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Funeral Procession

15 month old not breathing. You rush out to the ambulance, buckle yourself in, and as you flip through your field guide to read the recommended ET tube size for the age and the epi dose, you wait for them to update you. Child is breathing. Child choked on some milk, but is alert and […]

Open Sesame

Most ER’s require you to punch in a code to get in the ambulance entrance. The near universal code is 911*. Sometimes it’s a little bit of a pain if you have a serious patient, and have to stop and fiddle with the keypad or if it is raining and the hospital doesn’t have an […]


Lady had a syncopal episode on the toilet, hit her head and sustained a lac above her eye. She crawled to the phone and called her neighbor, who came over and helped her call her doctor, who said she should go to the hospital. She checks out okay. Vitals are good, skin warm and dry, […]

Paramedic As Sly Hero

Looking over my last two posts, it occured to me that they share a similar bent. They are both in the paramedic as sly hero genre, where the villians are an uppity flight medic and a nasty triage nurse. Now for a disclaimer I think flight medics are great and I respect their training and […]

Left Lateral Femoral Condoyle

We are sent on a priority one for severe pain at a nursing home. The home is in the southern end of one of our satellite towns — not a facility where we routinely respond. It is pouring rain and we race up the driveway and park under the awning. As we are pulling our […]

Stud? or Idiot?

Called for a possible stroke. Find a middle aged woman lethargic, skin very warm, blood sugar reads HI, which means over 600. Delayed capillary refill. Pressure 76/40. Heart rate on the monitor – 120. Respiratory rate in the low 30’s. Can’t get a SAT. History of IDDM and a kidney transplant, with subsequent infection problems. […]

"Where's My Son?"

Ahead we see two state police cars and two private vehicles pulled over on the left side of the highway. Down in the gulley of the median, I can see the rear end of a car sticking out of the trees and bushes. The men near the car suddenly look frantic. A large man is […]

Check it! Check it out!

The guy sits on the cement floor when we enter the warehouse. Co-workers kneel on either side of him, holding his hands. There are tears coming down his cheeks. “What happened?” I ask. “The beam dropped on his boot.” The co-worker points to a twenty-foot long steel beam that lays nearby under a hoist, but […]

Old Partners

I work 12 hours (noon to midnight)with one of my old partners, who I don’t get to work with much anymore. We have a good laugh right off the back with our first call. Our patient is being transfered from intensive care to a rehab hospital. She has a trach and is on a vent […]

Paperwork? Paperwork?

Busy day, five calls all in a row, three transports and two refusals. My ambulance is down for service so I’m working in another one. The medic who works in that one reguarly has the cabinets locked with pull ties so he doesn’t have to check the shelves unless they’re broken. I check my gear […]

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