Analysis of base station morphine orders: Assessment of supervising physician consistency

Jerris R. Hedges, John M. Heiser, Keith W. Neely, Robert Norton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Paramedic contact with a base station should gemerate consistent recommendations reflecting a consensus of base station physician care. In our urban EMS system, paramedics must contact a single base station to provide morphine sulfate (MS) for a patient with chest pain. We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of all prehospital MS requests for chest pain to determine the consistency of the circumstances for which the paramedic team was refused MS. These MS requests represented 123 of the 1,715 (7%) on-line physician consultations during the 6-month study. Only 15 of the 123 (12%) MS requests were refused. Neither the mean patient age, sex distribution, or presenting vital signs correlated with MS refusal. A maximum estimate of transport time to the hospital of ≤5 minutes was noted for 7 of 15 (47%) medication refusals compared to only 11 of 96 (11%) approvals with documented estimated transport times (P ≤ 0.005). A simultaneous request for nitroglycerin (NTG) was noted for 6 of the 15 (40%) medication refusals and 15 of the 108 (14%) approvals (P < 0.05). We found refusal of MS administration to be uncommon. Supervising physicians tended to refuse MS when the transport time was short and when NTG was requested for concomitant administration. We also noted physician inconsistencies in refusal scenarios. These findings can guide physician consensus development to avoid sending mixed messages to paramedics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-590
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


  • administration
  • base station
  • emergency medical services (EMS)
  • on-line medical control
  • paramedic practice
  • physician orders
  • prehospital care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of base station morphine orders: Assessment of supervising physician consistency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this