Archive for September2007

Hey, Look at This

The call is for a possible stroke — a fifty-year old cancer patient can’t move her right side. I’m thinking it’s not a stroke. Maybe weakness, maybe a tumor. But it could be a stroke. We’ll see when we get there. The woman is lying in bed. Her eyes look up at me as I […]


For years I have been on the regional medical advisory council. One of our responsibilities is to come out with the regional paramedic guidelines. It is always very exciting for me to get to use a new guideline for the first time. I think we worked on this for so long, went though many drafts […]

Hyperexcitability and Abnormal Movements

The 84 year old woman, who lives at home, says she is light-headed, feels shaky and is seeing white spots, but she really doesn’t want to go to the hospital. “Well, if you are light-headed, feeling shaky and seeing white spots, you need to go to the hospital,” I say. “Okay,” she says. That was […]


Some towns’ police departments call us to check out prisoners’ medical complaints, typically those suffering from jailitis. The cops get annoyed when we bring the stretcher in. He’s not going to the hospital, we just want you to check him out, they say. If you want to make the cops happy, you finesse a refusal […]

Better Safe than Sorry

It was twenty minutes before my crew change when the tones went off. A fall at a local restaurant. I shook my head. I had dinner out plans for the evening that were going to get shot to hell now. Outside the restaurant we found a polite well dressed man in his sixties sitting on […]