A Dark and Stormy Night

Well, for the last month now we have been using electronic run forms. For the most part, I like them. I like most being able to type out an extended narrative, instead of trying to scribble it all into a confined space. (I know you could always attach a supplemental page, but I rarely did.) […]

Out of Time

Difficulty breathing at the nursing home. The officer who arrives on scene tells us to keep coming lights and sirens. The room in the nursing home is sparse. The patient, a large man in a hospital johnny, is pale and diaphoretic with a low grade fever and edema in his abdomen and extremities. His eyes […]

Sha La Lala Lala, Live For Today

Elderly man. Alzheimers. DNR. No history of seizures. Had a witnessed seizure at the nursing home. Started with his eyes twitching, progressed to a full gran mal. Now the patient who is normally verbal, isn’t saying anything, and has snoring respirations. His pressure is 200/110. I stick an oral airway in after a slight gag, […]

Run Forms

A fundamental tenet of the street medic is that you do not criticize another medic if you were not there on the call yourself. Countless times I have had people come to me and tell me what so and so medic did on a call and can I believe how stupid they were. But most […]


I may have mentioned recently that I started a new part-time job. I’m an EMS coordinator at a local hospital. I’m still keeping my full-time medic job, only I won’t be working so much overtime. I haven’t written yet about the new job — I need to think more about the proper way to write […]

Standing Orders and Consistency

A young doctor I know, who used to be a street paramedic, says the reason paramedics have standing orders is because no two doctors can agree on anything so they let the medics decide based on written guidelines. Otherwise there would be chaos. Where I work I transport patients to any of eight hospitals, but […]

Solo Again

Yesterday my preceptee didn’t come to work. He told me he might not come in. That was okay because he is pretty much done. We’re just waiting for the hospital coordinator (who officially cuts him loose) to come back from vacation and sign the paperwork. The truth is it was great being the medic again. […]

My ETA/ The Triage Zone

You call in for orders and medical control asks “What’s your ETA?” That’s an interesting question. There are several answers. I am fifteen minutes from the hospital grounds. I am eighteen minutes from my back door opening. I am twenty minutes from arriving at the triage desk. I am anywhere from twenty-five to fifty minutes […]


Here are some links worth checking out. *** Rogue Medic has some excellent things to say on the recent subject discussed here of drug administration: Not So Rapidly *** Katherine Howell, author of the EMS thrillers Frantic and The Darkest Hour, recently had a nice article published in the London Daily mail: The Day a […]

Summer Report

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I apologize for no posts for a week. It’s summertime after all. I have been busy playing with my seven-month-old baby girl, staying up watching the Olympics, while channel-surfing to the Red Sox games (including their epic 19-17 win over the Rangers), and celebrating my fiftieth birthday by running my first triathlon of the year […]

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