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What is Palliative & End of Life Care

Service Types - EMS for Patients & Families

EMS Program 
“Working together to bring emergency care to palliative and end of life patients.”

What is the provincial EMS Palliative and End of Life Care Assess, Treat, and Refer Program?

This program is made to support people and their families who have chosen to get palliative and end of life care at home.

The program links your clinician (this could be a physician, registered nurse, nu​rse practitioner, licensed practical nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, or respiratory therapist) with EMS to help you if you have ​a palliative emergency.

EMS can give you emergency medicine and oxygen right in your home to help your clinician manage your palliative emergency.

The program is there to support you and your care choices, whether you want to get care at home in your community or be taken to the hospital.

Who is this program for?

This program is for adults who are getting palliative and end of life care at home, supported by home care or other healthcare professionals. A palliative emergency might be if you have:

  • pain that gets worse
  • breathing problems
  • delirium (confusion)
  • nausea or vomiting

How do I use this program?

You don’t need to do anything to use the program. Your clinician will contact EMS if he or she needs their help to manage your palliative emergency in your home.

What can I expect if I use the program?

EMS will come to your home. They’ll work with you, your family, and your clinician to talk about your Goals of Care and your wishes. They’ll also work with an on-call doctor to find out the best treatment for your symptoms. If possible, EMS will treat you in your home and support your decision to stay in your home after your emergency.​

​Your clinician will make sure your family doctor/palliative doctor knows what happened. The clinician will also follow up with any changes to your medicine or supplies you need to keep getting care at home. However, if you do want to go to the hospital, EMS will take you to the emergency department

Will this service cost me anything?

Ambulance response and transport is covered for patients on Alberta Blue Cross Palliative Coverage.

Patients are encouraged to apply for this coverage as soon as possible so assess, treat and refer response services will be covered.

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