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Ambulance: Be Good. Do Good.

Written by RSS Poster StorytellERdoc
Do your little bit of good where you are.
It's those little bits of good put together that
overwhelm the world.    Desmond Tutu

Recently, my son Cole and I were enjoying an afternoon out of the house, running around town to tackle our to-do list of errands (masked, of course). We stopped at Sam's Club and Walmart, stocking up on our low supplies of food and other necessities. As an added bonus, we enjoyed the people-watching and marveled at the wide spectrum of personal flaws the other shoppers provided us.

It seemed that the Covid-19 crisis had fueled an already blossoming trend of wearing fleece pajama bottoms in public without any embarrassment. People tended to have a greasy quality to them, clearly reducing their shower time as a personal protest to the quarantine guidelines. With masks on, the eyes of these shoppers held the power of conveying a wide spectrum of gratitude, misery, frustration, happiness, and paranoia. I enjoyed interpreting these various moods and realized that zombies were alive and well, living among us.

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Ambulance: Time to Party?

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Aside from a one day blip, Connecticut has seen twenty-one straight days of decreased hospitalizations for COVID-19. 

As a state we are soon approaching the May 20, 2020 date for phase one of our state’s reopening, which will include many retail stores, and permits restaurants to provide outdoor serving.  (No word yet on opening swimming pools, gyms or team sports).  Some are advocating for a broader opening; others are urging the governor to go slower.

Daily coronavirus updates: Democratic leaders ask Lamont to delay May 20 reopening; CVS announces new testing sites

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, a judge has ruled their governor exceeded his authority in issuing stay-at-home orders and now the bars in that state are packed with celebrating residents.  In the words of the Tavern League of Wisconsin, “Open up guys, it’s time to party.”

Wisconsin now without COVID-19 restrictions after state Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order

Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association are expressing...

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Ambulance: “They are the frontline.”

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

The headline says Police, Health Care, Corrections Workers Have Lower Rate of Coronavirus Infection Than General New York Population.

The Governor of New York used the new data to proclaim the PPE works.  I thought great, maybe it does work, maybe all our complaining is just belly-aching.

“We were afraid of what was going to happen,” Cuomo said of concerns about healthcare workers being exposed to the virus. “But that is amazingly good news…It also shows everybody that the masks, the gloves and the hand sanitizer work. If they work for frontline workers, they’re going to work for people in their day-to-day lives.”

Then I read further into the article:

The only exception to the trend was among members of the New York City Fire Department and emergency medical technicians. Just over 17% of those workers were infected with COVID-19.

Here’s from another article more aptly titled: Antibody testing hints at coronavirus’ hellish toll on FDNY/EMS, NYPD

Here the Governor explains why the FDNY...

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Ambulance: Surgical Masks and Aerosolization

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

COVID-19 is spread primarily in respiratory droplets.

Here’s why you need to put a surgical mask on your patients and why we should all be wearing masks ourselves when we are in public.

These illustrations come from a study by Vapotherm.

COVID-19 Transmission Assessment Report



Ambulance: Infection Control

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I was at an EMS meeting recently and we were talking about when if ever we will go back to the pre-Covid-19 protocols concerning infection control, and someone made the observation that maybe we shouldn’t go back.

Just a year ago, we had an agenda item about how EMS was frequently observed not following standard infection control policies such as hand-washing and stretcher cleaning.  That has changed.  Today everyone wears masks, most stretchers smell like bleach and most of our hands are raw and dried from all the hand-washing.  

I don’t think in the past many of us correlated getting nasty winter colds with maybe not always washing our hands.

I remember years ago, going to intubate a patient.  To do it, I assumed my normal intubating position of laying prone on my stomach balancing on my elbows, my face less than a foot from the patient’s open mouth through which I stuck my larengyscope blade, to move the patient’s tongue out of the way so I could see his vocal chords.

The patient vomited and I got hit in the face and...

