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house Bill H.R. 304

Do Paramedics Need to Legally be Able to Administer Narcotics to Patients?

Argument in favor

Paramedics and other emergency medical technicians often assist patients when they are in dire need of pain medication or anti-seizure drugs, so it needs to be legally clear that they can administer those medications.

Anish's Opinion
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01/08/2017
Proper training guidelines should also be in place with this bill.
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Daniel's Opinion
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01/10/2017
In 2014, the DEA announced that they would be creating DEA regulations to simplify EMS administration of controlled substances. However, the DEA later announced that the CSA only allowed for patient-specific orders for controlled substances. According to reports, “in further discussion, it was their position (the DEA) that the language of the statute did not give them any leeway for interpretation and that the regulations would very specifically state that protocol-driven usage of controlled substances is not allowed.” H.R. 304 would amend the CSA to clarify that EMS are able to administer certain controlled substances, under standing orders issued by a EMS medical director physician.
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scottallen's Opinion
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01/08/2017
Paramedics are a very efficient way for a physician to "project power and influence" prior to a patient's arrival at a hospital. A physician should be able to count upon a knowledgeable paramedic as a member of his or her team capable of delivering *any* lifesaving or pain management methodologies the physician believes necessary.
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Argument opposed

Existing law doesn’t need to be clarified to ensure that paramedics can administer drugs that are considered controlled substances without a doctor being present, it’s already permitted and that policy will remain in effect.

Bee's Opinion
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01/10/2017
Dear app developer, we need more information. I find that many bill names are deliberately misleading. There is not enough information on what this bill actually says. Does it make it harder to administer on the spot pain medications to injured victims? Or does it give them the right. Need more info before I say yes.
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B.R.'s Opinion
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01/07/2017
Not sure why this amendment is necessary since the existing law already permits. The bill text has yet to be submitted and without it, I would not vote yes blindly.
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Robert's Opinion
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01/07/2017
Paramedics are generally the first responders to a medical emergency. Their ability to administer pain medication or other relief may be vital.
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    Proper training guidelines should also be in place with this bill.
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    Dear app developer, we need more information. I find that many bill names are deliberately misleading. There is not enough information on what this bill actually says. Does it make it harder to administer on the spot pain medications to injured victims? Or does it give them the right. Need more info before I say yes.
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    As a former Paramedic, in most states Paramedics are under the strict guidelines of a medical supervisor, which is a doctor. Therefore, we are already able to give specific medications under certain parameters (sign and symptoms being present from the patient). Thereby, bringing to my mind, what exactly is this law really about? Especially, since I know that "law" is already in use and has been for many years. Additionally, my mother was a nurse for 30+ years and nurses usually have standing orders for medication for each patient, approved by the patients doctor. So, again what is this law really about?
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    Not sure why this amendment is necessary since the existing law already permits. The bill text has yet to be submitted and without it, I would not vote yes blindly.
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    Paramedics are generally the first responders to a medical emergency. Their ability to administer pain medication or other relief may be vital.
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    In 2014, the DEA announced that they would be creating DEA regulations to simplify EMS administration of controlled substances. However, the DEA later announced that the CSA only allowed for patient-specific orders for controlled substances. According to reports, “in further discussion, it was their position (the DEA) that the language of the statute did not give them any leeway for interpretation and that the regulations would very specifically state that protocol-driven usage of controlled substances is not allowed.” H.R. 304 would amend the CSA to clarify that EMS are able to administer certain controlled substances, under standing orders issued by a EMS medical director physician.
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    Anti-seizure medication should not be an ambulance-ride away from someone who needs it.
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    Paramedics are a very efficient way for a physician to "project power and influence" prior to a patient's arrival at a hospital. A physician should be able to count upon a knowledgeable paramedic as a member of his or her team capable of delivering *any* lifesaving or pain management methodologies the physician believes necessary.
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    I think H.R. 304 should be voted into law so that paramedics, nurses, and EMT professionals don't need to be worried about the repercussions of breaking a law when they are simply trying to save lives. We should remove as many blocks to them taking necessary action in the moment as we can. I do wish, however, that this bill included some sort of provisions for publicly-operated EMSes. They will now be liable for keeping track of and storing these controlled substances, and deserve the budget to be able to properly fulfill that extra commitment this bill brings.
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    In a world of telemedicine a MD could easily be accessed to "supervise" the delivery of critical medicines.
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    The title to this is poorly named. What the bill does is create a new category of registration under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for emergency medical responders and this allows an EMS provider to obtain a license to carry and administer any controlled substances (not just narcotics as the title suggests). They are required to do so under standing orders given by physicians who are themselves registered as prescribers under the CSA. My guess is that currently EMS providers are kind of in a netherland; they are not giving drugs to specific patients under a doctor's instructions so they are carrying controlled substances and distributing them in a fashion that is technically illegal under the current version of the CSA. The DEA has been looking the other way, but given the recent issues with diversion of controlled substances to the black market, Congress thinks it is appropriate to bring this practice under the law rather than leave it in a state of legal limbo.
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    This can be boiled down to 'anything they need because anything can happen.' One day they might have to work on me & if it is a life-saving medical method or procedure, I don't want medical staff limited.
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    Time is critical! EMT's are highly trained and with guidance can do more to save lives!
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    This should be a State Issue. Even if need be a municipal issue.
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    I feel pretty strongly both ways. Yes to administrating narcotics, but why is it not clear to EMTs and No because it is clear. I recommend making Vote Nay and Vote Yea more clearly stated. However, I recall however that addicts and homeless love that free narcotic injection. So chronic frequent flyers need special attention. And why is the Federal Government nosing into a state's issue?
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    I have had my RN, BSN in NYS for 30 years. Most paramedics are as competent, if not more so, than most nurses. They need to help treat pain in the field; it will decrease BPs and anxiety, decreasing side effects and other adverse effects from whatever event initiated the EMS to begin with.
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    As long as the paramedic is a nurse or a PA and is under the supervision of a doctor it should be okay.
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    Paramedics need all tools at their disposal to help/save people's lives.
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    Medical professionals need the freedom to administer medications that best suit the needs of the patient, and at the time they are most needed.
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    A skeptical "yea". Definitely anti seizure medication. The bill should include verbiage allowing EMS to use their professional opinion to withhold the meds so that narcotics aren't used unnecessarily.
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