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  • Eric Jaeger

Sudden Death in Custody: EMS Training

In EMS we must do the hard work to better understand sudden death in custody. A key priority is the development and delivery of training focused on the assessment and management of individuals in law enforcement custody.


Page, Wirth and Wolfberg, the national EMS law firm, writing about EMS care for patients in custody advocated that EMS must:


"Train, train and train using role-play and mock case scenarios…. We [often encounter] mental health crises, difficult patients, and drug and alcohol situations. Yet we don’t typically conduct much realistic training on these scenarios.

Practice communication skills to intervene effectively with police when you detect that the person in custody might be in distress.”


Topics to be addressed include:


Pathophysiology of Death in Custody

  • Positional asphyxia

  • Choke hold dangers

  • Role of “fight or flight” in maintaining life

Scenario-based Training

  • Interaction with law enforcement

  • Management of a patient in custody

  • Management of cardiac arrest in connection with custody

Implicit Bias

  • The corrosive and pervasive effects of implicit bias

  • Distinguished from racial animus

Anchoring / Confirmation Bias

  • How to combat


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