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Ambulance: Hooray for Hartford

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Like in much of the nation, there have been anti-police violence protests in Hartford.  Here, they have been peaceful.  Yesterday, local police halted traffic to enable the marchers to pass safely through the streets. 

When the protesters blocked both lanes of the Interstate highway that runs east west through the city, they were joined by state police officers, who allowed them to demonstrate without interference.  Some officers joined hands with their fellow citizens. One officer took a knee in solidarity.

There were no arrests.  No one was hurt.

Police protests block I-84 in Hartford; Westfarms closes out of ‘abundance of caution’; Trump tells governors to crack down with arrests

In Bristol a smaller city to the west, a crowd of 200 condemned racism and police brutality, but made a point of thanking the local police who stood with them in solidarity.

At Bristol rally, Black Lives Matter protesters condemn police brutality – but thank Bristol police

We are a better nation united than we are divided. 

I am proud of my city and state.

Change is going to come from this.

 



Ambulance: “I Can’t Breathe”

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I have heard many people say “I can’t breathe.”

Sometimes the people are full of it, other times they are dying.

I have also heard the response line, “You’re talking fine.”  I’ve heard EMS say it and I’ve heard police say it.

On May 25, 2020 , George Floyd said to officer Derek Chauvin, I can’t breathe.”

Officer Chauvin responded, “You’re talking fine.”

So he kept kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until George Floyd was quiet.

Today Derek Chauvin is facing a murder charge and George Floyd is dead.  If I am on the jury, I am voting guilty.

But just sending Derek Chauvin to prison is not going to right our world.

Unfortunately, there are other Derek Chauvin’s out there.  They are in police departments, they are in EMS, they are in our society.  There may be few, but they are there.  Listen to someone talk about people different from himself and ask yourself, what if that person was a cop, and if put in the same set of circumstances, would that person put his knee on a handcuffed man’s...

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Ambulance: Early PPE

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

If you have Amazon Prime, until June 30, you watch all 24 lectures ( all about 30 minutes) of The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague by noted professor Dorsey Armstrong for free. The lectures are part of the Great Courses series.  Many years ago, I used to order these lectures on cassette tapes.  They are much fancier today and remain riveting.  The basic premise is this company goes around the country and finds the best college professors and signs them up to present lectures aimed at a common audience on their subjects of expertise.  While Black Death is free, for $7.99 a month you have access to their catalog via Amazon Prime.

Here are some of the things I have learned so far.

The Plague was called the Black Plague not because it turned people black, but because “Black” meant horrible.  The plague killed an estimated 50 million people, up to 60% of everyone living in Europe at the time.  Some people would wake up fine, feel badly at noon and be dead by five in the evening. 

In an ancient war, a Mongol army...

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Ambulance: Where Has all the COVID Gone?

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I haven’t put an isolation gown on in three shifts.   I even forgot to put a surgical mask on when I got out of my fly car yesterday to go into the Subway to buy a cold drink. (I apologized to the clerk).

With the warm weather and the people back out on the streets, there is a different feel in the air.  SUMMERTIME!

And the state is reopening is a big way.  The governor just loosened restrictions on the size of gatherings from five to ten indoors and has allowed gatherings of up to 25 outdoors.  The barber shops are reopening on Monday!  Farewell to my hippie-do! Gyms are opening in three weeks.  Say goodbye to my quarantine flab! Most of the state colleges have announced they will be allowing students back on campus in the fall!  So long middle daughter!  It’s been nice having you home while it lasted! And the Indian casinos are opening this week!  (But no food buffets, sadly).

Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients continue to plummet.  They are now at less than a quarter of what they were at their March peak.  And...

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Ambulance: A Visit

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

He is an old man with a stooped back, wearing tan work pants and shirt with his name on the right breast and his company’s name on the left.  He has gotten out of his old Pontiac, and wearing a face mask, walks toward us as we come out of the dialysis center with an old woman on our stretcher.  He nods to us respectfully, and then looks at the woman and says, “Pearl, Pearl, it’s your husband.  I love you, Pearl.”

She looks at him and says nothing.  Her eyes squint, trying to recognize him.  “Are you doing okay?  I just wanted to say hi and tell you I love.  I love you, Pearl.”

We see what is happening.  There are no visitors at the nursing home.  This is how he gets to see his wife.

“Take your time,” I say.

“I don’t want to hold you.”

“Go on.”

He focuses again on his wife, “You look pretty today,” he says.  “I just wanted to say, hi.  It’s me–George, your husband.  I love you Pearl.”

