Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Service Council

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REVISED Updated Statewide Treatment Protocols and EMERGENCY UPDATE to Protocol for Selective Spinal Assessment Procedure (Part 1)

REVISED Updated Statewide Treatment Protocols, now v. 12.03, Effective September 6, 2014; EMERGENCY Protocol Update to Selective Spinal Assessment Procedure, Effective Immediately


The MA Department of Public Health’s (Department’s) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) has issued a revised version of the recently released updated Statewide Treatment Protocols, which become effective September 6, 2014. The revised version is now 12.03, and is attached, above.  The revised updated protocols and unchanged associated education content is now also available at: Please discard versions 12.01 and 12.02 of the Protocols.


The most notable change in version 12.03 is to protocol 6.2 Medical Director Option, Selective Spinal Assessment Procedure, to bar use of this procedure for any patient age 65 or older.  In addition, Medical Policies and Procedures 7.9 has been added, which carried forward from the current v. 11.01 Protocols, the text of what was in Appendix K, setting out the process for changes to the Statewide Treatment Protocols. The other changes are technical corrections. A full change chart is attached.


Please note that the change to the Selective Spinal Assessment Procedure is effective immediately as an emergency update to Appendix I of v. 11.01 of the Statewide Treatment Protocols, in addition to the change reflected in v. 12.03. Attached is the Advisory for the emergency protocol update.


The previously released education for version 12.01, and the version 12.02 quizzes associated with the education package, are still appropriate for use. Please direct any questions about the protocol revisions or education component to



EMS personnel must be trained to operate under these updated Protocols, version 12.03, by September 6, 2014. Services that have already provided training to their EMTs on v. 12.02  do not need to retrain them, as long as they communicate the significant changes in this version of the protocols, primarily the one to the selective spinal assessment procedure. Ambulance services and their training officers are responsible to ensure all their EMS personnel have successfully completed the Department-provided training before implementing these Protocols. This training has been assigned a blanket OEMS approval number, 140493, for two hours of either local or individual credit, all levels.   Once all service EMS personnel have been so trained and the service is appropriately equipped, they may start operating under these Statewide Treatment Protocols, version 12.03.  Please note that documentation of successful completion of Protocol training for all service EMS personnel, including the exam, will be reviewed by Department inspectors and investigators.

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