Talk less, listen more, drop the attitude

Sometimes I just have to scratch the itch and have a rant.  This time the itch is a recurrent one, about radio communication. We have a large number of graduate paramedics starting with Ambulance Victoria this year, so it’s probably a good time to revisit a topic that seems to receive surprisingly little attention in

Tick tock

Ultimately, a lot of what we’re doing in EMS is ferrying people towards their deaths.  In the literally-true-but-irrelevant sense, we’re all dying. But that’s not what I mean. Pre-hospital and Emergency workers spend a lot of time around people in their final hours and days, even though we don’t always think about it.  It’s easy

A better bridge?

Head on over to Emcrit to read Rory Spiegel’s take on mechanical CPR.  I’m fairly sure Rory has been reading the sporadic ranting of a certain paramedic on this topic, hence his brilliant, insightful work.  I’ll let him have his moment though The key to mCPR being useful is selecting the right patient who can benefit from

Seriously, just Kalm Down!

Following on from my previous post on managing the agitated patient… Now that we know that these patients are sick, and we know why we need MICA support, we will have a look at some practical tips for managing the extremely agitated patient. First of all, we probably need to know what we are looking for

Triaging Triage ECGs

I’ve spent nine years working in an emergency department, which means I’ve also spent nine years performing electrocardiograms at triage. With a couple thousand waiting-room ECGs under my belt, I’ve noticed a few things: A lot of ECGs are ordered at triage. Many of them are performed on low-risk patients. Very few of those ECGs

ECG Mixtape: Vol. 2

Welcome to the second installment in our ECG Mixtape series! It looks like this will be an irregular publication while we streamline our process of picking cases and getting permission to reproduce them. Enjoy! Pick of the Week This weeks top pick comes from cardiologist Dr. Gianni Manzo in São Paulo, Brazil, who shared this

ECG Mixtape: Vol. 1

Welcome to the start of a new series here at EMS 12-Lead. With the ECG Mixtapes we’ll compile some of the week’s best ECG’s from around the world of social media and #FOAMed. As High Fidelity taught us, “The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages

Hilar Twists & Human Error

This engaging scene from ‘Code Blue‘ demonstrates a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service team managing a patient with major thoracic haemorrhage. They have done a right thoracotomy and want to clamp the hilum but there’s some kit missing from the pack. This scene has some great discussion points for prehospital professionals, even if the specific scenario is

Episode 13: Is HEMS beneficial?

In light of surging air medical demand, Dr. Bryan Bledsoe joins us for a discussion on whether HEMS is actually beneficial — and, if so, under what set of circumstances. As informed providers, we owe a duty to our patients not to unnecessarily straddle them with crippling debt and higher risk mode of transport if

Episode 12: Too tired to care?

Are we a danger to our patients and partners? Are we too tired to care? This week, we discuss the ins and outs of fatigue and the effects it can have on us and our patients. We’ll draw on lessons learned from another mission critical profession where lives are in the balance. No matter how