Elmo's Song

I’ve written recently above the new advances that have made our care and lives easier:

Stretchers going from two man to one man to now power-operated.

Airway adjuncts like bougies, LMAs, and of course capnography.

Life Pack 5s to Life Pack 10s to LifePack 12 with 12-leads.


I discovered another one just the other day:

18 month old has just had a febrile seizure, and while alert, she is very cranky. We have a neat gadget called a Pedi-mate which is a rollup car seat, that straps onto the stretcher and then attaches the baby just like a car seat.

It’s great! But while her physical safety is now assured, we still have some emotional issues.

The child still would clearly rather be held in mama’s big warm arms. Little Kiesha is crying and throwning a general fit. Now, having my own twenty-month old daughter at home, I know the key to ending a tantrum is distraction. Kids that age take everything in and as soon as they lock on to something new, they go from crying to laughing in a moment.

We have Tough Book computers for our electronic run forms. My service also has an internet aircard so our computer has access to the web. I have a new little notebook computer I use at home I bought so I could watch my daughter in the living room, while still staying connected – I can follow the Red Sox or check my email. I made the mistake of one night showing her U-tube so now whenever I open up the notebook, she comes over and says, “E-I-E-I-O,” which is her way of saying, “Play that Old McDonald had a Farm video for me, Dad.” Or she’ll say “row, row, row” for the Row, Row, Row, Your Boat video.

Back to the crying 18-month old. I realize I have on the bench seat next to me — my Tough Book computer — a compter with access to you-tube. The light-bulb goes on.

A few taps of the computer screen with the stylus and some quick typing and there we are:

On the screen, Elmo, the red furry little red monster from Sesame Street, is tickling the ivories and singing to his buddy Big Bird, “La-la-la-la, la-la-la-laa, Elmo’s song!”, and over the course of our transport a host of speciaal friends drop by –, Elmo, Barney, Dora and Diego, and others — and Mom, me and Little Kiesha are all E-I-E-I-Oing and doing the itsy bitsy spider going up the water spout.

La-la-la-laa. La-la-la-laa. No more tears.


Postscript. Don’t have a service issued computer with internet access? Check with your partner, who may have a Blackberry or I-phone. They work well too.

Elmo’s Song
Old MCDonald Had a Farm
Row Row Row Your Boat
Itsy Bitsy Spider


  • Anonymous says:

    So very smart, I just got an iphone and will be using this the next pedi job we run. Thanks for the idea, the jingling of my car keys just isn't cutting it these days.

  • Renee says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    Boy, was I surprised to see a post from you! 🙂

  • nickopotamus says:

    I did a CCU transfer the other day. The little old lady was so worried about what was due to happen, she was crying and holding my hand and scared out of her mind.

    So I showed her how to browse the internet on my phone, how to use Google maps to see where we were on the trip and how her friend could come visit. That seemed to keep her entertained for the rest of the trip.

    Internet enabled phones. No More Tears ™ 😛

  • Anonymous says:

    I have a 15 month old grand-nephew who had a fall and a head injury. All the while he was transported he was doing his Linda Blair imitation. Now I know what to do -ask them to flip the monitor around and play Sesame Street.

    You rock bigtime. It's not everybody who can intubate a 90 year old, document up the wazoo their every movement, and still care enough to comfort a screaming toddler, all in one day.

  • VA PhireMedic says:


    What a brilliant idea. First of all, I really like the "car seat" your service has…we usually have to get the parent to take the car seat out of their car and put on our stretcher if we're transporting a stable ped patient (obviously if they're unstable we can backboard or find another quicker way)

    We are weeks away from getting ToughBooks in our medics, but I'm not sure if theyre planning on having aircards in them or not…however, I do have a blackberry with access to the internet…typically I try to entertain the kids myself but for some reason they just don't understand my sense of humor…thanks for the idea!!!

  • brendan says:

    I LOVE the Pedi-Mates. When I worked for a private we used it all the time, but it was owned by the pedi ICU transport team we worked with.

    I think they should be mandatory. The child seats built into the airway seats, found on many ambulances now, require the EMS provider to be unbelted to provide any care. If the patient needs to be on the stretcher due to condition, the patient will be totally unsecured. The Pedi-Mate solves both problems.

  • Renee says:

    Ignore my previous comment of being surprised to see a post… not sure where my brain was… thought you were another blogger at that moment.

  • Rogue Medic says:

    I like the child seat, but we still need something better for securing a child, yet not separating the child from the mother. Maybe some innovative entrepreneurial EMS people can come up with some way to secure the child with the mother in a way that satisfies safety laws.