Those Incredible Kidneys: Chronic Renal Disease and Dialysis

SS of Those Incredible KidneysThe kidneys… superheros in their own right.  Why should the brain and heart get all the credit when these mega-filters detoxify the blood, remove excess fluid, produce hormones, regulate pH, and so much more?

And then there’s the patients with chronic kidney disease who can’t reap these benefits and instead, resort to dialysis to keep them alive.  This population keeps growing year after year, and EMS needs to understand the pathophysiology behind the condition and appropriate treatments in the field.


Care of an LVAD Patient

SS of Prehospital Care of a Patient with an LVADThe “heart pump” population grows every year.  And usually, it’s the left ventricular that requires assistance from the pump, so we see more patients with an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) every year.  Taking care of patients with any ventricular assist device (VAD) is such a big concern that even the NREMT now requires at least half an hour of education specifically towards this life-saving technology.  What we do in the prehospital setting can help or harm these patients.

However, LVADs are nothing to fear *if* you know how to assess these patients, use appropriate treatments, and avoid ones that could cause harm.  Why not just defer these decisions to the “doc” instead?  Truth is, not many physicians are familiar with VADs either!  You have a golden opportunity to become the patient’s true advocate through this video case review education.


Stemming the Tide: Successful Pharmaceutically-Assisted Intubations

SS of Stemming the Tide PAITo “stem the tide” is a nautical term where the ship is turn headlong into a surging tide or wave, which could otherwise  tip a vessel if hit broadside.

Intubation, and specifically pharmaceutically-assisted intubation, is one of the most critical skills performed by a paramedic.  You are betting the ship, or better yet, your patient’s life that you can get the job done correctly, efficiently, and with no harm done to the patient.   This narrated slideshow education teaches you how to successfully face this tide head-on by optimizing patient positioning, making educated decisions on medication choice, and the best techniques for the actual intubation process.


Traumatic Brain Injury in Children

SS of January 2016 Case Review on TBI in ChildrenKids bounce, right?  

This seems to be the case most of the time.  But when faced with a seriously-injured pediatric patient, we owe it to the child, the parents, and ourselves to understand the anatomical differences between children and adults, the different types of injury, and best prehospital management practices.

In addition, we care for children at two different ends of a spectrum: The dearly-loved special needs children at one end, and at-risk pediatrics who may have been physically abused on the other.  Both deserve specialized care and management for their safety and well-being.


Digging Deeper: Exploring the inner workings of pacemakers and ICDs

SS of Digging Deeper ICDs and PacemakersAs both technology and our geriatric population grows, paramedics are now treating more patients with internal pacemaker/internal cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) than ever before.  But, how much do we actually *know* about these lifesaving devices?

Can we dig deeper into the ECG and instead of thinking, “Oh *!%$*!  pacemaker spikes!” actually know what’s going on with our patient?  Absolutely.


Vital sign tips, tricks, and review. Part 1: Blood Pressure

SS of Vital Signs Part 1Vital signs encompass the very basics of our EMT education.  It’s one of the very first things we learned besides the “little barking Chihauhuas are meaner than big dogs” scene safety gem.

But, what did we really learn?  And, did we learn it correctly?  EMT through paramedic levels will find this education very useful for their patient care.