“Hello,” she says.  

“Are you doing okay?  You look nice. Pearl.”

“I’m doing okay,” she says.

“That’s...

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Ambulance: Keep Your Guard Up

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I worked at the hospital today.  I was curious to see how our COVID numbers were doing (after being off for a few days) and like most of the state they have been dropping.  Still a few coming in, some of whom had previously been diagnosed as positive.  It feels here at least in this area that the first wave is over and we are looking at a break for a while.  I got word today that my daughter’s softball team is hoping to start their season on June 20 when the second phase of reopening starts.  The sports world was full of news of the pro leagues getting closer to playing — all except baseball which is fighting over money and threatens to lose many of its fans if it doesn’t show more love for the game and respect for the fans.

We won’t know for a few weeks given COVIDs incubation period whether or not the reopenings will lead to any significant spikes.  Hopefully the good weather and outdoors will help dissipate the bug.

I did want to mention one note of caution.  I send notifications to EMS whenever a person they bring in...

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Ambulance: Memorial Day Weekend

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

This was probably the first time in twenty five years I didn’t work at least one day of a Memorial Day weekend (Saturday through Monday).  I had told myself if a shift opened up on Sunday, I would take it.  It did and I didn’t. 

On Saturday I hit softballs with my youngest daughter.  Sunday, I ran for twenty minutes and rode my bike for 20 minutes – trying to get back into triathlon shape, which I am a long way from.  I also cut the lawn, weeded, and cleaned up about the yard instead of paying my middle daughter’s boyfriend $25 to do it.   I sat in the sun with my wife and daughters and drank a couple Bud Light seltzers, then I took a long nap.

On Memorial Day,  my youngest daughter and I went grocery shopping for an afternoon cookout, then we shot baskets in the driveway.  We had my wife’s family over.  It was a gathering of more than five, but everyone was related and we kept appropriate distance in the backyard. It was the first time my mother’s mother had been out of her house in months.  She kept her mask on...

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Ambulance: Quinnipiac Poll

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I got a call from the Quinnipiac poll the other night and spent 15 minutes answering questions about the presidential candidates, the economy, health care and COVID-19.  I was able to answer all the questions pretty easily.  I didn’t like either Biden or Trump, but would vote for Biden.  I liked Fauci, but was skeptical of the CDC.  I thought Trump should wear a mask when he goes out in public.  I would not get on an airplane or dine in a restaurant, but was okay with my kids going back to school in the fall. I didn’t think there would be a vaccine for over a year, etc.

Here are the poll results.

One question I had difficulty with concerned the balance between the economy and the public health.  Seventy five percent of Americas said the country should open slowly even if it continued to hurt the economy.  To me public health and the economy go hand in hand.  You need an economy to have public health and without public health, you can’t have an economy.  I am of the belief nowadays that as we enter the summer when cases may dip...

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Ambulance: Face Shields

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Our hospital is requiring all clinical workers to not only wear face masks, but also face shields, when interacting with patients.

In the April 29, 2020 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Eli Perencevich and his coauthors argue that face shields should be adapted by communities in their containment strategies.  They cite the effectiveness of shields at reducing the spray of respiratory droplets as well their ability to be easily reused.

Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community Face Shields and Containment of COVID-19

I love my face shield.  It goes on easily.  It has protected me from COVID spit and I can clean it easily after each call.  The only issue I have had was the sun beating down on it made me feel quite hot, and I am not certain how this will be in the middle of summer.

Nevertheless, I would encourage all EMS responders to make certain they have face shields whenever encountering a patient, not just for high risk procedures.

Recently a virologist claimed he got the virus through his...

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Ambulance: Phase One

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Connecticut began phase one of their reopening today.  I left work early today after our monthly CME, which included a talk from our infectious disease doctor on COVID.  He urged us all to continue to keep our guard up.  It was another beautiful day.  I came home to find my two daughters making doughnuts which were delicious.  We then went out on an exploratory mission.  First, we went to the batting cages, which were open for the first day and we were basically there by ourselves.  My daughter had left her batting helmet at home so they both only ventured in the slow pitch softball cages, instead of the baseball cages where a helmet was required.  The place had helmets which they sprayed with bleach and wiped down after each use.  My daughters still didn’t want any part of their helmets.  Still it was great to be back there, and watch them both swining away and making solid contact.

Then we went to Stew Leonard’s a super grocery store to get food (hamburgers, boneless chicken thighs and zucchini for a cookout.  Next we went to...

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