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 Ministry of Health and Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO) developed the 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. CCSO provides provincial level planning, policy review and performance management leadership to improve outcomes for life or limb threatened patients across system partners.

The Life or Limb Policy applies in all hospitals in Ontario.

For clinical conditions with existing procedures for medical consultation and patient transfer and/or repatriation (e.g., Ontario Stroke Network, Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention STEMI Program, extramural Paediatric Critical Care Response Team), 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, Ontario Health regions, Emergency Medical Services, including Ornge, and CritiCall Ontario.

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Provincial Life or Limb Policy
15 pages | 1 Mb | PDF format

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