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 […]


The call is for severe bleeding. It turns out to be a burst abscess in a teenage male, who three weeks ago tore his hamstring. He bled internally , but the blood wasn’t reabsorbed by the body and an abscess started to grow. He was scheduled to have surgery to remove the undrained blood. At […]


Last night I watched Scrooged, the Bill Murray version of a Christmas Carrol, where Murray is the bah humbug head of a big TV network. Bill Murray is a very funny actor, and Scrooged always chokes me up at the end, when the little mute kid speaks for the first time and says “God Bless […]


I rarely follow up with my patients. If they are in the ED when I come back with a new patient, I will stop in and see how thay are doing. Or I might ask a nurse or a doctor what was the deal with a certain recent patient from earlier in the day or […]


A sixty year old woman who lives alone feels her throat begining to swell. This is not the first time it has happened — she has a history of angioedema — so she knows what to do. She takes her closest epi-pen (She has ten scattered about the house) and injects herself with the lifesaving […]

A Blanket

It is during the tail end of a snow storm that has left ten inches in six hours. We are on the way back from the hospital after a call where we had to wade through deep drifts to get to a patient’s farmhouse. The roads are barely plowed. We get called for a 93-year […]

People Care

If you are looking to get someone in EMS a great Christmas present, here is the book for them or for yourself: People Care: Career-Friendly Practices for Professional Caregivers Thom Dick is the author of Street Talk, a book of essays that came out about the time I was in EMT school in 1989. It […]

New AHA CPR and ECG Guidelines

I’m like a kid before Christmas waiting for the new AHA CPR and ECC guidelines to come out. For almost a year I have been following the evidence sheets posted on the Heart Association web site, and nearly everyday in November checked the site for the new guidelines to be posted. When they finally came […]

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