Archive for May2007

No Chest Compressions

File under: Something New Every Day The group home patient with a history of mental retardation was found unresponsive in his wheel chair. The small frail man has significant kifofis. His body is flaccid and he cannot even hold his head up. The quick story is he was found that way this morning. Normally he […]


We are called to a nursing home for a lift assist. I have never done a straight lift assist in a nursing home before, so I am a little puzzled. Isn’t this something that nursing homes are supposed to do themselves? The short, squat nurse demands to know why we have brought in our stretcher, […]


You arrive on scene for a patient with a painful broken hand. The first responder, as he is trained, has a nonrebreather on the patient. You thank him for the report, and then take the nonrebreather off and say to the patient, we’re going to see how you do without this for a minute. Sometimes […]

Good Folk

One of my EMS heroes is Thom Dick, the author of People Care, and a regular contributor to both JEMS and Emergency Medical Services. He has an interesting column in the April Jems called “Spring-Man: What are your jittery patients going to do next?” The gist of the article is to be quiet, to listen, […]

Richter Scale

Precepting has been going well. My preceptee has a knack for us getting calls – no cardiac arrests yet, but a steady diet of low grade ALS calls – chest pains, COPD, hypoglycemia, broken hips, pneumonias, syncopes. For the most part, I just sit back and watch her. I might draw up a saline lock […]


This morning we had a call for a 70 year old man with dsypnea and found him guppy-breathing with a BP of 210/100, HR – 144, skin ice cool and clammy, unable to get a SAT, ETCO2 of 50, RR of 32. Wheezes and crackles in lungs. Upright CO2 wave form. He was sitting on […]

A Tip

Instead of writing about one of my calls – I haven’t had much to write about lately — I’m going to write about a call a medic I know did a few weeks ago. In addition to being a good story, it is instructive. The call comes in as a syncope. A basic crew responds […]


I like it when my preceptee beats me to work. It shows good work ethic. And I’m almost always 15 minutes early. *** There is a pro and con article in one of this month’s emergency medical services magazines about cell phone use on the job. I hate it when my partner’s phone goes off […]


One of the best parts of this job is the conversations you can have with your patients, but not yesterday. Every patient I had yesterday had dementia or was incapable of coherent verbal speech. An old lady from a nursing home trips on a curb at the supermarket. Her friend says she is more disoriented […]

Pain Control

My new preceptee is doing great. On most calls I am a complete invisible man, just sitting back and watching her work. If I offer anything, it is usually just a small trick of the trade. Since she is only part-time, we only work together a couple times a week so I am still doing […]