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26th Annual National Collegiate EMS Conference

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Creating a Protocol for Intoxicated Collegiate Patients: A DIY Adventure

Virtually all collegiate EMS providers encounter an college-aged patient intoxicated from the classic “two beers.” While these patients may require evaluation by prehospital providers, hospitalization for some may be unnecessary and these patients may be allowed to refuse further care and transport. Yet, in the age of liability where collegiate agencies face scrutiny from college or university administrators in addition to medical directors, facilitating a patient refusal is often difficult and inherently risky. This presentation explores the multi-year evolution of Carnegie Mellon University’s agency-specific alcohol refusal protocol from an initial, unofficial set of criteria to a comprehensive, research-based policy developed and iterated between multiple agencies and departments. This lecture will review the medical and legal essentials for evaluating intoxicated patients, offer guidance and criteria useful to determining patient outcomes, and provide agencies with the necessary elements to think critically about their own processes for allowing intoxicated patients to refuse transport.


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