NON-TRANPORT OF PATIENTS An overview in the use of VIRCA
The Need for Correct Documentation.
Comprehensive documentation provides a defence for Paramedics in a very contentious world. Without documentation, it is very hard to show that something occurred. Thorough timely documentation and the use of the VIRCA method should not be seen as additional and unnecessary paperwork. Instead, it should offer the Paramedic some peace of mind. It has been established at law that a Paramedic owes a duty of care to their patient. The QAS as an organization also owes its patients a duty of care. As such, it is vital that the QAS perform their job professionally and correctly. This is because once a duty of care is established; the QAS has to ensure that they do not breach that duty. Virca Does not apply to case where transport is not required, but the documentation still needs to be completed with all Patient details and applied management and advice given.
Patients who refuse transport.
There is still a concern amongst Paramedics that they have no defence against negligence apart from transporting every person they attend. In some instances this has not been the case. Documentation provides a defence; and as such, documentation is an integral part of the treatment for each patient a Paramedic attends. It is an established legal truism that a person of sound mind has the right to self-determination; they can choose what is done (or not done) to their body. The voluntary choices and decisions of an adult person of sound mind concerning what is or is not done to their body, must be respected and accepted, irrespective of what others, including doctors, may think is in the best interests of that particular person. The difficulty arises when there is doubt over whether a person is of sound mind. However, in cases where the person does have an adequate mental capacity, a patient does have the right not to be transported. As such,...