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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
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    Default I Want a Picture of This!

    Here is an interesting discussion point. When do we, as responders, have the "right" to take pictures of our patient. In this case, the fire department wanted to have pictures for training purposes but was refused. Here's the original question I received...

    "Last week we were called to the hospital for an impalement. A guy went spear fishing and had an accident that shot a spear through the bottom of his chin, through his mouth, and came out the top of his head. They couldn't load him into the cat-scan because he had six feet of spear sticking out of his head so they needed it cut. There was no way they were letting us take pictures even when it was explained to them that they would only be used for training purposes. Since we were on private property I didn't get in it with them.

    Where can I find a law to make a printout of it? I'm sure we'll run into something photo worthy on a public street at some point and I want to be able to have a hard copy to hand to anybody that might give us a hard time."

    My response to this department was... "I do not know how the 'rights' of the patient and the 'rights' of us as responders apply in this situation. If you made patient contact at an incident scene, it would be expected that you could and would take pics. Your situation, however, was that you were on hospital property when you made contact with your patient.

    I don't have an answer for you. It would be worth exploring with your City legal department as well as with follow-up meetings with the hospital administration to see what laws or policies apply. I would do what you did...don't argue, just get the job done and consider this a lost opportunity; one that you can use to establish procedures for future situations."

    Any ideas from Forum Members???

    Ron M
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Miller337's Avatar
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    Our job is to show up and make our clients situation better almost regardless of what it is.
    One of the very few SOPS we have is that the client is always treated with dignity. They are quite possibly having the worst day of their life, so don't compound the situation by agitating them.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
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    Default

    Turns out, the discussion actually refers to what is known as the 'Fair Use' and it isn't something that would give responders the 'right' to photograph everything or anything we run into. The fair use term comes from the Copyright Act of 1976 and really just explains how copyrighted works such as print matter, pictures, art work, etc can or can't be used by others. So your members should know that 'fair use' doesn't mean that there are any special privileges for responders.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  4. #4
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    Uh, I saw what I thought was the x-ray pic in a news article on the web in a news article.

    Okay, did a quick search. Is this it??

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1606511.html

    I don't know why they'd give them so much grief. Maybe they need to have a better relationship with the trauma coordinator at the hospital.

  5. #5
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    Problem seems like the patient would be the one having to give consent, but said patient may not be in shape to do that, or may not be a good time to ask

    Maybe if the news people show up get thier pictures


    Or do what the reality shows do, reenact it

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    What do you NEED a picture of that for in training? Describe the situation....your done.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    What do you NEED a picture of that for in training? Describe the situation....your done.
    Some people remember visuals better than just hearing about it. I know I do. Ever hear the saying about training regarding hearing, seeing, doing?

  8. #8
    Forum Member bcjack's Avatar
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    If I remember my PIO training correctly, the patient has no clear right of privacy out in the field (news photographers), but once in the ambulance, helicopter, hospital, there is an expectation of privacy. There is case law on it, but I can't remember the case info at this time.

    When in doubt, get consent, from the patient or their legal guardian and if possible, in writing. Absent consent, don't do it.
    everyonegoeshome.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    What do you NEED a picture of that for in training? Describe the situation....your done.
    I agree with Bones 100% -if you need smoething like that for "training" -a line training type diagram would be more useful.
    something
    ?

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Some people remember visuals better than just hearing about it. I know I do. Ever hear the saying about training regarding hearing, seeing, doing?
    Ya, but do you need to see a piece of metal through a head, or see how to cut a piece of metal? Aren't you trying to remember how to fix the problem and not the problem itself?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  11. #11
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Pictures

    Out in the field they are fair game.....is a Hospital there's a little thing called H.I.P.P.A. If they say no pictures then no pictures....that simple.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Ya, but do you need to see a piece of metal through a head, or see how to cut a piece of metal? Aren't you trying to remember how to fix the problem and not the problem itself?
    Well sometimes you just need some kewl pics in the powerpoint to keep people awake! BTW, I think in this case I'd use a bolt cutter. No vibration, and little recoil from being cut. Just have good support for what's being cut, and the cutting head of the bolt cutters as well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    When do we, as responders, have the "right" to take pictures of our patient.
    A member of the public may have a right to take pictures of a patient when they are in a public area, although this does not mean that they have to be allowed into a scene to do so. As a responder, you will tend to have more restrictions on things like taking pictures than the general public does. I think you would be hard pressed to find a department that allows its members to take pictures of a patient. This may include cases where the patient gives you permission.

    HIPAA only applies to organizations who bill insurance companies, which some departments may do. However it is common practice regardless to protect patient privacy, even if it is not a law or regulation outside of the department. If the patient is in the care of a group that HIPAA applies to (Ambulance crew, or hospital staff), then they may not allow you to take pictures of the patient.

    My recommendation is; if the department does not have a policy preventing it, AND the patient gives you permission, AND taking a picture does not delay necessary care of the patient, then go for it. It would still be a wise choice to get permission from the department head though.

  14. #14
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    I've had instructors in my EMS refresher courses that present 'special' topics, cases, etc. and sometimes they will get pictures of the patient injuries or whatever. What they've stated is that they: 1) ask for the patient's permission, 2) try not to capture anything in the picture that can identify the patient (faces, tats, etc.) 3) have the patient sign a waiver and expain what the picture is being taken for. Amazingly the instructors state that the patients many times are willing and kind of intrigued that they will be used for case studies. So that's another idea. Hope this helps.

  15. #15
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    I would reach out to the patient and explain the purpose of wanting the visual aid. I would then ask their permission for a copy of x-ray.

    Since x-rays are all in a digital format, it shouldn't be too difficult to get if the patient is willing.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  16. #16
    Forum Member bcjack's Avatar
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    everyonegoeshome.com

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