Critical Care Strategy

Provincial Life or Limb Policy

The purpose of the Life or Limb Policy is to facilitate timely access to acute care services within a best effort window of 4 hours in order to improve outcomes for patients who are life or limb threatened. The MOHLTC developed this Life or Limb Policy in response to recommendations from the Office of the Chief Coroner for a provincial "no refusal" policy when critical injuries or conditions of life or limb are involved.

The Life or Limb Policy applies in all hospitals in Ontario. Paediatric patients (under the age of 18) with life or limb threatening conditions will continue to have timely access to tertiary level critical care resources through the extramural Paediatric Critical Care Response Team (PCCRT) service. (Please note: As per the Critical Care Information System Data Collection and Policy Guide (v2.0) a paediatric patient is defined as any patient who is under the age of 18 at the time of admission to the critical care unit).

For clinical conditions with existing procedures for medical consultation, patient transfer and/or repatriation (e.g., Ontario Stroke Network, Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention STEMI Program), established processes and timelines must be adhered to. The Life or Limb Policy is designed to work in tandem with established policies and/or processes upon adoption.

This document is intended for use by all health care providers: clinicians, hospital administrators, LHINs, Emergency Medical Services, including Ornge, CritiCall Ontario, and Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO).

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Provincial Life or Limb Policy
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