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Epileptic Effect: The Aftermath of a Seizure isn’t Always What it Seems

May 4, 2015

You and your partner are dispatched to a 60ish-year-old female with signs and symptoms of a possible stroke.

Pediatric Patient Loses Spontaneous Respirations

March 10, 2015

Appropriate management of a myasthenic crisis can be lifesaving.

Pain Management is the Same for Every Patient

January 26, 2015

All pain should be treated equally.

Be Wary During ECG Analysis in the Geriatric Population

January 6, 2015

Although the patient didn’t present with classic cardiac symptoms, her lethargy and alarming 12-lead caused the patient to be evaluated for cardiac issues.

Hidden Object-Turned-Lawnmower-Projectile Causes Surprise Heart Agitation

December 1, 2014 A 22-year-old Hispanic male is operating a string trimmer as part of a residential lawn maintenance crew. A nearby co-worker operating a commercial riding lawnmower approximately 20 feet away runs over a lacrosse ball that was hidden deep in the g...

Consider All Differentials for Respiratory Distress

November 7, 2014 At 11:52 p.m., the county sheriff’s dispatcher tones out Medic 41 to an address in a rural subdivision about 15 miles from their small town’s EMS station. Dispatch advises an out-of-breath male is in the back bedroom and may not be abl...

Don’t Underscore the Value of a Trauma Assessment

October 1, 2014 At 4:12 p.m. on a sunny summer day, Ambulance 5 is dispatched for a “sick person.” Dispatch notes advise the patient is a 25-year-old male who’s had abdominal pain for two days. While responding to the initial dispatch, the polic...

Syncopal Patient Exhibits Weird Symptoms

September 15, 2014 Medic 71’s two paramedics have finished their daily station chores and are just sitting down to lunch. The morning had been light, with only one call thus far in the shift. Just as they’re taking their first bites, the overhead tones r...

Previously Healthy Drug User has Difficulty Breathing

August 5, 2014 At 3 a.m. you’re dispatched to a trailer park for a 26-year-old male with difficulty breathing. Once on scene, the patient’s girlfriend directs you inside. The living conditions are poor, with old trash lining the hallways and drug par...

Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation an Alternative to Intubation?

July 7, 2014 At 3:30 p.m., Mesa Fire and Medical Department (MFMD) Engine 218 was dispatched for a 54-year-old male with difficulty breathing. Upon arrival, we encountered a small singlewide trailer with limited access. Our patient was in the back bedroom comp...

Not All Clinical Clues Point in the Right Direction

June 2, 2014 “Medic 72 from the comm center.” “Go ahead comm center, this is Medic 72.” “I need you to respond to 314 Woodward Street on a delta response for an unresponsive overdose, 19-year-old female, police and fire are en r...

Infant Boy’s Struggle to Breathe Isn’t Respiratory in Nature

May 2, 2014 Clearwater Fire and Rescue and a transport service ambulance are dispatched to a local pediatrician’s office at 6 a.m. for a baby with trouble breathing. Upon arrival, the responders hear audible grunting as they walk down the hallway toward...

Thoroughly Investigate and Treat All Reversible Causes in Head Injury

March 27, 2014 During a pickup hockey game at a local ice arena, Peter, a 27-year-old male, takes a hard fall onto the ice. He lands face first, causing an episode of epistaxis. His fellow players pick him up and make him sit until the bleeding from his nose sto...

Mechanical CPR Helps Save the Day—and the Patient

January 29, 2014 On a later summer night, Phillip Solomon, a healthy 61-year-old male with no known medical history, is walking out of Macungie (Pa.) Memorial Park after attending a car show. Suddenly, he falls to the ground, striking the back of his head. Solomo...

Prolonged Bystander CPR Makes the Difference in Philadelphia Airport Cardiac Arrest

January 9, 2014 On Aug. 22, 2013, Sue Hostler arrives at the Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight home. A frequent business traveler, she knows her way around the airport and runs to get on an elevator in a remote area of Terminal F, which is used...

