Modern Medicine

“Did you hear what happened to Art?” “No?” Art is my old partner. I am a little concerned by the urgency of the question. “He had an MI.” “What?” “He had an MI.” “Is he okay? What happened?” “He wasn’t feeling well. He and his partner were at the hospital. They’d just dropped a patient […]

Friday Nights Out

Terry is a pisser. She’s a tiny little lady who’s almost sixty, looks almost fifty, and acts twenty-nine. Friday night is her night on the ambulance. She does the 23:00 to 8:00 shift with Alan and Ken. I come in at 6:00 to relieve Alan. She is having a friend and the friend’s boyfriend over […]

An Encounter

It’s been snowing all day — a blizzard. Eight or nine inches on the ground already. Now it’s night and I’m hungry, so we drive out through the snow to get a hot pizza. At the pizza shop, I notice a grey faced woman say hello to me as I go in the door, then […]

Compressions

Last night one of our long-time members came in at ten to relieve the on duty crew. He has been an EMT for over twenty years and helps teach the EMT class here in the suburbs. He heard about the code we did yesterday and talked to the new kid about it. “I wanted to […]

49 Years

The man is breathing like a fish cast up on land. He is quiet, then with all the effort of his chest, he gasps. He’s quiet, then he gasps again. His wife says he started losing conciousness an hour ago. He has terminal lung cancer. It has all been very quick. It started with back […]

Credit

I’m precepting a nice young man who is very on the ball. He knows his protocols better than I do. I ask him the dose for Cardizem. He rattles it out. .25mg/kg first dose. .35mg/kg second dose after fifteen minutes if the first dose didn’t work. Once the rate slows, you run a drip at […]

Ruby

We’re called for a fall at a private home. When we pull up my partner says he’s been here before. He gets on the radio and cancels the district car. “What if she’s a big lady and we need a lift?” “She’s a little thing,” he says. We go to the front door. It’s locked. […]

Assault

We’re called for a domestic in an apartment complex. Minor injuries. The police are already there. They lead a man out of the front door. He is a big muscled man, six three at least with linebacker shoulders. Except he walks with a cane and I see a brace of his left foot. “What happened?” […]

Cath Lab

A lot of EMS is bullshit. People using 911 for runny noses, sprained wrists, and stomach aches from eating too much greasy chicken. Then there are the legitimate calls like strokes and traumas, but too often in those calls there is really not much we can do to fix them. They are dead from getting […]

David

I got an email titled “Sad news.” It is from my friend Tom. “Hate to break this to you in an e-mail, but David died yesterday. He was found in his home when he did not report to work, dead of an apparent heart attack. I will forward funeral information in case you can attend. […]

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