The call is over. The EMS crew is cleaning the ambulance, writing the patient care report and preparing for the next call. Their patient was a 44-year-old male who had a four-day history of nausea and vomiting. During their assessment, the EMTs identified the patient had postural hypotension and administered two IV fluid boluses during transport. The patient also received oxygen via nasal cannula and 2 mg ondansetron to help with the nausea.
Recently I got married and did the typical bride-to-be thing by going on a diet—I exercised my butt off. I felt all the benefits you hear about: increased energy, decrease in back pain, better self-esteem. I loved it! So let’s look at this month’s theme—injury prevention—and take it a step further: food.
They embrace our patients. They are concerned for their well-being. They seek uncompromised satisfaction. They see our patients as an essential asset to their self-worth. They depend on them fiscally. I’m speaking, of course, of ACLs (Ambulance Chasing Lawyers). No, wait. I meant ACLs, as in, Allied Coterie Lineages—Kinfolk for short.
This month, readers chimed in on an article in May JEMS, “The Fog of EMS: Debriefing sessions can help clear the air,” by Bernie Meehan, Jr., EMT-P. Meehan grew up in Newtown, Conn., and is a career deputy fire chief and a part-time paramedic. He’s also one of the founding members of the Connecticut Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.
“This ain’t right,” my partner sleepily articulated with eyes half open as our rig cautiously approached a darkened residence. After verifying the address with dispatch, I reaffirmed the numbers on the house with our spotlight. It was quiet … too quiet. Not a creature was stirring—not even in the house. It only took four minutes for police backup to arrive, which isn’t all that unusual at 0300 hours.
My nervous partner Eric loudly and with exaggeration asked the patient, “CAN. YOU. READ. MY. LIPS?” The Deaf patient replied, “No. I. CAN'T. READ. YOUR. LIPS.” The humor was lost on Eric as he relayed the patient’s limitations to me. “Really?" I melodramatically replied. “I thought all Deaf inhabitants could visually convert external orifice configurations into meaningful linguistic interpretation.” The patient and I exchanged a brief grin.
Good nutrition starts in the grocery store, because having healthy ingredients on hand is the first step for preparing healthy meals. For a lot of people, the amount of food on grocery store shelves can be overwhelming. The average supermarket stocks thousands of items, and there are more new items available each day. Products are strategically advertised and placed to catch our eyes and convince us that we need them. Grocery stores intend to sell food, after all.
The Newtown (Conn.) school shooting and Webster (N.Y.) ambush of firefighters provide increased awareness of violence against emergency responders. East Hartford (Conn.) Fire Chief John Oates, writing for the National Fallen Fire Fighters (NFFF), has provided nine questions responders should ask:
EMT John Davis considers himself a “tough guy.” He was raised on a farm and still lives on one, the kind of place where men perform long hours of manual labor and seldom complain. Farmers don’t call in sick, and many will tell you that unless they’re critically injured, they continue working, because there’s always work to be done. John enjoys his rural lifestyle and the serenity that comes with it. But at the age of 48, he decided he wanted to become an EMT. In December 2010, he did.