January 8, 2019 1:29 pm

New Urgences-Santé protocol in Montreal, Laval lets doctors declare death from a distance

Urgences-Santé doctors will now be able to work with paramedics on scene to declare a death from afar.

Mario Beauregard/The Canadian Press Images

Urgences-Santé doctors in the territories of Montreal and Laval will soon be able to declare deaths from a distance.

Starting Jan. 14, paramedics who are on the scene of a death at a home or in public places will be able to call doctors to request a death certificate.

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The organization notes that this service has already been established in several regions of Quebec with the goal of improving the efficiency of services to families.

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“Our primary mission is to provide quality emergency paramedical care to Laval and Montreal residents,” said president and CEO Nicola D’Ulisse.

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This improvement includes reducing the amount of time families have to wait for a doctor to visit the scene of a death before the body can be sent to a funeral home.

“The idea behind this new protocol is to use the right resources in the right place at the right time,” said D’Ulisse.

“The paramedics are already on the scene, and they are qualified to make the death report at a distance. This change in practice enhances the role of our paramedics while optimizing resources.”

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Urgences-Santé notes that its paramedics will also be able to support the family during difficult times.

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“By April 2019, Urgences-Santé’s 1,000 paramedics will be trained to record deaths,” the organization stated.

The change in protocol is in collaboration with the Quebec College of Physicians and the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec.

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