolus etc. The directive for starting an IV is for the “potential need” for an IV, administering meds or bolus. Are there specific times we should always attempt an IV if time permits? (pre arrest, post-ictal, chest pain with past nitro use etc?)

    Published On: April 24, 2012
  • Question: I had a question in regards to why do we need to establish an IV in a patient with suspected pulmonary edema? If they fit this protocol, they will most likely have crackles, and therefore if we happen to bottom out their pressure with nitro sprays, we will not be able to bolus due to the patient having crackles. Thanks in advance.

    Published On: March 13, 2012
  • Question: This question was addressed at the end of January but I’m still unclear on the answer. In our protocol is discusses DKA and the patch point for pts from 2 to 12 for obvious reasons to me. It does not discuss any patient greater than 12. In the past if pt was DKA and showing signs of dehydration we could do a 10ml/kg bolus, then it was changed so that we had to patch for this bolus.

    The previous question was weather or not we were doing boluses for adults and it was not addressed. There is no talk of it in our latest protocols. Can we go ahead and bolus an adult in DKA who is showing signs of dehydration without a patch or even with a patch?

    Published On: March 1, 2012
  • Question: Why do we have a mandatory patch point for pediatric patients (> 2 but less than 12) with a blood sugar over 25 mmol/l and suspected to be in DKA for a fluid bolus but there is no patch point for adult patients.

    Published On: February 21, 2012
  • Question: On our ROSC protocol, the ONLY route that we are allowed to give a fluid bolus/dopamine is via an IV. Please confirm that we are NOT allowed to do so via IO or CVAD? This does vary from the IV and Fluid Therapy protocol which allows us to do so.

    Published On: February 15, 2012
  • Question: My question is regarding fluid bolus for DKA. Past practice has been to initiate a BHP patch for direction to administer a fluid bolus. The most recent Provincial Protocol states that a patch is only necessary for DKA in patients under 12. Are we still required to patch for a fluid bolus for adults in DKA?

    Published On: January 31, 2012
  • Question: I see that it says consider NaCl bolus in the cardiac arrest standing order. In the past we gave a bolus for PEA as well as Rosc’s. Can you confirm the exact circumstances we are to give the bolus as I find there to be a lot of gray areas in our orders.

    Published On: January 31, 2012
  • Question: ROSC Protocol states bolus 10ml/kg if under 12 check at 100ml and over 12 check at 250. Cardiogenic Shock Protocol (includes ROSC) -states bolus 10ml/kg -if 2 to 18 check at 100ml and over 18 check at 250ml. One states the 12 to 18 range at 250ml but the other 2 to 18 at 100ml. Can you clear this up for me please?

    Published On: January 31, 2012