Archive for November2005

Kind of Friends

We get called for an OD. A young woman took all her psych meds at the same time because she was depressed. Her ex-boyfriend broke into her house and stole her cell phone. And her best female friend committed suicide recently, so she was just feeling a little overwhelmed. She had a past history of […]


It’s Thanksgiving morning. I awake at 5:10, shower and dress, then open up the garage door to see a couple inches of snow on the ground. It’s beautiful, but I hate winter, hate the cold weather, hate driving in snow. When I get to the base, I can see from the tracks in the snow […]


Did a code at a nursing home last week. Patient, last seen allegedly an hour earlier, found apneic and pulseless in bed. She was asystole with cool, cyanotic skin. No shock advised on the first responders’ defibrillator. I intubated her, did a round of epi down the tube, then got an IV and did 25 […]

Nursing Home Artwork

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I’m wheeling a patient down the hall in nursing home (bringing them back from a dialysis trip), looking at the paintings on the wall. Most nursing homes have really crappy art work — paintings of rich people having picnics in top hats or girls in nightgowns playing with kittens — paintings that are sold in […]

EMS Errors/Dangerous Places

Interesting online article at about ambulance errors. Ambulances Can Be Dangerous Places Here’s two excerpts: In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published its report To Err Is Human, which estimated that up to 98,000 patients may die each year because of the mistakes of doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers. But few published studies […]

Scouting Report

The local EMT class lets its students sign up to ride with us after they have made it through a certain part of the course. Over the years I have to say most of the students who ride with us don’t last. The course has a poor passing rate, and many of the students who […]

"You're Going to Need a Bigger Ambulance"

“You’re going to need a bigger ambulance,” the police officer says when we pull up in our van. “I don’t like the sound of that,” my partner says. Niether do I. Already I can feel my back tightening up. Inside the small dirty apartment we find a tiny older woman, who points us down a […]

"For the Unconscious"

Calls run in random, almost crazy patterns that sometimes give you cluster days where you are bombarded with all similar calls. Some days its psychs, other days its carry-downs. (What really sucks is when a carry-down cluster intersects with a humongous patient cluster.) Other days it is asthmas or strokes or MVAs. I once had […]

Cigarettes and Tasers

We get sent to a nursing home for a “violent” patient in the lobby. Cops have been notified. We arrive to find a big muscular man about fifty with no legs in a motorized wheelchair waving his fist at a nurse, who stands back about ten feet, shaking her head at him. There are three […]

One of the First

Last call of the day is a nursing home transfer. Guy has one leg and sores all over his body. He says he is a former EMT in the city – one of the first.