At JEMS and JEMS.com.com we not only keep you up-to-date on the latest in EMS, but we’re also a place for the EMS community to debate hot topics, learn about the latest technology and innovations, and go in-depth into patient care topics and techniques.
Our editorial team and writers—authorities in their subject areas and seasoned EMS professionals— brought you hundreds of articles this year, but 10 of them seemed to resonate with most with you, and in some cases, stirred up some pretty lively debates.
The following were the top 10 most popular stories of 2012 based on the number of visits they received on JEMS.com. Even if you've already read them, we hope you'll revisit them.
10) Patients with a Ventricular Assist Device Need Special Considerations
What happens when you arrive on the scene and encounter a patient requiring resuscitation who has an implanted ventricular assist device (VAD)? It can be confusing if you’re not familiar with what you need to do differently when treating VAD patients compared with others patients in cardiogenic shock. We thought this would be an important topic to present to our readers, and apparently, so did you.
9) The Great Ambulance Response Time Debate Continues
High-acuity calls (e.g., cardiac arrest, shock) occur with less frequency than calls that aren’t as time sensitive, so why treat every EMS call as though it’s a cardiac arrest? In this article, EMS operations expert Matt Zavadsky advocates for a critical review of localized data to refine response standards and also provides suggestions for getting the public on board.
8) National EMS Drug Shortage Increases
EMS agencies around the country continue to feel the effects of drug shortages that impact the ability to treat patients. Using new concentrations of familiar drugs or substituting unfamiliar medications puts everyone at risk. This article provides agencies with practical solutions to reduce risk to patients and providers.
7) Many Lessons Can Be Learned from the Amish Community
No, it’s not about enforcing rules through an “Amish Mafia.” In this article, Dr. Bryan Bledsoe spends a day with Amish EMS providers in Lancaster County, Pa. Despite the challenges inherent in providing emergency services in a culture that generally forbids the use of automobiles and electricity, Bledsoe is both surprised at the innovative ways they effectively provide service and feels revitalized by their community spirit. And you, our readers, were intrigued.
6) What Does Your Bumper Say about Your Rig?
JEMS “Tricks of the Trade” columnist Thom Dick makes the case for servicing your ambulance’s mechanics and cosmetics. After all, Thom says, a ragged-looking dock bumper that looks like it’s been through a war does nothing to instill the public with confidence and earn the respect that EMS providers deserve. Apparently, you agreed by reading and forwarding to your colleagues.
5) Penetrating Trauma Wounds Challenge EMS Providers
In this exhaustive article, Drs. Bryan Bledsoe, Michael Casey and Ryan Hodnick explain the different classifications of penetrating trauma, identify the mechanisms of injury for penetrating trauma and review procedures for assessment and treatment of penetrating trauma patients.
4) Studies Show Dangers of Working in EMS
David Page reviews two recent studies that he feels can help EMS providers prove to the public what they’ve known for a long time: EMS is dangerous work. Page encourages readers to help him alert the media and public. And we wouldn’t be doing our part if we didn’t suggest sharing the article via social media!
3) Pumper Ambulance Model Improves Patient Care
This article describes two unique hybrid pumper/ambulances in use in rural Florida. (Don’t forget to check out the accompanying gallery for pictures of both rigs.) Both rigs were designed to meet the specific needs of their agencies, and they have been successful in meeting these needs. By being in our top three (and given the number of Facebook “Likes” and the comments after the article), it’s clear you thought they were interesting, too!
2) EMS Apps Assist Providers in the Field
You’re in the field and you: Need to identify drug interactions? Have to find the recommended dosage for a medication or identify a pill? Wish you had the Merck Manual inside your pocket? Want to learn about best practices in airway management or atrial fibrillation? There are apps for that! Our second most popular article provides you with a solid overview of apps of interest to EMS providers. With new apps developed every day, you may have some favorites of your own. Make them known in the article comments!
1) EMS Industry Encouraging Dangerous Behaviors
Skip Kirkwood is pushed to the “writing point” after reading and hearing about EMS agencies where leadership condones unsafe driving behavior—and sometimes actually encourages them. The most read article on Jems.com in 2012 is a critical, but incisive call-to-action that also lays out a road map for changing attitudes in management and advocating better training for providers that will not only change public perception about EMS but will also help to save lives.