EMS Drugs

As an exercise I rated the 33 drugs I carry in order of their essentialness.

In other words, if every day I had to take one drug off my rig until in the end I only had one left, which drug would I choose each day?

In writing the drug profiles, I tried to imagine I was telling a new preceptee my thoughts and experiences with the various drugs.

Here is the list from most essential to least:

1. Epinephrine
2. Morphine
3. Oxygen
4. Ativan
5. DuoNeb
6. Normal Saline
7. Dextrose
8. Nitroglycerin
9. Narcan
10. Aspirin
11. Amiodarone
12. Atropine
13. Dopamine
14. Zofran
15. Cardizem
16. Adenosine
17. Glucagon
18. Magnesium
19. Benadryl
20. Versed
21. Solu-Medrol
22. Sodium Bicarbonate
23. Calcium
24. Haldol
25. Metoprolol
26. Lidocaine
27. Toradol
28. Activated Charcoal
29. Tylenol
30. Tetracaine
31. Phenergan
32. Vasopressin
33. Lasix

9 Comments

  • Don says:

    Thanks for putting in the effort on this, much appreciated as I am always looking for more experience provider input.

  • mark says:

    Thanks for you work on this. I read this site many times at work just to quiz myself and learn from your experiences.

  • Christina says:

    This is good stuff! Thanks for writing it!

  • michelle says:

    I’m wondering if you’ve come across any reference that talk about the quantity of medications use? Say, are there any statistics on the average number of epinephrine 1:10,000 syringes used in a code situation? There are an increasing amount of drug shortages, mostly for our code tray items. We are looking to determine a minimum, safe quantity to include in the trays. We stock the code tray with 10 syringes. We would like to decrease this to 7 syringes. Do you have any thoughts? Any references you could point me to? Thanks.

  • Karin says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am studying to become a paramedic and your short ‘stories’ about the drugs make it so much easier for me to remember them all. Thank you!

  • raymond says:

    Thank you for the list, although I use Zofran and solu-medrol more so I think those would be higher on my list.

  • K says:

    Can you add RSI drugs (vec, roc, sucks, etomidate) these explanations really help me grasp the drugs.

  • Morgan says:

    I am 12 years young and I’m studying drugs for when I’m older I’m very smart and i love to learn new drugs so I study all my time into drugs this is a really good site thank you!!:)

  • Kayley says:

    I’m studying drugs for when I’m a CNA Nurse later in life. This is an awesome site thanks for this AMAZING SITE!!!!!!!!

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Peter Canning

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Recent Posts
Breaker of Men September 25, 2014
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Clear Some Space May 28, 2014
Patient Handover May 13, 2014
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  • Comments
    Survivor
    Streamline
    Well said. Given your attention to work/life balance mixed with genuine passion for the profession, it is no surprise that you have had such longevity in this career. I look forward to more posts in the future, whenever you get to them ;) Keep on keepin' on!
    2014-09-24 18:01:15
    McGee
    Solu-Medrol
    TOTWTYTR: How can you say that ED staff are lazy or inefficient? You don't know what are you talking about mate!!! Big difference between EMT/Paramedics and ED staff...is you can give medication when you want and you don't need to wait for a medic to prescribe that drug.
    2014-09-23 08:52:46
    Vanessa
    PSVT-Adenosine
    I have PSVT and have been converted twice with Adenosine and it feels horrible, like an elephant sitting on our chest, I once went to the ER after 30 in V-tach, and a doctor said he learned this maneuver that usually works 90% of the time. Have the patient lay down and push down just…
    2014-08-27 21:08:20
    Jon Kavanagh
    Patient Handover
    Handover needs to be handover. The physical transfer of the patient needs to be a separate step. Introduce the nurse/team to the patient, give the relevant stuff, then move the patient over; even in a high acuity patient, unless he is ready to die without an immediate intervention by the physician, the 15-30 seconds spent…
    2014-08-13 19:19:31
    Lisa Aulbert
    Precepting
    I hate to break this to you, but you are a part of the problem. Having an easy day is not dependent on if a student "talks a good game" and being a good preceptor does not mean that you give a student that has CLEARLY demonstrated deficiencies during several calls during the shift, the…
    2014-08-01 15:01:15

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