IAED releases Version 13 of Emergency Medical Protocol

Version 13.0 of the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®), scheduled for release in fall of 2015, represents the latest and greatest in a long line of Medical Protocol releases since making its inaugural appearance 36 years ago.

“This is a moment for the EMS history books,” said Jeff Clawson, M.D., inventor of the MPDS and principal author of the classic dispatch text “Principles of EMD—now in its fifth edition. “Version 13 captures the best pre-arrival care available to support and improve our proven standards of excellence in caller, bystander, and responder safety.”

MPDS v13.0 features improvements that affect nearly every protocol. New elements include a fast track to “hands on chest”; clearer definitions, Rules, and Axioms; and additional patient PAIs and PDIs.

Brett Patterson, IAED Medical Council of Standards Chair, called the “hands-on-chest” Fast Track a “significant” addition to an EMD’s toolkit, and it’s intended for patients who are initially and obviously described as being in cardiac arrest in the Case Entry sequence. A DLS Link from Case Entry to PAIs was introduced in MPDS v12.2, but the new Fast Track feature in v13.0 has already proven to further reduce hands-on-chest time, which translates into lives saved.

In addition to changes reducing the time to compressions, MPDS v13.0 also limits the use of the AGONAL BREATHING Detector that, according to extensive case review, was clearly being overused.

“While this diagnostic tool was designed to confirm that reported breathing actually is, all too often EMDs were using it to confirm the absence of breathing, which delays time to hands-on-chest,” Patterson said.

The new version is also crafted to better meet research parameters and allow more flexibility regarding local response assignment. For example, throughout the protocol, the Determinant Descriptors “Unconscious or Arrest” have been separated to allow for data collection and differentiation of local response.

Now as ever before, the protocol system reflects medical innovation, cultural nuances, contemporary life, expert counsel and ―most importantly―research into the science of dispatch, led by over 400 official Proposals for Change (PFCs) requests submitted by protocol users from communication centers worldwide.

Many new things very helpful to EMDs include a Chemical Suicide Diagnostic, Epi-Pen Assistance PAI, Narcan Admin Assistance PAI, Miscarriage PAI, plus new Drowning Protocol ECHOs.  These are just a few of the many innovative improvements in v13.0. 

Worldwide, the MPDS is used in 3,000 agencies and translated in 14 languages, with users in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and China. Currently, there are over 46,000 IAED-certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers.

For more information about MPDS v13.0 update, call the Academy at 800-363-9127 or visit the IAED website at

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