On this page, we aim to identify and provide convenient access to, relevant comments, guidelines and recommendations related to the management of medical emergencies in the office. It is not meant to be exhaustive. We encourage visitors to our site to access the full copy of each article for their own reference.

To download a copy of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons Safe and Effective Office-Based Practices, visit this web address: www.cpso.on.ca

To download a copy of the Colleges des Medecins du Quebec practice guidelines, Procédures et interventions en milieu extrahospitalier, visit this web address: www.cmq.org/fr.aspx

Emergency equipment should be located in a self contained mobile cart, toolbox or bag. Most family physician offices fall into the moderate risk classification. Emergency equipment and medications should be stocked at a level appropriate to the risk profile of the office.”
4Dealing with Office emergencies; Stepwise approach for family physicians. Canadian Family Physicians Vol 48: September 2002 Ian Sempowski. 

“Most primary care physicians report at least one emergency presenting to their office per year. Asthma, anaphylaxis, shock, seizure and cardiac arrest are among the most common adult and childhood emergencies in the office setting.”
2Medical Emergency Preparedness in Office Practice. American Academy of Family Physicians Seth Toback, MD, Washington, Pennsylvania

“Of the 3033 call to 911 from physician’s offices over a 3-year period in Ottawa, 65.3%, were due to CV, respiratory, CNS or endocrine emergencies."
3Frequency of in-office emergencies in primary care. Canadian Family Physician, Vol 55: October 2009 Clare Liddy

“Physicians who perform specific procedures in their offices or clinics — for example, allergy or immunization injections, drawing blood, performing surgical procedures such as vasectomies — owe a duty of care to their patients, and the courts and the provincial and territorial regulatory authorities (Colleges) expect physicians to be prepared for urgent complications that might arise as a result of the medical interventions they provide…While a clinic or office cannot reasonably be prepared for every possible, unexpected emergency, Colleges view physicians as having an ethical obligation to do their best to attend to individuals in need of urgent care. The Canadian Medical Association's Code of Ethics states that physicians should: "Provide whatever appropriate assistance you can to any person with an urgent need for medical care.”
1To read more from the CMPA, please access the full document at the following web address https://www.cmpa-acpm.ca/en/safety/-/asset_publisher/N6oEDMrzRbCC/content/preparing-for-a-medical-em…





1. Preparing for a medical emergency – Anticipating the unexpected in an office or clinic. CMPA January 2013 https://www.cmpa-acpm.ca/en/safety/-/asset_publisher/N6oEDMrzRbCC/content/preparing-for-a-medical-emergency-anticipating-the-unexpected-in-an-office-or-clinic

2. Sethe L. Toback, "Medical Emergency Preparedness in Office Practice," American Family Physician (2007) Vol. 75, no.11 p.1679 – 1684.

3. Liddy, C, Dreise, H, Gaboury, I., "Frequency of in-office emergencies in primary care," Canadian Family Physician,(October 2009) Vol. 55, p.1004-1005.

4. Sempowski, I.P., Brison, R.J., "Dealing with office emergencies, Stepwise approach for family physicians," Canadian Family Physician, September 2002, Vol. 48, pages 1464-1472.