How to determine if a patient has the mental capacity to decline care

Our co-hosts discuss the three techniques EMS providers should use to determine if a patient has the mental capacity to decline medical treatment

This episode of Inside EMS is sponsored by ImageTrend, the creators of the free mobile app for first responders, CrewCare. It’s time to thrive.

In this episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss how to assess the mental capacity of individuals who may be experiencing challenges on-scene. It falls to the EMS provider to determine if a patient can consent to care, but, in order for a patient to decline care, providers should focus on three techniques to help prove the mental competency of the patient. 

To determine the mental capacity of a patient, EMS providers need to test their memory and recall by giving the patient something to recite back, orientation using standard questioning techniques, and cognitive ability where they must demonstrate reasoning. 

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This episode was originally posted June 14, 2019. It has been updated.

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