Looking for clues of NOI/MOI


Emergency Medical Texan
*Disclaimer, not looking for legal advice, just your personal experiences*

I was studying on Diabetes, and it mentioned that the medication in their fridge may give clues and similar things about what to look for.

If you're on a call, do you normally rifle through their fridge, pantry, drawers, bathroom or anything, looking for clues if they can't verbally tell you something?

I guess it kinds of makes sense, but sounds time-consuming and I'm not sure how much that would affect treatment/transport. Maybe it does, a lot. Also, I've never really heard of people doing this?

Also regarding the contents of a purse, pockets, not just a wallet.


Forum Deputy Chief
Purses/wallets, not without asking.

Never dug through a fridge unless I was making a snack for a diabetic.

Meds are usually on tables, nightstands, etc. Yes, I look through those. Half the time, people don't know what meds they take and it's just easier to look at it myself.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
If you're on a call, do you normally rifle through their fridge, pantry, drawers, bathroom or anything, looking for clues if they can't verbally tell you something?
Is there anyone else in the house who tells me "go to XXXX, it's where he keeps his meds?" Or do I just have an unconscious person with no identifiable cause, with no family or friends who can tell me anything?

I tend not to randomly rifle through a fridge unless I'm looking for a snack.

Realistically, I'm not going snooping unless I have permission to go somewhere, or have a really good reason to look somewhere. The only time I'm looking in a purse or pockets without consent is if we are transporting, I want to make sure they don't contain anything that will hurt me.


Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
Honestly, I have never looked in any patient's fridge before.

On almost all of my house calls, I do a quick look around. I don't go out of my way to look usually. I will look to see if I can see any medications, medical paperwork, identification, insurance card, etc. It does not have to be a thorough search. Thinking back on my experience, if the place is small, and there is nothing obvious (eg small apartments or studios), I will open up the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, if I can't find anything that is obvious. With experience, you get to know where to look, so you don't waste a lot of time searching.

Oddly enough, I see people saying they ask for consent to search through purses and wallets, but I almost never do. I usually just dig in like it's my own, lol. Again, thinking back, this might be because I am innocent looking or something. I'm not sure. I almost never ask. I usually just search and tell the patient afterwards "Hey, I pulled out your ID and insurance card. I am going to hold onto them and give it to the hospital when we get there." I haven't had anyone protest or get angry at me for it in the years that I've been working in 9-1-1, but again, I don't know if this will work for everyone. I think my EMT partner and I could walk out bank vault with bags of money without anyone stopping us or questioning us, lol.

This is going to sound awful, but the less information I have, the less paperwork I have to do. Don't know the name, birthday, phone number, social security number, medications, allergies, etc? I just click "Unable to obtain" over and over, and I am all good, lol. I am usually very happy when I get these types of calls, lol, but I will do my due diligence to find out every information I can. Paperwork wise, it's a plus though. Easy paperwork, lol.


Forum Asst. Chief
I don’t, as a matter of general practice, search my patients home, person, or belongings. I will look for a wallet for identification. I will briefly scan for medication bottles. If there is evidence of something medically probative in my immediate eyeline I will take note of it, but I’m not there to search through their things. Most of the time, you don't want to know anyway...

I’m very concerned about you, specifically that one of two things is going to happen. One, you’re going to be sitting in front of that computer taking your board exam and realize that you spent all the time you should have spent studying the basics filling your head with nonsense and now you don’t have the faintest idea how to answer the test questions. Two, you’re actually going to pass your boards and show up on day one to your first job so jam packed with useless knowledge you’re going to come off as a know it all and be immediately and potentially irrevocably ostracized for it.

I’ve tried to bring this up to you in a few different threads, hoping the bell would ring and you’d get it and everyday(nearly) a new thread about... nothing. Dude, just study what’s in the book. You’ll learn the rest on the job. That’s how it’s done. You can’t possibly learn 20 years of pro tips and notions on the internet. Please stop trying and just learn the basics. Please.