Saturday, January 17, 2009


Wow, haven't posted anything in some time. I think the last time I had posted, I was scared because of my new job. Well, here I am almost two months later and I LOVE it! I defiantly should have listened to everyone when they said "You'll be just fine."

Today I had another long 12 hour shift. I woke up just feeling like it was going to be a fun day (note the sarcasm). My first 4 hours were uneventful. Got the rig check done as well as the daily chores around our building. Than around noonish, that damn call phone went off. We were sent to a house only a couple of blocks away for an asthma attack. En route, that asthma attack got upgraded to unresponsive. Instead of my heart dropping, like it always had done on calls, I just started to use my brain and think about everything that could go wrong on the call, and what I would need to make sure it didn't go wrong. So I grabbed our big green bag, full of airways, gauze, stethoscope, bp cuff's, cravats etc. I also grabbed the defib, you know.. just in case.

My partner had to move the ambulance closer to the house, so I ventured into the house with the police officer who must have hauled ass to the scene when he heard "unresponsive." Of course little me had to walk up to the second level of the house with our heavy green bag as well as the defib. Instantly I heard a little girl screaming her head off and other kids and 2 adults running crazy around the VERY messy house. They yelled for me to hurry up that he wasn't breathing.

If its one thing I remembered, always look cool calm and collected, even if deep down your not. The second you show fear or uncertainty in your face, your pt's family members will instantly freak. I saw our pt laying on the ground. Of course he was a very big guy so I had a feeling getting him to our ambulance would not be an easy task.

I asked, or rather demanded all the family leave the room. I felt bad, but the room was a mess. Mattresses everywhere, as well as other random crap. I checked for a carotid pulse and to be honest, my heart was pounding and I couldn't tell if it was me or the pt lol. My parter felt a pulse so we held off on the AED. I took out our BVM, hooked it up to the 02 and began to bag our pt.

To make a very long story short, it took 3 other squad members as well as two police officers to carry this man to our ambulance. ALS were in the rig waiting for us and the guy went into cardiac arrest shortly after. I ended up being the one to do chest compressions as we took our pt to the ER. ALS put on their AED, and today was the very first time I heard the AED say, "Shock advised." It was an awesome experience, although my pt probably doesn't agree.

With all the HIPPA laws now, EMS workers can't call the hospital to check up on a pt. I know that when you bring a code into the hospital, you defiantly wish you could see if the pt lived or died. Sometimes all you need to know is your pt survived. It's good to know your hard work paid off.


Evil Transport Lady said...

Someway you may be able to get a friendly nurse to tell you that. Don't use names etc. Possibly if you come back to the same ER that day. It works for us at the hospice center.

brendan said...

With all the HIPPA laws now, EMS workers can't call the hospital to check up on a pt.

Whoever told you that has absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

Medix311 said...

I do sincerely hope that your hard work paid off.

Ambulance Mommy said...

I know at our hospitals, you can check at the main desk, and just ask if they are a patient. If they are still alive, they can tell you their status (ie, critical, stable, etc) but they can't tell you any more than that. They can maybe give you a room number if you go in uniform. I learned that one :)

Or if you find a nurse you know, they'll let you know usually.

But I agree, its sometimes hard to not know what happens to people. I remember dropping off a mom who was in labor who was leaking meconium like crazy, and for weeks wondered if she had a boy or girl and if the baby was ok.

Jennifer said...

My partner that I was working with that day actually found out the guy died. I don't have a very good record of saving people now do I? lol

nemo of utopia said...

Hey,sorry for the comment being few months late, but I just found the blog. Take a close look at HIPPA; it contains a specific exemption for "patient follow-up and quality control purposes". As part of the team providing care, you are not prevented from finding out your patient's outcome by HIPPA. After all, that's how we learn.

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