Using Video Laryngoscope for Foreign Body Airway Obstruction

December 10, 2013 Paramedics from the Montgomery County (Texas) Hospital District (MCHD) are dispatched to a reported cardiac arrest at a local skilled nursing facility. The fire department first responders make initial contact and report the patient is in respirat...

Swollen Tongue Necessitates Nasotrachael Intubation

October 7, 2013 A 60-year-old man is found face down on the bathroom floor by family members who checked on him after not hearing from him in three days. On EMS arrival the patient is found to be tachycardic with a normal blood pressure, and has marked facial swe...

Motor Vehicle Crash Patient Presents Puzzling Trauma Injury

July 19, 2013 It’s a cool, wintry day as last-minute Christmas shoppers make their way down an extremely congested highway leading into a local community of approximately 100,000 people. An EMT and a paramedic are sitting in their mobile intensive care un...

Angioedema Not Caused by Allergic Reaction

June 21, 2013 A 68-year-old woman was attending a wedding reception in a local church on a hot Saturday afternoon. After having a glass of champagne, she decided to eat eight chocolate-covered strawberries that were elegantly placed on the table. Shortly therea...

NASCAR Fan Presents with Significant Chest Pain and Numbness

May 9, 2013 Of the 36 NASCAR races held each year, two of them take place at the Pocono Raceway located in Long Pond, Pa. During each race in this rural mountainous location within the Poconos, the racetrack becomes the third largest city in the state with 11...

Young Patient is Unresponsive with a Slow Heart Rate

April 23, 2013 The mother of the 3-year-old is frantic when she meets you at the door. She leads you to the family room where her child, Braden, is lying on the floor with his grandmother next to him. His mother is concerned because she can’t get him to wa...

EMS Treats Blunt Traumatic Injury from a Bicycle Handlebar

April 4, 2013 It’s 2 a.m. on a Friday night and a medic unit responds to a call of a “pedestrian struck.” On arrival, city law enforcement declares the scene to be safe and directs the unit to the opposite shoulder of the highway. EMS pr...

Elderly Diabetic Female with Altered Mental Status

March 28, 2013 It’s the first run of the shift on an unseasonably cold winter morning, Engine 19 and Medic 19 are dispatched to a “diabetic problem” with an elderly female. En route, the crew reviews the pre-arrival information on the mobile da...

Effective Prehospital Care for a Scorpion Sting

March 27, 2013 There’s much more to Las Vegas than the casinos, bars and the bright lights of the Strip. Many wonderful parks and unique points of interest are nearby and offer respite from the constant grind of the city. One such park is the Valley of Fir...

Swift Action is Key in Complex Cardiac Case

December 11, 2012 Las Vegas Fire Rescue and American Medical Response are dispatched to a medical office to assist providers in the care of a patient with a “cardiac issue.” The scene at the facility is secure, and paramedics enter the exam room to eval...

EMS Case is Cause for Confusion

October 23, 2012 The patient’s wife called 9-1-1 because her husband was acting drunk. When you arrive on scene, a middle-aged woman meets you at the door and tells you she’s concerned about her husband. She came home from a weekend business trip and f...

Rollover Car Crash Almost Costs Driver his Life, Limb

September 7, 2012 It’s easy for a current and former military physician working in a busy urban trauma center to look around and see the countless advances in trauma care that have been translated from the military to civilian experience. This month’s c...

EMS Providers Should Be Wary of the Implications of Anticoagulants

August 17, 2012 A 76-year-old woman slips and falls while walking through her home. She sustains a minor laceration to her forehead. Her daughter, who is with her, calls 9-1-1. At the scene, you find her alert, reporting pain only at the site of the laceration. S...

Female Patient found Unconscious with Syringe Nearby

July 20, 2012

A call comes in to 9-1-1 dispatch. “Help” is all that’s spoken before the operator hears the phone hit the floor. The 9-1-1 dispatcher calls back only to get a busy signal. Police and EMS are dispatched for a well-being call.

Geriatric Patient Develops Sepsis

July 11, 2012 As you arrive at the house, an anxious female meets you at the door telling you she’s concerned about her father. She explains that her father hasn’t been feeling well during the past couple of days. When she was unable to contact him ...

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