Archive for September2020

Killing Season

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Coming in April 2021 from Johns Hopkins University Press. Now available for preorder on Amazon. Killing Season: A Paramedic’s Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic

COVID Tracking

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There are to COVID tracking sites I follow every day.   They both have color coded maps that show how each state is doing according to their metrics. Connecticut is not doing as well as it has in the past.  Our dailey cases and test positivity rate have gone up and stayed there over the last […]

Fatal Overdoses in Connecticut Minorities

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Recent data on fatal overdoses in Connecticut shows overdoses among black and Hispanic citizens are increasing as a proportion of total overdose deaths. To date in 2020, 29% of overdose deaths in Connecticut have been black or Hispanic people compared to 18% in 2015, 21% in 2016 and 2017, 24% in 2018, and 28% in […]

Connecticut EMS Opioid Overdose Data

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In Connecticut, when EMS responds to an opioid overdose, after they have taken the patient to the hospital, accepted a refusal, or presumed a patient dead, they are required to contact the state poison control center and answer a series of questions about the overdose. The program, known as SWORD (Statewide Opioid Reporting Directive), that […]

Heartbeat

Labor day weekend I had an irregular heartbeat.  I had a funny feeling in my chest and when I took my pulse, son of a gun, I was missing a beat every now and then.  I wasn’t near any place where I could put myself on the monitor and see what was actually going on, […]

Shock Index

I attended a CME recently where I heard a term I had never heard before. SHOCK INDEX The shock index (SI) is heart rate divided by systolic blood pressure. The normal range is 0.5 to 0.7. The shock index has been shown to be a predictor of increased likelihood of shock, hospital admission, and mortality. […]

Nalmefene

I heard today that Opiant, the company behind the 4 mg Narcan Intranasal spray, is at work on a new product to combat opioid overdose — Intranasal Nalmefene. Nalmefene Nasal Spray Nalmefene is an FDA approved medication to reverse opioid overdoses when used intravenously. It has yet to be approved in a nasal form suitable […]

Back in the Water

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This week the local aquatics center opened for the first time since the COVID scare locked the state down back in late March.  I have already swum twice and have lanes reserved nearly every day of the week ahead. I missed the pool terribly when it was closed.  The water has always been my buffer […]

Masks and Herd Immunity

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You can wear a mask and still get COVID.  The mask is not fool-proof, but masks can reduce the viral load you are exposed to.  With a smaller viral load, you may get COVID, but it is likely to be much milder than if you got a full blast of the virus. A new commentary […]

COVID Vaccine

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I am pro-vaccine.  I believe in science and in the public health model. When I was in high school, I read an essay called The Tragedy of the Commons.  It basically said that if people acted in their own self-interest rather than in the interest of the group, tragedy would result.  Resources would be depleted.  […]

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