Burger Bosses Battle for Business and an Idea with Bite

Plus: Help in the Heartland & Lie to Me

 

 
 
 

From the April 2010 Issue | Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Burger Bosses Battle for Business
When Delray Beach, Fla., paramedic Iggy Lena opened Heart Stoppers Sports Grill, a heart-attack-themed restaurant, he didn’t realize the owner of a similar restaurant would try and put him in sudden death. Jon Basso, the owner of Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Ariz., is suing Lena, claiming high-calorie fare like Chili Chest Pain Fries and décor that includes wheelchair tables infringe upon a signature idea. As these two prepare to duke it out in court, business at both establishments remains healthy.

An Idea with Bite
For decades, field personnel have been taught to perform a "finger sweep" to clear obstructions from patients’ airways. But, they’ve also been taught: "Never put your fingers in a patient’s mouth." Jeff Rehman, a firefighter and paramedic with North Metro Fire Rescue District in Northglenn, Colo., who’s been bitten by patients during airway clearance, addressed this discrepancy after waking one night with the idea for a combination scoop and suction catheter.

He ran to the fire station’s kitchen and built a prototype—using spoons and soda straws—of a specialized, large-bore suction tip with a dedicated scooping surface to facilitate the early, easy and rapid removal of material from the patient’s airway by scooping action or direct suction vacuum. 

Rehman approached SSCOR Inc. with his idea SSCOR adopted it, creating the S3 suction catheter now for sale. JEMS salutes Rehman for his creative talent and dedication to resolving a longstanding airway contradiction. 

Help in the Heartland 
Everyone knows that when it comes to heart attack patients, time is muscle. But the response and transport time inherent in rural communities often makes it hard to reach the goal of 90-minute door-to-balloon time.

Health-care providers in the rural area surrounding Lexington, Ky., have joined forces to increase their odds of meeting those goals with the initiation of their new CODE STEMI program. CODE STEMI links field providers with hospital and cath lab personnel to cut the time it takes to diagnose and treat ST-elevation myocardial infarction. The process starts with paramedics, who perform a rapid ECG in the field, transmitting the results to the Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling emergency department. At the hospital, a physician reads the ECG and, if necessary, activates the cath lab. The patient can then be transported by air.

Montgomery County Fire/EMS Major Robin Barber says in a statement, "It’s going to cut off [roughly] 60 minutes from diagnosis to treatment. People living in Montgomery County deserve access to definitive care just as much as people living in the urban areas do." We agree. 

Lie to Me
The Guelph Mercury reports that residents of nearby Erin (Ontario) are advised to exaggerate their symptoms to get faster response. Because response times by Guelph-Wellington EMS (GWEMS) are so long, citizens prefer to call the Erin Fire Department (EFD). However, the agreement between GWEMS and the EFD outlines limited specific complaints, such as "shortness of breath," that will activate the fire department. Whereas 9-1-1 callers with other complaints could wait as long as an hour for an ambulance to arrive. 

In February, a woman fell outside Erin’s community center and injured her knee, according to a story in the  Mercury. A center employee called 9-1-1 and requested EFD response, but a fall with an extremity injury doesn’t qualify for a fire department response. The woman waited for a GWEMS ambulance for 70 minutes. EFD Deputy Chief Ken Keeler told the Mercury, "We teach the people around here to say you’re having trouble breathing ... which will trigger us to come."

We sympathize with EFD’s attempt to get Erin’s citizens faster care, but there’s got to be a better way.

JEMS




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Related Topics: Administration and Leadership, Cardiac and Circulation, Legal and Ethical, Medical Emergencies, Training, Last Word Cartoons Special Topics, Jems Last Word

 
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