Paramedic Autonomous IV Program

Lanark County Paramedic logoBy Ed McPherson

The Lanark County Paramedic Service recently introduced the Autonomous IV Program to residents of Lanark County. This new program, which became operational in late March, will allow an initial group of thirteen of our Paramedics to provide an enhanced level of intravenous and pharmaceutical care to patients. These paramedics will respond from all five of the bases within the county. Lanark County is the first county in the region to offer this program to its paramedics and citizens.

Having the ability to initiate this skill in the community has many advantages. In many circumstances paramedics are the first contact for patients into the healthcare system and are witness to patients at various stages within their disease progression. Seeing patients earlier in their disease progression, often allows the paramedics to treat patients earlier and when they are in less acute phases of shock. Under the Autonomous IV Program, patients will receive advanced care in a timelier manner.

Examples of specific diseases that have the potential to be impacted by this enhancement include diabetes, infection, various shock states, cardiac diseases, electrolyte complications and post resuscitation management (cardiac arrest).

This new modular style program saw the paramedics complete an intensive review of medical and trauma conditions as well as a review of human anatomy over a period of several months. Following each stage of the program the paramedics were required to successfully pass a written evaluation in order to qualify for the next portion. In the final stage of the program paramedics completed their clinical training in Emergency Departments and Operating Rooms at the various hospital throughout Lanark County.

This new program has not only resulted in the paramedics being able to offer an enhanced level of care to our citizens it has also resulted in a stronger working relationship with the various hospitals in the County. The ability of the health care partners to train with each other has led to a new level of cooperation that will have positive benefits for the patients we all serve.

Lanark County Paramedic Service’s adoption of this new style of education and certification will allow the Service to offer new and advanced levels of training to our staff in a timely manner.

Ed McPherson is Chief of the Lanark County Paramedic Service