Party like it's 1999!

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Let's time-warp back to hypothetical 1999...

"MAST4 Respond to 67 yom c/o chest pain."

A lady in a bathrobe leads you to the bedroom where you find a naked old dude pale, cool, and diaphoretic.

CC: during intercourse (first time in decades) 10/10 crushing substernal chest pain radiating to arm

Shiny new-fangled LP12 says:
HR112
Sinus Tach c PVCs + borderline ST elevation in anterior leads
BP102/66
SpO2 87%

Patient states a friend gave him some new miracle pill called Viagra that just came out last year. Guess that is why you are supposed to, "ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex."

Protocol says MONA... and time for NTG... but wait...

Last night you read this article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10078539?access_num=10078539&link_type=MED&dopt=Abstract

It said that phoshodiesterase 5 inhibitor within the last 24hrs is a STRICT contraindication for NTG due to synergistic hypotension... which super sucks in a MI.

Your MI protocol was last updated in 1997.

Protocol says NTG. Radio is out. 23 minutes to hospital with a cath lab...

Give the NTG?
 

phideux

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No
 

EpiEMS

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Probably not, nope. I'm not sure if professional ethical standards (and notions of our duty to patients) have changed since then, but I sure as heck am expected to *not* do something that may be actively harmful.


*Also, I was 8, so I don't know if I would have been allowed on the ambulance.
 
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DrParasite

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Other than "because protocol says so," why would you give NTG?

He isn't hypertensive, and he has already taken a vasodialating ED drug.

The question I have for you is could you defend your actions to your medical director if he called you into his office and asked for an explanation of your actions? I think I could.
 
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Other than "because protocol says so," why would you give NTG?

He isn't hypertensive, and he has already taken a vasodialating ED drug.

Is the purpose of the NTG in MI to treat htn? If not, what is its purpose?

What type of htn does the drug he take work best for?

(Please don't confuse this as me arguing for the NTG)
 

DrParasite

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Is the purpose of the NTG in MI to treat htn? If not, what is its purpose?
MI + NTG = vasodialation with increased bloodflow, which is usually a good thing during an MI. It can also reduces cardiac preload and further decreases myocardial wall stress, which is also a good thing. Studies have also shown it to have a positive effect on restoring the equilibrium of oxygen and nutrients supply-demand in the ischemic heart.

However, MI + NTG + Viagra = synergistic hypotention, which can often lead to death.

I think the bad outweighs the good here.

So I ask the same question to you, knowing that death can outweigh the positives of NTG, why would you give NTG, other than because protocol says to?
What type of htn does the drug he take work best for?

(Please don't confuse this as me arguing for the NTG)
since you didn't list his current meds or history, I'm not sure if the scenario provides enough information to give a proper answer to that questions
 

GMCmedic

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Is the purpose of the NTG in MI to treat htn? If not, what is its purpose?

What type of htn does the drug he take work best for?

(Please don't confuse this as me arguing for the NTG)
Pulmonary hypertension

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 
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Probably not, nope. I'm not sure if professional ethical standards (and notions of our duty to patients) have changed since then, but I sure as heck am expected to *not* do something that may be actively harmful.


*Also, I was 8, so I don't know if I would have been allowed on the ambulance.

I was in highschool, so they wouldn't have let me on the ambulance either.

You've identified the crux of the question that I was trying to present: an ethical one.

Do you follow protocol, to the detriment of your patient, given an unusual circumstance where you know better than the protocol?

I was struggling to come up with an analog to the lightning strike scenario where the question was, as I saw it, "do you follow protocol (START) when you know it is bad for your patients?" (and not just a little bad)

The answer here, as there, is unequivocally, not only no, but HELL NO, screw the protocol, do the right thing for the patient and certainly don't harm them!

I find it interesting in this thread said "well yea I'd give the NTG while some were willing to follow a catastrophic protocol in the other thread. Is it because of the time warp? Because we are all familiar with the PDE5i/NTG interaction vs when it was brand new and novel? Because here we'd be taking potentially harmful action vs potentially harmful inaction? How many paramedic programs include a 3 credit healthcare ethics class? Do any require philosophy/ethics/logic as a prereq or co-req? Healthcare Ethics is part of BSN programs and one or more of the latter is typically a prereq.
 

DesertMedic66

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Considering an MCI or a multiple patient incident is vastly different from a single patient encounter like this one is like trying to compare apples to a basketball, yes the are both kinda round but that’s about it.
 
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Considering an MCI or a multiple patient incident is vastly different from a single patient encounter like this one is like trying to compare apples to a basketball, yes the are both kinda round but that’s about it.
The ethical issue is minimally different... Maybe more lack of beneficence in the mci vs lack of nonmalfeasance here...

You giving the ntg?
 

DesertMedic66

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Well I was only 7 at the time...

I honestly can’t say back in 1999 what I would have done. We all know now not to give NTG or in some areas to just be cautious if giving it. However i feel it would be very dangerous to start treating patients from an abstract (that doesn’t include sample size) on a single study...

