You Never Know

We’re called for chest pain at the court house. We question whether it is a case of “Jailitis.” We find the patient sitting in the lobby on a bench surrounded by marshals and firefighters. It is a young man – twenty-five. My first reaction is he is a prisoner, but then I realize he is […]

Suffering in the World

We are sent to a detox center for a diabetic. We find a sixty-year old Puerto Rican with a blood sugar over 600, although he has no complaint. He has come to the center to kick his heroin habit. But first now he will have to go to the ER to get his sugar under […]

Grand Central Station

I walk through the ER. There are beds in the hallway. I step aside as a tech pushes a portable X-Ray machine past. I call a greeting to a nurse who steps out of a room carrying an IV tray. In another room a doctor intubates an extremely large patient. The intercom pages a cleaning […]

ECG Changes

It’s pouring rain and we get called for anxiety. 40 year old female sits in her kitchen holding her chest saying it feels heavy. We ask if she has been under stress and she says, “You don’t want to know.” But she has never felt a pressure like this before and she says it feels […]

Carolina Tall Tale

I’m working on the computer when we get the call. I am in fact in the middle of downloading a program. Bad timing. There is no way I can wait for the download to finish. I decide to just minimize the window amd leave it at that. Only when we are on the way to […]

Out! — I Mean Safe! — Legacy of an Ear

A number of years ago, one of our ambulances was involved in an MVA. The EMT in the back went flying forward and banged his head against the cabinets and sliced his ear against a sharp edge. When he regained conciousness, his ear was just hanging there. Shortly after, he recieved (I believe) a prosthetic […]

Good as New

An old woman in a group home slips and hits her knee. She mutters “I broke my leg, I broke my leg” so her aides call us. We find her sitting on the floor. I ask her how she is. She mutters, “broke my leg, broke my leg.” But she didn’t break her leg. There […]

Call 911

Ruby has been taking care of old Mrs. Johnson for seven years. This afternoon she finds Mrs. Johnson has been a little too quiet, even for a 93-year old. And she just won’t wake up. Her skin is cool, and she doesn’t respond to the throat rub that the doctor taught Ruby to do whenever […]

Paramedic Journal: A Year on the Streets

A year ago I started another EMS blog, called Paramedic Journal: A Year on the Streets.It was my intention to only record “a year” of being a medic, so anyone interested in knowing what the day to day life of a medic was like could have a reference. In Paramedic Journal the entries are rougher […]


We get sent for an EDP (emotionally disturbed person). The cop meets us outside and says it is an old lady with Alzheimers. She took the trash out in her nightgown even though the trash doesn’t get picked up today. This has happened before — the woman wandering the neighborhood in her nightgown. Her husband […]

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