Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What most people don't know

I had a call the other day where an under age patient had cut them selves by stepping on glass. ( was about 4 inch deep ) Though this patient was not with family, though the people that were with her expected to still be able to tell "us" the EMT's what to do and to decline treatment. What most people do not seem to know ( which to be honest is a surprise to me that not many people/parents are not even aware of this ) For one - once you call an Ambulance we can no longer leave if you decide to dismiss us because you are not going to allow a child under the legal age to be taken to the hospital. We are not just going to walk away and pretend nothing ever happen. 

If anything .. If you have a child under age with you ( in the State of NY ) and you are not their legal guardian we have the right to take the child under our care if the parents are not around to sign consent. If the child is in serious need of medical attention we are permitted to call Medical Control if there is an issue and THEY will inform us if we are to take the child to the hospital or not! We can not speak to the parent over the phone and just assume they are the parent and we sure the heck can not take the word from other friends or family members who are not the child's legal guardian. 

So please note IF you are going to send your child out with friends or family members and you want to make sure all your bases are covered if god for bid something was to happen and your child needed care, to make sure you have a notarized note or some kind of medical letter stating that you give "____" permission to sign consents for your child's medical care and to take responsibility for the care of your child when they are not with you. (Verify with your state what actions you need to take in order to avoid such a situation like the one I had to deal with )


This way if for some reason an ambulance is called ( which in this case was called by the facility they were attending ) and you chose to NOT allow the child to go via ambulance and that you have permission to take the child your self to another hospital if need be with your discretion you are then by all means allowed to. Other wise, if you denied medical attention to a child and you are not that child's legal guardian and something was to happen, the parents can and have all rights to sue the county for neglect. 

Please note: As an EMT we really rather not be in an argument with others. We are there to help not fight and if you rather us not get in the middle of a situation, PLEASE re-frame from calling us. We honestly have other calls we could be going on that are serious emergency's.

21 comments:

Lexie Lane said...

I'm from California, but this is also interesting. I believe it may be the same situation here. Your post is great. Please, if you can, share more of your EMT experiences. They are always very interesting to hear.

Thank you Kirsten!

Lexie Lane

Kirsten said...

Thank You ! I wanted to make sure people are aware of the legal obligations of EMS when it comes to attending to a injured or sick child when a parent/legal guardian is not around.
I am also very pleased to hear that my blog is interesting. As a new blogger I was not positive of what I should blog about, then I figured as an EMT things may be very interesting to readers and they just may learn something!

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