Question: In the thermal burns webinar very near the end, mention was made of London Fire carrying an ointment for treating burns. If Fire had not applied this prior to a paramedic taking over care for the patient, could the medic allow the ointment to be applied or apply it themselves? Or would this fall out of our scope of practice because such treatment isn't mentioned in the BLS or Medical Directives?
Excellent question. Fire fighters follow medical direction and protocols that differ in some ways than EMS. The burn dressings that EMS and fire departments use are varied and even differ among EMS and fire services themselves.
To answer your question, paramedics can allow the ointment to be applied by fire as they are following their own medical directives and protocols. Paramedics should apply dressings for burns that are supplied by their EMS service.