The links below represent a wide range of topics in news articles, resources, and journal articles. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) identified in the respective articles, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Odyssey Medical, or the author of this blog post.


We ended the month of April with 53,236 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada. As of May 31, we had 90,947 confirmed and presumptive cases across the country. Nunavut remains the only Canadian jurisdiction to be COVID-free (after a false positive case identified at the beginning of May)

Canada, and countries around the world are slowly beginning the re-opening. Having said that, mass gatherings of all kinds (i.e. music festivals, sports, fairs, etc.) are on hold for fear of rapid spreading of SARS-COV-2. When can we expect the return of music festivals? Read the predictions below.

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Event Medical Media Scan – February 2020 Edition

Legal Waivers

If you have ever participated in mass sports events (for example, triathlons), no doubt you would have signed a legal waiver. Did you actually read the content? Do you think it is as ‘iron-clad’ as the language led you to believe? 

The articles below presents different perspectives – the first comes from a legal scholar discussing the issue of liability waiver in general. The second comes from the perspective of insurance underwriters, and finally, we have a lawyer discussing the issue of waivers with respect to minors. 

Why it matters? If the waivers are not as iron-clad as they are once thought, what are your liabilities when you are treating patients on site?

When Sports Have “Death Waivers”




How waivers of liability could be harder to enforce



Canada:  Minors – The Special Case Of Liability Waivers



Social Media

The rise of social media allows  information to spread at unprecedented speed and reach. When it comes to sharing sensitive information though, can you run into faux pas (on a minor scale) to a major breach of policies and the law (on the other end of the scale)?

If you have spent any amount of time watching medical TV shows from the United States, no doubt you would have heard of HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).  In Canada, we also have privacy legislation covering medical-personal information. The oversharing or inappropriate sharing of information can lead to embarrassment/losing social status among your colleagues, and have led to sanctions from various regulatory bodies across the country.  

Why it matters? Sometimes a post in isolation doesn’t betray privacy, but when a topic becomes newsworthy elsewhere, then links back to no-identified comments can become an unintended violation, as assumptions are made about the event. For example, posting anything after a ‘big case’ at an event, would become attributable to a person once that story got otherwise picked up by the press.  Would you want to wake up one day to find your name splash across headlines on websites, newspaper and social media? 

Nurses and doctors are flocking to TikTok to crack jokes and lip sync. But are they eroding patients’ trust?


10 Ways Doctors Lose Patients and Respect on Social Media



Mental Health

Whether you are a first responder, healthcare professional or families of the aforementioned, no doubt you would have seen or experienced some of the ugliness that comes with the job. 

As we focus on saving/getting our patients better, have you thought about YOUR own (and your family) mental health? Do you know who/where you can seek help if needed?

Why it matters? We are pretty good at handling the physical aspect of health, but perhaps just a bit short on the mental side. The articles below explore a bit more than just PTSD – it’s worth sharing with your family if you find it difficult to talk at first. Self-care is important. Take the time your need for it!

Mental Health and First Responders: How Their Jobs Can Cause More than Just Stress


U of G researcher creates website to support first responders and their families


First responders carry coins to spark mental health conversations in Windsor-Essex


Harm Reduction – Australia

As the summer season of music festivals continue in Australia, the debate about harm reduction continues. 

Why it matters? We haven’t heard of major discussion in Canada about this subject yet. Do we have similar issues here at home, and what would drive the discussion for policy changes? 

Does the future of music festivals rely on pill testing?


Grieving mother wants music festival pill deaths to be ‘catalyst for change’

Photo Credits:

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

Photo by Thomas Ashlock on Unsplash

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Event Medical Social Media Scan – January 2020 Edition

Event Medical Articles of Interest – December 2019

Resource/Guidance documents (Australia)

Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub

Safe and Healthy Crowded Places Handbook https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/media/5914/crowded-places-handbook.pdf
Guidelines for music festival event organisers: music festival harm reduction https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aod/Publications/music-festival-guidelines.PDF

Articles of Interest – Regulation

Major shakeup in regulation of health professionals proposed in B.C. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-health-regulation-announcement-1.5375422

Articles of Interest – Research

Impact of mass gathering events on emergency healthcare services: informing health service planning for safer communities
DJ Mag partners with the Global Drug Survey
“Smashing Into Crowds” — An Analysis of Vehicle Ramming Attacks
From Jordan: “The article certainly makes the case for “vehicle interdiction measures” for the public, especially mass gatherings.”

Articles of Interest –  Harm Reduction

[Australia] Victorian ambulance union calls for ‘back-of-house’ pill testing at music festivals this summer
[Australia] It’s a victory for common sense’: NSW music festival bill passes

Articles of Interest –  Others

Surrey hospital to start emergency physician residency program

Med Direction FAQ – Airway Management and Scope of Practice

Hi everyone,

The Challenge

We received a couple of interesting questions last month, submitted by Nathan Innes (Ontario). He has been having some conversations with colleagues and trying to figure out answers to the following:

  1. Is the insertion of a nasopharyngeal airway (NPA)
    within the scope of practice for a paramedic (PCP, ACP, CCP)?
  2. Is the insertion of a NPA in scope for other types of
    health care providers?

History of NPAs

Believe it or not, the
first NPA was invented in the 1870s and it took another few decades for the
oral airway to be invented. NPAs are also known as “nasal trumpets” or “nose
hoses.” They are a good option for airway management if you have a patient who
is too intoxicated to maintain a consistent airway without assistance, but
awake enough that the gag reflex is still intact (and so not a candidate for an
oral airway).

Nerdy, interesting paper about NPAs (a classic): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1726817/pdf/v022p00394.pdf

So, in this case, answering Nathan’s questions directly…

General Approach to Any Scope of Practice

Whenever you are going
to intervene/treat a patient, ask yourself the following questions (the 3 S
Approach – Scope, Support, Skill):

  1. Is this within my SCOPE
    of practice as a professional?
  2. Is this intervention/treatment SUPPORTED by a clinical protocol?
  3. Do I, personally, have the training, knowledge and SKILL to perform a particular

    1. Do I understand the indications, risks, alternatives
      and contraindications for a given intervention/treatment?
    1. Do I have the ability to manage complications that may

SCOPE:  Yes, inserting a NPA is within scope for emergency medical responders
(EMRs), paramedics (PCP, ACP, CCP) and nurses (LPNs, RPNs, RNs) in Ontario,
Alberta and British Columbia.

SUPPORTED:  Yes, this intervention is supported by Odyssey Medical for providers who have this in their SCOPE, and who have received the training and are comfortable with the SKILL. We don’t have a specific written protocol for the insertion “How To’s” of NPAs because it is not our goal to reproduce textbooks specific to each credential and level of training. The insertion of NPAs is part of BLS management of an unstable airway. Some quick resources if you wish to review:

Nathan, thanks for
your questions!

Sheila Turris

Bonus Question:

Why is one end of a
NPA flared?