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Ambulance: The Power Of A Nurse

Written by RSS Poster StorytellERdoc
I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything, 
I will not refuse to do something that I can do...Helen Keller

The car pulls into the driveway of a cape cod as the sunrise breaks through remnants of last night's fog. The driver pulls up to the garage and stares at the door, deciding to park outside. Lights are turned off. The engine is cut. The driver exhales a deep breath she didn't know she was holding. She rests her forehead into the steering wheel. A tear rolls down her cheek as a hesitant smile emerges. She thinks back to the many triumphs and defeats she bravely faced for the past twelve hours. Her fingers entwine the plastic Minnie Mouse bracelet she is wearing, given to her by a patient with leukemia. She walks into her house. Despite her sheer exhaustion, sleep will not come until after she wakes up her three kids to dress them, feed them and escort them to their bus stop.

This is the life of a nurse.

He looks as tired as he feels, despite...

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Ambulance: Open or Closed

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

My daughter asked me yesterday if there will ever be sports again?

I told her I thought so.  I wish I could have given her a more definitive answer.

Perhaps to the detriment of my mental health, I continue to read everything I can about the COVID epidemic.  I am pretty much resigned to the fact that COVID is going to be significantly with us for at least the next two years, and even longer if we don’t develop a vaccine, which is not sure thing.

Coronavirus: Top scientist who battled COVID-19 says we will never live normally without vaccine

 While the social distancing and shutdowns have succeeded in flattening the curve, COVID remains out there waiting to rekindle its flame.  As states reopen and the number of cases and deaths again rise, how will we respond?  

I have seen both the deaths that COVID has wrought and I have seen the despair and fear that the lockdowns bring, despair and fear that can also be lethal.

The articles below are thoughtful discussions of the tradeoffs between keeping the economy closed and opening it up.


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Ambulance: Comment

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I received this fantastic comment on one of my posts about Narcan, and it was too good not to give it a post of its own and the attention it deserves.

Are you sure it (Narcan) only lasts 30 minutes? I feel like it is longer. Unfortunately, I was one of those junkies at one point. Hated to admit my life took that path. However, I got Narcaned twice by paramedics. The effects weren’t pleasant, but not terrible. I’d throw up once and be fine and on my way. Oddly, I got CPR both times, which I am sure was unnecessary. The sternal bruising and pain lasted for days. Then, you’d think that would be enough to stop my stupid ass from doing it again, but….. nope. Fast forward to a couple years later after relapse: I kept Narcan on me and never used alone. My friend always gave me the Narcan (first the nasal with the cone, then the EVIZIO IM injectors, then the vials with the syringes, and then the nasal push-ups). I always woke up and felt like a MACK truck had ran me over a few times. Of course I felt EXTREME cold like my body had died and...

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Ambulance: Working in Full PPE

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

We are fortunate in a way that COVID-19 has hit us at a time of year when the weather is not at an extreme.  If I wear my reflector jacket, our PPE gowns don’t fit me.  It’s not so cold that I can’t enter a house without my jacket on, but come winter, climbing over snowbanks in a regular shirt so I will be able to put my gown on when I get to the house may lead to pneumonia.  Those who can put the PPE on over their winter coats may find themselves overheating and not able to take off their jackets should they find themselves in strenuous situations inside like having to do chest compressions in a room with the thermostat cranked up.

Even though it is spring weather, when I am gowned in full PPE with N95 mask and face shield, it can get pretty hot if you are carrying a patient or working a cardiac arrest.  I can’t imagine what it will be like when it is 100 degrees and humid.

I have yet to get my full PPE routine down.  Pock



Ambulance: The Power Of A Nurse

Written by RSS Poster StorytellERdoc
I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything, 
I will not refuse to do something that I can do...Helen Keller

The car pulls into the driveway of a cape cod as the sunrise breaks through remnants of last night's fog. The driver pulls up to the garage and stares at the door, deciding to park outside. Lights are turned off. The engine is cut. The driver exhales a deep breath she didn't know she was holding. She rests her forehead into the steering wheel. A tear rolls down her cheek as a hesitant smile emerges. She thinks back to the many triumphs and defeats she bravely faced for the past twelve hours. Her fingers entwine the plastic Minnie Mouse bracelet she is wearing, given to her by a patient with leukemia. She walks into her house. Despite her sheer exhaustion, sleep will not come until after she wakes up her three kids to dress them, feed them and escort them to their bus stop.

This is the life of a nurse.

He looks as tired as he feels, despite...

This ambulance blog continues, Read More...



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