Category Archives:

MRSA Precautions

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) This happens all the time. You get called to the nursing home. There is a sign on the patient door that says “Contact Precautions.” The staff tells you you have to wear a mask and a gown to enter, so you put it on. You are told the patient has MRSA […]


What I like about EMS is you never know where you are going to find yourself. Somedays are pretty boring and routine (nursing home calls and fender benders), but then the next moment, you find yourself in an upside down car, or diving head first through an open window of a locked house, or climbing […]

On the Night You Were Born (an excerpt)

I stood by the hospital entrance I thought your mother would drive through so she would see me. It was dark and cold and I had to stomp my feet to keep warm. Then I saw her drive by. She didn’t see me, and as she continued toward the parking garage, I ran after her, […]

ETCO2 with BVM

In my post of yesterday, I wrote the following: While my preceptee prepared the tube, and our crew did CPR, as an experiment I applied a nasal capnography cannula to the patient to see how well we were ventilating with just CPR and bagging. I have heard it suggested that this is an excellent way […]

Thoughts on CPR, Compressions, ETCO2 and Codes

I came back from a week off the other day and was greeted with a cardiac arrest on my first call and then another arrest the next day. Both codes were asystole, although we managed to get pulses back briefly on the second one. I had my preceptee with me on both calls. He got […]


Clearing out my garage a few months ago, I came across a fifteen year old notebook in which I wrote down my monthly goals. Be a good man.Read 5 books.Work out regularly.Do 30 pushups in a row.Be a good EMTGet 2 Ivs. It was from a different time, a different life. I lived with my […]

Internal Debate

I have a new preceptee again, and while we have been busy, most of our ALS calls – even our good ones — have been routine – CVA/TIA, chest pain, asthma, dislocated shoulder, allergic reaction, pneumonia, nausea and vomiting. Lots of IV, 02, monitor with the basic drugs – NTG, Aspirin, albuterol, solumedrol, benadryl, zofran, […]

Your Choice

He was on his way out to the car when he slipped on the ice. We find him on his knees, leaning into the open front seat of his car. He says he isn’t hurt, but he needs help getting up. He is a big man. I’m guessing three hundred pounds of dead weight. It […]

5 Hour Gap

The call is for a hypoglycemic in the lobby of the nursing home. The nurse tells us the woman sleeping in the chair is an admission from a hospital post cardiac care . They were expecting her five hours earlier, but she has just now showed up in the last ten minutes, apparently by private […]

The Motions

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve been working a lot, doing lots of calls, but nothing I haven’t done before. I’ve been trying to follow my renewed anti-whine, anti-complaint, try to be an easy going nice guy policy. I’ve had a fair amount of success. It is much less tiring going with the flow […]

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