- For this policy to be used, the patient only needs to be in the care of police and does not have to be under police custody.
- All patients in police custody retain the right to request transport. This should be coordinated with law enforcement.
- To assure the patient receives the appropriate care following encounter with law enforcement.
- Assess for evidence of traumatic injury or medical illness and follow appropriate protocol.
- If a Taser® has been used, follow
- Wound Care: Taser® Probe Removal Procedure and appropriate trauma protocol.
- If pepper spray has been used, irrigate the face and eyes and remove contaminated clothing.
- Assess for dyspnea, wheezing and a history of asthma or COPD.
- If patient has a history of a reactive airway disease or shows any signs of dyspnea or wheezing, observe for 20 minutes and follow appropriate respiratory protocol.
- If an asthmatic, patient is exposed to pepper spray and released to law enforcement, all parties should be advised to immediately re-contact EMS if wheezing, or difficulty breathing occurs.
- Assess patient for cardiac history, chest pain, or palpitations. If patient shows cardiac related signs or symptoms, follow appropriate cardiac protocol.
- Continue to observe for agitated delirium syndrome.
- Agitated delirium is characterized by marked restlessness, irritability, and/or high fever. Patients exhibiting these signs are at high risk for sudden death and should be transported to hospital by ALS personnel.
- If restraints are necessary, follow Behavioral Emergencies/Chemical Restraint Protocol.
- Patients restrained by law enforcement devices cannot be transported in the ambulance without a law enforcement officer in the patient compartment who is capable of removing the devices.
- If there is any doubt about the cause of the patient’s alteration in mental status, transport the patient to the hospital for evaluation.
- Coordinate disposition with patient, law enforcement and if necessary, Medical Control.
- Never argue with law enforcement. If law enforcement interferes with the patient’s ability to refuse or request care, attempt to obtain a police signature verifying refusal or request of care and report the incident to a supervisor.