EMS Errors and Patient Safety

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Sit around a table after work drinking beers with your coworkers and listen to the tales. It is the Wild West. Sure there are many medics – the majority, I believe — who do heroic deeds and provide professional care, but there are some other tales out there that would make shocking stories on 60 Minutes.

Insufficient Evidence

While we are all always looking for the latest magic bullet, we do want our medicine to be evidenced-based, and we have to recognize that approach is not always compatible with instant gratification.

Your First Day

This may be your first time in an ambulance or maybe you worked ten years for a service in another state. You might be nervous or you could have so much confidence you had trouble fitting your head through the doorway. No matter who you are, this is my advice:

Why I Haven’t Been Blogging II

I have been searching to rediscover myself as a blogger. I have some germinating ideas, and once I decide on a new path I hope to be more prolific in the future.


What I initially loved about being in EMS (particularly coming from a job in government/politics) is that in EMS, we are the clear cut good guys, or at least we are supposed to be. People are in need, they call us for help, and we do the best we can for them. But as the years have past, I am coming to fear that we are not always doing the best for the public, and that in many cases, we are showing them our less munificent side.


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Once again routine earns its pay.


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The floor is freshly shined. The rooms are all empty of patients. Two nurses stand watching the TV that hangs from the cieling. They are silent.

Drug Seeker

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Sometimes I wonder what he was like years ago before pain and need and abuse came to call.

A Cigarette

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A cigarette often works better than brute force, better than pepper spray, handcuffs, Haldol and Ativan. It’s a simple acknowledgement that a person is having a difficult day and needs a break, a chance to have a smoke and collect yourself before heading on into another tough day.

The Battle

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The good (get an airway that works quick and avoid any CPR interruptions) medic hasn’t completely defeated the bad (I gotta get my tube) medic but there is hope for me.

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