Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What if the patient is a potential organ donor?

As an EMT or Paramedic you do not have the final say on if a patient is an organ donor or not. Most patients who are potential organ donors will have a signed donor card. This is considered a legal document. Remember that the patient is a patient first and then an organ donor. The Hospital staff and patients family will have the final say if there is no donor card available.  Be sure to communicate with your medical directive.

A word of warning about potential organ donors, please do not mention or discuss this in front of a crowd and family members. Remember as an EMT or Paramedic, you are responsible for this patient’s confidentiality. Information like such should not get out to the press.

Also a family member may not know that the patient has decided to be an organ donor. Or they may not agree with the patient’s decision. If a family member is there, as the EMT you will want to keep the scene as calm as possible. This kind of information could cause the family member to become upset and act out on their emotions. As someone who has experienced caring for a patient and also having to deal with a family member at the same time, it’s not a pretty sight as an EMT.

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