Archive for January2010

Dueling Coughs

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Each time she coughed, I responded in an eerie EMS version of “Dueling Banjos.” I’d replicate her cough and then do a variation on it that she would try to match, but then I’d out cough her again.

Bed Pan Brigade Recruit

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Writing this I realized that the arguement I often use to give a patient another dose of morphine in the parking lot is that time to the hospital doesn’t always equate to time to medical care in the hospital. Studies have shown hospitals can have a median time of 149 minutes to medication after triage. I wonder what the numbers are with regards to time to the hospital versus time to the bedpan in the hospital.


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It seems like the first thing anyone who has read the book asks me is “How is Arthur doing?” The answer is well. I saw him in March in Atlanta. He is still living in Florida, driving his Cammaro, and enjoying retirement at his nudist campground.

AHA Guidelines 2010 — Coming Oct.

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When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for the Street and Smith’s Annual Baseball issue to hit the newsstand so I could check out how their experts thought the Red Sox would be in that coming Spring — what was the projected lineup? Who were the hot rookies? Who would win the pennant?…Now I wait every five years for the American Heart Association’s ECC Guidelines. What kind of CPR will we be doing? Any changes in ALS drugs?

Where Am I?

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It’s a great feeling to wake slowly and wonder where I am and slowly open my eyes and realize my surroundings. “Hey, I’m already at work. How great is this!”

Death By Detergent

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A hundred yards ahead, we can see the officer standing by the snow-covered car, but then he turns and waves his arms to get our attention. “Stay there!” he shouts.

ACLS Drugs: The Verdict

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Do ACLS medications make any difference in cardiac arrest?…Now a new study has come out that makes the best attempt yet to answer this crucial question, as well as another question I have often wondered about. “If the drugs aren’t doing any good, is it the drugs’ fault or perhaps the fault of poor CPR?”

Glimpse of the End

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Let me say right from the outset that I love being a paramedic and dread that day that I can no longer do this work. That said I have had two moments in my career where I have glimpsed that day.

Paramedicine 1995-1997

When asked by newer medics to talk about the city “back in the day,” my tales would always begin: “There I was in bullet proof vest, largynescope in one hand, narcan syringe in the other, two bags of fluid ready to run wide open, hanging from my teeth…” (For the record, I have never worn a bullet-proof vest).

2009: A Year of Paramedicine

I was able to go through the data bank for the full year 2009 and select out my calls to get some quantitative idea of what I do as a paramedic in a one year period.