The purpose of the GoodSAM App is to enable immediate life saving assistance prior to the statutory ambulance service arriving.
It is imperative that responders providing Good Samaritan acts do not delay transfer to definitive care.
As such, the following code of conduct containing 6 basic rules has been established:
The Responder must ensure that their knowledge and skills are current
. If formal certification is out of date then acting as a responder must NOT occur.
The Responder should arrive by foot
. Only in especially remote locations should driving to a location be considered and the rules of the road apply fully. Since not officially dispatched, speeding or blue light driving is not allowed.
The Responder should only respond if fully alert
and prepared (do not respond if alcohol has been consumed)
The Responder MUST NOT go outside of his / her skill set
. BASIC LIFE SUPPORT and AED use are all that should be provided when appropriate.
Upon arrival of the statuary emergency services care MUST be handed over immediately
The respondent MUST ensure
that their knowledge and skills are currentand that they have undertaken a formal certified course in immediate life support/first aid and that such certification remains valid. If such certification lapses then a respondent should deregister from the service until it has been renewed.
The following is an example of why these rules are in place. The details have been changed as this case is recent and it does not involve the GoodSAM App.
A junior doctor in North England was an aspiring Pre-Hospital Care doctor. He was not part of any formal (e.g. BASICS) scheme. He had kitted out his car and used radio to listen to Ambulance dispatch. One evening he heard of a motorcyclist who had come off near his home so went to the scene arriving before the ambulance. Once there he found the patient to be breathing but unconscious. Diagnosing a tension pneumothorax he performed a thoracostomy. The ambulance crew arrived, but the doctor continued to manage the patient for a further hour before moving to hospital. The patient died of a hypoxic brain injury. This brief account is one of negligence on multiple levels.
The GoodSAM App is to provide immediate life saving assistance prior to the statutory ambulance service arriving. By remembering the rules above, we can provide life saving care without compromising definitive treatment.