Service Dogs for First Responders

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A fellow paramedic here in Hartford, Greg Shovak runs a great educational program called EMS and PTSD – Learning from Combat Veterans to Understand PTSD.  I attended one of his sessions a few years ago and thought it was excellent.  I learned a lot of PTSD, and also had my first introduction to service dogs. […]

PTSD

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I attended a critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) a few years ago. I thought I had been invited to an informal get-together of folks from another service who I had been on a upsetting call with the day before. Had I known it was a formal CSID debrief, I wouldn’t have gone, as I had […]

Beautiful Boy: The Movie

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Beautiful Boy, a father’s story of his son’s drug addiction, is now streaming on Amazon Prime. The movie, based on the real life stories of David and Nic Sheff, a father who witnesses his son’s addiction to methamphetamine and heroin, is forced to make artistic plot choices. I wondered how the movie director was going […]

Calm

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When I first became an EMT, a friend asked me why I liked the job so much. When I come through the door, people look at me like I am an angel, I said. What is it like driving lights and sirens? Another friend asked. Awesome — I feel all powerful. I hit wail and […]

Tidying Up

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Twenty years ago when I was looking to buy my first house, my realtor didn’t understand why I did not like the home she was showing me that seemed to meet all my specifications: price, location, size. She did not understand that just two months before I had worked a cardiac arrest there. I could […]

Muscle Rigidity in Opioid Overdose

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I wrote a number of months ago about fentanyl induced chest wall rigidity in opioid overdoses. Chest Wall Rigidity Fentanyl induced chest wall rigidity is rare in the hospital setting, but it should not be surprising to find it is a factor in overdose outside the hospital given that the amounts of fentanyl being injected […]

Manual Versus machine Blood Pressures

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How do you want to be known as a Paramedic/EMT? A. Reliable B. Frequently wrong According to a recent article in JEMS, Ditch the Machine to Improve Accuracy in Blood Pressure Measurement and Diagnostics, “automated blood pressure readings are frequently inaccurate.” Is this a surprise to anyone? Yet, many of us continue to relay on automated […]

Balance

December 8, 2018: This weekend, I am in Worcester, Massachusetts at the New England Short Course Meters Masters Swimming Championships as a member of the Connecticut (CONN) team. Last year, we shocked many of the other teams by taking first place. Points are awarded based on place finish in individual and relay events. Each swimmer […]

Not My Addiction

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This is great film, made by EMS for EMS, to help us understand addiction and the stories behind our patient’s lives.  The 37 minute film tells the story of four addicts in their own words, including one who was once in EMS.  Listening to these four tell their stories helps people understand how easy it […]

Napping in EMS

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Do you nap on your EMS job? While many EMS organizations prohibit sleeping on the job and others allow it only in designated areas, a safety panel empowered by the National Association of State EMS Officials recently issued recommendations that included encouraging napping as a way to mitigate the adverse effects of fatigue. Recommendation 4: […]

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