You Make the Call - 17 Year Old Driver

 Welcome back, gang.

In what used to be a weekly series I throw out a scenario that pops into my head and give you the weekend to respond, share, reply and think about what you would do if you encountered this situation.

The Emergency:

You are dispatched as the ALS transport unit for a reported solo motor vehicle collision on a busy divided highway. It is late afternoon and a drizzle has settled over town. State Police (or whoever patrols the highways, but is a different agency than your local PD) is onscene and advises no injuries but requests you continue anyway.

Why? Who knows.

Onscene you have a single sedan into the guardrail, sideswipe, no airbags deployed, minimal structural damage to the vehicle. Patient is an alert and oriented female, 17, who allows a secondary assessment. Upon completion you find no signs or symptoms of illness or injury and she meets all your local refusal criteria except one, the age.

You borrow her phone and dial "Mom" and speak to a woman who matches the demographics given by the patient and the mother is unable to make it to the scene in less than an hour but concurs with the patient that transport is not requested.

Your Supervisor requests you make contact with online medical control so the situation is on the recorded line and the MD can agree she can refuse.

The MD disagrees and requests a transport. (For the purposes of this scenario, my laws do not allow an MD to require transport, only recommend it, your mileage may vary so use what you have in place.)

Just then the State PD asks if she'll be a transport and you relay the content of your conversation with the MD.

"I won't let you kidnap this girl. I'll take her to the PD barracks and wait for mom."

What do you do?

You make the call. 


New Goon said…
Tough call, but in this case as a new (less than one year on) medic, I'd get the officers name in writing, advise online medical control of the situation, get the officer's signature on the refusal, and have mom on the phone to confirm comfort with the whole deal.

My reasoning behind having medical control on the line is solely to have another medical witness to the event and if need be the MD can have a word with the officer taking the responsibility of the patient. Beyond that, as far as I'm concerned if the patient does meet the refusal criteria and no outright medical or trauma signs exist then the comfort level for having PD have their way is much higher. This is all contingent on mom being comfortable with the situation. Mom's word trumps all, and if PD doesn't see it that way then a quick call to dispatch and a PD supervisor is warranted.