October 31, 2017

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Treating Patients in Police Custody

Gordon Graham
Category: Fire & EMS

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for fire and EMS.

Ensure that patient care remains your primary concern.

Today’s tip is for fire and EMS personnel and it deals with treating patients who are in law enforcement custody.  

You have probably been to a police holding facility for someone you thought was faking an illness. After all, the hospital must be better than a concrete cell, right? Maybe the law enforcement officer in charge told you something like, “it’s just ‘jail-itis.’” Maybe an officer asked you not to transport the arrestee to the hospital. 

What should you do next time you find yourself in a similar situation?  

Be objective. Even if you think the person may be trying to avoid jail, don’t let that influence your decisions.  

Don’t let the officer’s opinion sway your decisions either. Most of the time, the officer is not trained to provide medical care. The officer is not the one responsible for your actions or recommendations. Only you are.  

Ensure that patient care remains your primary concern. If the patient needs to go to the hospitalclearly and completely explain this to the officer so that an informed decision can be made.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. 

Gordon Graham, signing off. 

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