A personal connection with a young soldier who took his life gave Phoenix Fire Department Captain Dean Pedrotti a firsthand look at what war can do to young Americans. It also opened his eyes to how poorly first responders are prepared for dealing with war veterans suffering from mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. “A lot of what these veterans are saying is, as civilians in public safety, we really don’t understand what they’ve been through,” Pedrotti says.
Letter to Our Readers, The Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA believes that it is the responsibility of emergency medical professionals worldwide to develop a body of evidence that examines prehospital emergency care. Our mission is to assist, recognize and disseminate prehospital care research conducted at all provider levels.
Early in my EMS career, while I was an undergraduate student just getting my feet wet, I remember being mesmerized the first time I saw a portable monitor/defibrillator. I can still picture my chief at that time showing me the monitor and telling me that this machine was capable of ECG monitoring and transmitting 12-lead ECGs to the local hospitals. My mouth hung open in pure amazement. Ever since those early days, I’ve attributed prehospital ALS to that of a “curbside cardiologist.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is requiring pilots to get 10 hours of rest between flights before going airborne, and some EMS experts say the emergency medical profession should do the same. “When we’re talking about sleep deprivation, we’re talking about the Achilles’ heel of EMS,” says Chris Nollette, MD, NREMT-P and director of the EMS education at Moreno Valley (Calif.) College. “It’s underreported, and it’s the No. 1 problem we have to deal with in terms of the profession.”
EMS personnel need to make personal safety a priority, or they face becoming a grim statistic, say experts concerned about violence against medical workers. In recent months, there have been several states that have reported EMS workers being beaten or worse while doing their job of providing patient care. In many cases, the incidents expose a key area of unpreparedness in the field. “We have this belief in our EMS culture that there are calls that are dangerous, and there are calls that aren’t very dangerous,” says Mike
Clinical excellence and safety are two great concepts that should blend well together, and they were a primary focus of American Medical Response’s (AMR) recent National Competition. With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, the second annual event was held this summer in Aurora, Colo. The National Competition is hosted by AMR in partnership with the center for simulation at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). Teams from six regions across the country competed in this year’s competition.
“Oxygen is easy. Just give everyone 100%, and you can’t go wrong.” How many of us have heard or said this? We’ve reinforced this with testing and quality improvement programs that reward this standard of care almost without question. This philosophy has taught several generations of EMS providers to blindly apply non-rebreather masks to every patient they think may possibly need oxygen (O2).
Treating pediatric patients can be complex for EMS providers, primarily due to low pediatric call volumes and a lack of available education. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) has recognized the need for pediatric evaluation during its past practice analysis, which is why it changed the design of the test to include pediatric questions for 15% of each category, except operations.