Kawartha Lakes Paramedics voluntarily upgrade their skills

Photo Courtesy: City of Kawartha Lakes

KAWARTHA LAKES-If you suffer a heart attack or a drug overdose in the City of Kawartha Lakes, some paramedics are now even better positioned to save lives and provide greater patient comfort while on route to the hospital.

Over the summer, 35% of Kawartha Lakes’ Primary Care Paramedics voluntarily opted to upgrade their skills to become qualified to administer intravenous (IV) therapy to patients while partnered with an Advanced Care Paramedic and independently. This program will allow for Primary Care Paramedics to initiate IV access and could involve the administration of fluid bolus, dextrose and expanded medical directives for narcan, nitroglycerine, gravol and benedryl.  It can be both lifesaving and therapeutic in cases of heart attacks, trauma, allergic reactions, diabetic emergencies and many other instances.

Paramedic administers IV therapy

The training consisted of 2 days in class and 2 days on site at the Ross Memorial Hospital. Sara Johnston, Commander, Quality Assurance and Education for Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service explained, “We really appreciated the Ross opening their doors so that our team could gain the clinical application of the skill required for certification. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Dr. Lauwers and his staff, and want to thank them, and their patients, for extending us this opportunity.”

The training was provided by Commander Johnston in conjunction with Kawartha Lakes Base Hospital Medical Director through the Central East Prehospital Care Program. This initiative is an example of the ongoing commitment of Paramedic administration and staff to continually improve patient outcomes.

Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service employs 80 Paramedics. About half are Advanced Care Paramedics, who have attended an additional one year program over and above the 2-year college Primary Care Paramedic diploma program. Details on credentials, nearby programs and the work of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service are available at www.kawarthalakes.ca/paramedics