Description: Traditional EMS care - 911 response, resuscitative care, and transport to an ED - may not be consistent with patient wishes at end-of-life, and furthermore, this traditional approach may lead to unwanted discomfort for patients. EMS providers have an opportunity to ethically and morally provide care that leads to a better experience for patients at end-of-life. Case presentations will be used to provide examples of care that meets patient wishes, improves patient care, and leads to a sense of provider satisfaction. Cases of untoward outcomes in patients at end-of-life who receive traditional care will also be covered. Understanding end-of-life issues, advanced directives and POLST programs, and palliative care approaches can lead to gratifying experiences for EMS providers in helping to care for patients at end-of-life.
Identify patient end-of-life wishes through advance directives and POLST forms.
Discuss EMS treatments that are consistent with wishes of patients who choose "comfort care" or "limited care".
Describe palliative care and the potential hazards of full EMS care at end-of-life.