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house Bill H.R. 4365

Do Paramedics Need to Legally be Able to Administer Narcotics to Patients?

Argument in favor

Paramedics and other emergency medical technicians often assist patients when they are in dire need of pain medication or anti-seizure drugs, so it needs to be legally clear that they can administer those medications.

Alicia's Opinion
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01/19/2017
Withholding pain medication to those in need is inhumane. If a person is horrific pain, it should be treated as soon as possible. This is akin to cruel and unusual punishment.
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Mark's Opinion
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01/30/2017
I'm a paramedic in CO and these medications are vital in some life threatening situations. It is imperative that responders are able to perform with the full scope of their ability
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Dan's Opinion
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01/25/2017
If paramedics are properly trained to administer these drugs and checks and balances are put into place to ensure that they are handled responsibly then this could be beneficial to innumerable accident victims.
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Argument opposed

Existing law doesn’t need to be clarified to ensure that paramedics can administer drugs that are considered controlled substances without a doctor being present, it’s already permitted and that policy will remain in effect.

Don's Opinion
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01/24/2017
This bill is not necessary as emt's already administer narcotics legally.
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Alex's Opinion
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01/13/2017
This bill will allow the ambulance business entity to register to administer the drugs, rather than requiring each staff member to register. This will be less burdensome on business, however, it may create scenarios where the first responder is injecting patients without the proper training. Double edged sword: potentially more access comes with risk. Now ask yourself- would you be OK with the higher potential that someone who doesn't know what they're doing treats you during an emergency? If yes, support this.
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Luke's Opinion
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01/23/2017
This bill is a joke. I've been a paramedic for over 20 years. We have NEVER had any issue with administering narcotics or any other drug out in the field. The system works. Don't change what works.
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What is House Bill H.R. 4365?

This bill would clarify existing law to ensure that emergency medical responders are able to administer controlled substances — like pain narcotics and anti-seizure medications — under the supervision of a physician. It would let paramedics, nurses, or emergency medical service (EMS) providers give patients those medicines based on instructions given by physicians ahead of time.

An existing policy that allows standing orders to be granted by a physician about the administration of controlled substances would be made into law. The physician would retain oversight over medical decisions.

EMS responsible would be liable for receiving, storing, and tracking controlled substances under their care in a manner similar to current procedures at hospitals.

Impact

Emergency medical responders; their patients; and doctors.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4365

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced this bill to ensure that the law clearly allows emergency medical responders to administer controlled substances when treating patients:

“Without this solution, we risk sacrificing emergency care and endangering patients simply because law and regulation have no kept up with the evolution of modern medicine. This legislation is an important clarification of law that allows our first responders to continue administering life-saving medications when they need them most.”

This legislation passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a voice vote, and has the bipartisan support of 134 cosponsors in the House — including 89 Republicans and 45 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: James Hellman, MD / Creative Commons)

AKA

Domestic Violence Loophole Closure Act

Official Title

To require the prompt reporting for national instant criminal background check system purposes of members of the Armed Forces convicted of domestic violence offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
      Military Personnel
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedNovember 9th, 2017
    Withholding pain medication to those in need is inhumane. If a person is horrific pain, it should be treated as soon as possible. This is akin to cruel and unusual punishment.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is not necessary as emt's already administer narcotics legally.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm a paramedic in CO and these medications are vital in some life threatening situations. It is imperative that responders are able to perform with the full scope of their ability
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    If paramedics are properly trained to administer these drugs and checks and balances are put into place to ensure that they are handled responsibly then this could be beneficial to innumerable accident victims.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill will allow the ambulance business entity to register to administer the drugs, rather than requiring each staff member to register. This will be less burdensome on business, however, it may create scenarios where the first responder is injecting patients without the proper training. Double edged sword: potentially more access comes with risk. Now ask yourself- would you be OK with the higher potential that someone who doesn't know what they're doing treats you during an emergency? If yes, support this.
    Like (4)
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    As long as patient is alert enough to consent and verify at the time they are not allergic or a recovering addict that shouldn't be taking them.
    Like (3)
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    Ditto: "Withholding pain medication to those in need is inhumane. If a person is horrific pain, it should be treated as soon as possible. This is akin to cruel and unusual punishment." I'd want EMS to make me as comfortable as possible.
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    While I am against the use of narcotics as there are alternatives, as an EMT trained person, we already trust our paramedics with a large variety of drugs to utilize in life endangering situations. I trust our EMS and was proud to be a part of it when I was.
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    It took several hours to reach the ER by ambulance and then it was another hour before I received any pain medication. This is inhuman to allow a person to suffer when there was no contraindications for me to be given this type of medication.
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    This bill is a joke. I've been a paramedic for over 20 years. We have NEVER had any issue with administering narcotics or any other drug out in the field. The system works. Don't change what works.
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    Yes. Under supervision of medical doctor (MD).
    Like (1)
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    I've been suffering from pain for 20 year's rarely are we addicted , please do acute research
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    My husband has worked as a paramedic. It is important that standards and skill level be certified for all administering these drugs.
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    They are the immediate response team. TRAIN them accordingly and allow them to save additional lives by administering medicine sooner. These are human beings in the back of their van, with families- I would want any means necessary taken to save any of my loved ones.
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    If administering certain medications is potential life-saving, waiting for physician approval and delaying the medication could negatively alter the course of a call
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    Particularly because we do not yet adequately address the problem of opioid addiction with a medical treatment model, we need to ensure that we are doing everything possible to save lives in the meantime.
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    We should give people all opportunities to live with as few ramifications as possible.
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    As a current nursing student and a health care employee I can see the benefit of allowing nurse's and EMT's to administer narcotics per doctors order/ protocol in case of an emergency. Of course this should be allowed with special vigorous training in narcotics which should include antidotes, signs and symptoms of overdose, etc. We need to do what is in the best interest for patients. Patient safety is priority.
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    Save lives!
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    First responders should be able to do alot more than what they are able to do.. they are on the field first and need to keep pt alive or comfortable from whatever the emergency is.
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