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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

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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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