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Trauma destination legislation

trauma-list@trauma.org trauma-list@trauma.org
Thu, 3 Apr 2003 16:58:02 -0500 (EST)

Does anyone have knowledge of legislation that provides legal protection to 
prehospital crews that transport trauma victims to trauma hospitals
despite wishes to the contrary by family?

Scenario:  Prehospital crew responds to trauma victim (MVC rollover,
unrestrained, positive loss of consciousness, possible hemothorax, varied other
minor injuries.  Hemodynamically unstable, GCS = 13.)  Family on scene
requests crew take patient to small, community hospital, while paramedics feel
the patient should be at regional trauma center.  Transport times are
nearly equal.  Despite efforts to explain the need for trauma center
capabilities, family does not agree to decision.  

1.  Where does the patient go?
2.  Should the EMS crew take to trauma center?
3.  Legal ramifications for either decision?
4.  Anyone have state regulations that cover the gluteus maximus of the
medics IF they were to transport to the trauma center (what is to prevent a
"kidnapping/false imprisonment" charges?)

Any/all input is greatly appreciated.


Jeff Brosius,
Paramedic, etc.
Atlanta, GA