Computer misses it, but the medic catches it.

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True fact: I failed out/dropped out of grad school in mathematics. But despite having little enthusiasm for topology or complex analysis, nothing drives me more nuts than people who say stuff like “I’m not good at math – just not a math person, I guess.” This attitude is not just incorrect, it’s harmful. Most mathematics […]

Conclusion to 59 Year Old Male: Unwell

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This is the conclusion to our latest case, 59 Year Old Male: Unwell. I suggest starting there and reviewing the scenario before diving into this discussion. I was glad to see our latest case generated quite a bit of debate. This is a difficult tracing coupled with an equally difficult clinical scenario, so it wasn’t […]

59 Year Old Male: Unwell

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**UPDATE** The conclusion to this case is now posted here. It’s the middle of the afternoon when you are dispatched to the residence of a 59 year old male with a chief complaint of general illness. When you arrive on scene you encounter a middle-aged man in obvious distress, lying on a couch. He is […]

How to be successful at IV therapy – some advice for paramedic students

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Image credit: Wikimedia Commons In a recent thread at EMT Life a paramedic student wrote: Just entering my 2nd semester of paramedic school. So far I’ve found the coursework to be the easiest part. Instead of being stressed over tests I’m stressed over IV’s. 170 sticks in overall my % sucks. Granted most of those […]

DNRs, Falsifying Official Documents, and Compelling Reasons

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Image credit: Billie Ward – Creative Commons I originally posted this on my personal Facebook page but there appears to be a lot of interest so I decided to post it here also. The Staten Island Advance newspaper reported on May 22, 2015: Two FDNY paramedics are accused of lying about administering aid to a dying […]

What If We’re Wrong? Prehospital ECG Interpretation

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This article is part of a special one-day EMS blogging event called the What If We’re Wrong a-Thon. Spearheaded by Brandon Oto over at EMS Basics, the WIWWAT is an exercise in self-reflection where EMS writers examine a topic on which that they’ve historically taken a strong stance, but from the opposite point-of-view. For more […]

Snapshot Case: What Happened?

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Snapshot cases are tracings where we do not have good patient follow-up—or sometimes even clinical information—but still feel there are points worth discussing.   This is a patient who required emergent cardioversion for unstable rapid atrial fibrillation. What happened?   Tracing shared by Rob McDonald, and emergency department nurse in Queensland, Australia.

Proficiency vs Deficiency… The Art Of Electrocardiography Analysis

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Understanding the different types of assessments, assessment tools, and findings acquired from these assessments, are all part of proper patient care in both acute and chronic emergency medicine management, in every realm of the term “PATIENT CARE”. One of the most important tools, in both the prehospital setting and long term care, is the 12 […]

Transcutaneous Pacing Success!!! Part 2

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This is the second half of a two-part case presentation examining transcutaneous pacing. If you didn’t see yesterday’s post I highly suggest checking out Part 1 before continuing, but if you hate learning I suppose you can start here. Yesterday we examined a series of tracings that depicted transcutaneous pacing (TCP) in all its stages: […]

Transcutaneous Pacing Success!!! Part 1

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Anyone trained in transcutaneous pacing (TCP) needs to be able to identify the rhythm below instantly. It shows a patient being transcutaneously paced at 80 bpm and 125 mA on a LifePak 12 [the strip is labelled 130 mA but that refers to a point just past the end of the paper, I promise]. Well, […]

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