Question: With these new medical directives, I was under the impression that we as medics are able to use our judgment and discretion on calls. It is mine and many of my colleagues opinion that oxygen is not required on all calls, maybe even some calls when you provide sympatientom relief, depending on the circumstances. Does MAC agree? Or should oxygen be applied to most patients, and in all cases that sympatientom relief is provided?
Great question! Oxygen administration certainly is a hot topic in the literature recently. We are increasingly discovering that hyperoxia in certain situations may even possibly be detrimental to patients. In this regard, the Ontario Base Hospital Group Medical Advisory Committee (OBHG MAC) has over the past year reviewed the current literature in this regard and completed a meticulous review of the current BLS Patient Care Standards (BLS- PCS). Multiple changes to the administration of oxygen have been recommended to the Ministry of Health Emergency Health Services Branch (MOH-EHS). These changes should be released in an updated version of the BLS-PCS expected this year.
Oxygen administration however officially is a BLS Standard. As you know, Base Hospital Programs are not tasked with providing medical oversight regarding these standards, so we would suggest that until further direction from MOH-EHS, you should follow the current Oxygen Therapy Standard as noted in the BLS-PCS in section 1 page 48.
A link to the BLS manual is below: