Should I have had als on this call

chickj0434

Forum Lieutenant
121
5
18
68 F at Dana Farber. Just finished chemo treatment. Been having a bad cough for few weeks spitting up yellow phlegm. Could definately hear it in her lungs. Bp 160/100 hr 80 sat 97 on 2 lpm. Was transporting and als was behind us so cancelled them. Hospital is less than 10 min away. Should I have had them evaluate her.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
1,489
211
63
If ALS has to chase you to help or evaluate the patient, don't wait.
No reason from what you said in your report to even have called ALS in the 1st place. Patient is stable: her cough and phlegm is weeks old (and so is bad lung sounds). BP is high, but she isn't going to stroke out, so no big deal.
Is she normally on O2? Because she probably doesn't need it otherwise.

Without knowing what she looks like (pale, diaphoretic, cyanotic, etc) there is no reason to have ALS eval her. and Never a reason to wait for ALS to catch up to you.

With her Chemo history, (believe me very few people getting Chemo don't see a doctor every few treatments {my dad gets it 1 time a week, and sees the doctor before every treatment}), she has seen a doctor a few times in the weeks she has had the cough, he has probably heard her coughing and seen her coughing up crap; so doctor isn't concerned about it.
 

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
3,657
1,062
113
68 F at Dana Farber. Just finished chemo treatment. Been having a bad cough for few weeks spitting up yellow phlegm. Could definately hear it in her lungs. Bp 160/100 hr 80 sat 97 on 2 lpm. Was transporting and als was behind us so cancelled them. Hospital is less than 10 min away. Should I have had them evaluate her.

What’s your clinical concern? Sounds like a fairly stable BLS patient? Is the patient at 2lpm normally?
 

Baker2334

Forum Ride Along
9
1
3
68 F at Dana Farber. Just finished chemo treatment. Been having a bad cough for few weeks spitting up yellow phlegm. Could definately hear it in her lungs. Bp 160/100 hr 80 sat 97 on 2 lpm. Was transporting and als was behind us so cancelled them. Hospital is less than 10 min away. Should I have had them evaluate her.
I wouldn’t have called for ALS from what you mentioned. What would be warranting for ALS ? Hypertension ? Hypertension isn’t in my protocol to request for ALS unless symptomatic, where I am only hypotension is. Also yeah 160/100 is high but not stroke level high. Is she on 2LPM baseline ? If she wasn’t what was her baseline sat ? 97% even on 2LPM is nothing concerning to me as a BLS provider. Especially if her ling sounds are weeks old. A lot of COPD (not saying she does just an example) pts will have crappy lung sounds as a baseline but that alone doesn’t warrant for ALS.

Seems like a stable pt but I’m not sure what your protocols are. I feel like for most companies/states this didn’t warrant for ALS though. You can always talk to a coworker or FTO/Supervisor with any questions you have about a call. I would never belittle somebody over a questionable call whether its you questioning it or somebody else.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,776
1,772
113
Simple answer is no...

more complicated question: what interventions would you have wanted ALS to do?

Would that delay in getting the hospital to definitive care (which is a hospital) have been beneficial to the patient?
 

Top