Amiodarone vs. Lidocaine vs. Placebo

The results are in.  In an article, Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest, published in yesterday’s New England Journal of Medicine by Peter J. Kudenchuk, M.D., Siobhan P. Brown, Ph.D, and others, the results of a major randomized double blinded study involving paramedics from ten major cities in North America (The Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium […]

Burnout (With Footnotes)

I wrote this a couple months ago when I was feeling really burned out.  The burnout passed, as I knew it would, and I am back to myself, so I can post it now. (1) I have been responding to 911 calls for twenty-six years, 21 as a full time paramedic with a busy urban commercial […]

New EMS Books

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This past year has been a banner year for new EMS books, memoirs and fiction. Each book  that reaches an audience outside of the EMS world increases the public’s understanding of what we do and hopefully, increases their respect for us. Here is a roundup of recent books. Lights and Sirens: The Education of a Paramedic […]

American Pain

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Two tattooed muscle head dudes in their twenties, one a convicted felon, who used to work construction as well as sell steroids, started a small business in which they hired a doctor to write prescriptions for pain medicine to most anyone who came through the clinic’s doors during business hours. The doctors got $75 a […]

EMS Opiates and Chronic Pain – 2

I wrote recently about my new found concern about giving opiates to patients with chronic pain. Opiates for Chronic Pain Subsequently as a member of our regional medical advisory committee, I submitted the following draft proposal: Paramedic Chronic Pain Management Guidelines (Draft) Providing opiates to certain patients with chronic pain conditions may not always be […]

A Cigarette

The mental health team meets us outside. “We should wait for the police,” the clinician says. “She’s a big woman. When we went back up there she had a knife near her that wasn’t there the first time we were up with her. She’s very anxious today. When she’s off her meds, she can be […]

Scene Recollection

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Just how accurate are EMS scene recollections? Try this psychology experiment. Go to this site: http://viscog.beckman.uiuc.edu/grafs/demos/15.html Run the tape excerpt and try to count the number of times the basketball is passed between people wearing white. That’s it. Just count the number of times the ball is passed. ***   Ponder this experiment the next time […]

Do You Think Your Heart is Healthy?

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Check out this NPR radio podcast: Do You Think Your Heart is Healthy? I was fortunate enough to be asked to be one of three guests on the Colin McEnroe Show this week. I was on to talk about what people can do during a cardiac emergency from a paramedic’s perspective. Thanks to Colin and […]

Drug Addicts

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The heroin epidemic is getting a lot of play in Connecticut. In 2015, according to the latest numbers there were 415 heroin deaths in the state, triple the number three years ago. There is a bill in the legislature to require all first responding agencies in the state to carry naloxone. Here’s a news article […]

Anthropophagi

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An excerpt from Diamond in the Rough, the manuscript of an EMT’s wayward journey in EMS. In this chapter, Tim Anderson revisits a scene. *** The worst thing I saw was called anthropophagi. You can look it up in the dictionary, or wait a moment and figure it out for yourself from what I will […]

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