In my current system our treatment protocols allow us to use clinical judgment, that is why we do not have a chest pain protocol for example. On the other side of the coin we do have a policy that states we must at all times follow any legal order that the IC gives us.
 
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In my current system our treatment protocols allow us to use clinical judgment, that is why we do not have a chest pain protocol for example. On the other side of the coin we do have a policy that states we must at all times follow any legal order that the IC gives us.
You think your medical director and your state EMS board give a crap about an employer policy if you interpret it to mean, "follow orders given by someone who has equal or less training and knowledge, even to the detriment of your patient."

Please explain in detail what ethical principles bind you to follow that policy?

At least the protocol was written by physicians with consideration and review!
 

VentMonkey

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Even at the ripe old age of 19 (1999) I would have been apprehensive. Still, I'm reluctant with RV involvement of STEMI's, and yes I am aware of current literature. I just don't want to be the one responsible for the refractory "dump" in blood pressure.

It reminds me of when all we had was MS for pain management, and were faced with a patient with a borderline blood pressure according to our protocols, but who was clearly in pain. A fluid bolus followed by a transient improvement in blood pressure, and an appropriate dose of MS worked fine.

Adding a potent vasodilator on top of another that may further impair venous return? No thanks.
 

DesertMedic66

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You think your medical director and your state EMS board give a crap about an employer policy if you interpret it to mean, "follow orders given by someone who has equal or less training and knowledge, even to the detriment of your patient."

Please explain in detail what ethical principles bind you to follow that policy?

At least the protocol was written by physicians with consideration and review!
This is not a company policy. This is a county protocol that is set by the medical director...
 

Gurby

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You've identified the crux of the question that I was trying to present: an ethical one.

Do you follow protocol, to the detriment of your patient, given an unusual circumstance where you know better than the protocol?

I guess this is a cop-out to the ethics question, but you probably have time to call medical control in a lot of these cases if you're really torn up about it.
 
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I guess this is a cop-out to the ethics question, but you probably have time to call medical control in a lot of these cases if you're really torn up about it.
I agree. That is why I broke the radio for this hypothetical. In the other thread, there was no contacting medical control, it was "I follow orders like a robot medic *beep boop*"
 
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This is not a company policy. This is a county protocol that is set by the medical director...
HAHAHAHA

I suggest you pose this to your medical director. Ask what they think of your espoused willingness to follow orders you know to be stupid to the detriment of your patient without question. Ask your medical director if that was his/her intent? Please post his/her response here...

In the meantime, I am still waiting for your ethical basis for "just following orders" when you know they are wrong (and not just a little bit wrong)...

And if i reprise the scenario in this thread so it is an MCI (say a viagra fueled orgy where everyone is having an MI) and the IC orders you to give the NTG all around, are you suddenly going to do it now because it is a "legal order"?
 

DesertMedic66

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HAHAHAHA

I suggest you pose this to your medical director. Ask what they think of your espoused willingness to follow orders you know to be stupid to the detriment of your patient without question. Ask your medical director if that was his/her intent? Please post his/her response here...

In the meantime, I am still waiting for your ethical basis for "just following orders" when you know they are wrong (and not just a little bit wrong)...

And if i reprise the scenario in this thread so it is an MCI (say a viagra fueled orgy where everyone is having an MI) and the IC orders you to give the NTG all around, are you suddenly going to do it now because it is a "legal order"?
I’d imagine their intent was to make a protocol for the realistic and the most likely MCIs. As I stated before I have never had nor heard of anyone in my county or any nearby county ever having a lightning strike patient let alone a multiple patient or MCI one.

I’m not going to try to lie and say I know everything about lightning strike patients because those subjects were never actually covered in any of my training (initial training, refresher courses, hospital courses, and CE courses). The subjects are covered very briefly in my EMT and paramedic textbooks and pretty much just say “they are usually not fatal and to follow current ACLS guidelines” and do not go into a multiple patient scenario for treatment plans. Since I have never had this topic covered or read about it, why would I with only an average of 300 patients being hit per year in the entire US, I can say that the majority of medics in my system or the nearby ones would not know either. Does that make it any better? No, however it is impossible to know everything or be able to treat anything. Would I get faulted at all in an MCI for following my county protocols about standard triage and what my education has taught me? I highly doubt it for several reasons.

As for your second “scenario” that is a ridiculous scenario that deserves no response.
 
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You are getting the 3rd degree from me, not because you weren't an expert in lightning/electrocution (of which there are thousands per year combined), but because once informed and presented with evidence of the right treatment, you insisted that you would still do the wrong for your patient thing because surely you would be ordered to do the wrong thing... and orders are orders or some such tautological BS.

The viagra scenario (and the viagra MI MCI) is purely test of your internal consistency because in both the lightning and the viagra scenarios, you possess extra knowledge on how to do right by your patients. If you are going to leave the lightning victims to die "because orders" but can't unequivocally say that you'd give NTG in the Viagra MI MCI if so ordered, then you are a hypocrite as well as ethically dubious cookbook medic.
 
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