Zen Masters and Gizmos

I’ve been precepting a new part-time intermediate. He needs 15 IV starts in the field. He may have five or so. (We only work together once a week.) He doesn’t quite have the hang of it yet. I tell him not to worry about missing because when you miss you learn what not to do […]

Epistaxis-Syncope, SYNCOPE-HYPOTENSION-epistaxis

The call is for a nosebleed. Person unconscious in a car. We get updated that the patient is now conscious, but still some bleeding from the nose. The first responder tells us the man has had a nose bleed all day and finally called a neighbor to drive him to the hospital. On the way, […]

A Choice

A couple years ago I decided I wanted to become a triathlete. Call it a middle aged crisis, but I started training regularly and last year completed six triathlons. These triathlons were not the same distance as the famous Ironman triathlons, which include a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a full 26.2-mile marathon at […]

Hands-Only CPR

The AHA has issued a new Hands-Only (Compression Only) CPR advisory. The advisory applies to bystanders, not professional rescuers. When you see an adult suddenly collapse, use Hands-Only CPR: that’s CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. And it can help save lives. Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by bystanders who […]

Driver's Seat

We’re called for an unresponsive at the movie theatre, but are soon updated that the patient is conscious and breathing. As we pull into the parking lot, we see a police car next to a green Oldsmobile, and the officer looking in the passenger door. The officer comes over and talks to me as I […]

Story of the Shift

I rise early in the morning. I shower and shave. I put on my working clothes and lace up my black boots. It is dark outside. I drive through deserted streets to the ambulance base, where I punch in — always fifteen minutes early (even though I don’t get paid until the top of the […]


We get called for a medic alarm. “Eighty-year-old man having a problem with his aneurysm.” Odd. Just before we get there we hear the first responder call for backup saying “There is a lot of blood here.” I make certain to grab a pair of gloves before I enter the house. The door is ajar. […]


The hospitals have been really overcrowded lately. I had two calls the other day that are becoming increasingly common.* The first was for a woman with a low oxygen saturation called in by the visiting nurse who was concerned the 90-year-old woman’s oxygen saturation was at 90, her heart rate 100, and her BP 180/90. […]


Received a fascinating comment on my 29 Ways to Lift Your Tongue post. “Check into this but from what I was just told by my mentor is that Nitro Spray doesn’t have to go under the tongue. You can just spray it like breath spray or aim for a cheek. I haven’t checked but it’s […]

Medicine for Paramedics

I think I am finally getting over my illness, although I am still dragging a bit. Since going most of the winter without being sick, this one has hit me hard. I think I may in fact have been knocked down by one bug and then been dinged by another on top of it. Here’s […]

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