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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Heart Attack

Today we got a call from San Pedro Peninsula Hospital (SPPH) asking us to transport a patient from their ER to Torrance Memorial Medical Center (TMH) for an angiogram. Since the patient was on a nitroglycerin drip a nurse had to take the call. We get calls similar to this all the time, no big deal. This call was different because the staff at SPPH told us that the patient was about to arrest and that we needed to hurry. Because of the serious condition of the patient we decided that the paramedics would take the RN instead of the EMTs. This is done on critical patients because we can do things for a dying patient that the RN is not allowed to do (such as intubate). Once we got the the ER at SPPH it was apparent that our patient was in no such distress. As it turns out the cardiologist at TMH is more than a little panicky. I talked the nurses in the ER at TMH and they confirmed that the cardiologist on duty that day needs to mellow out just a bit. He wouldn't make a good ER doctor.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Firefighter 1 License

Today I found out that the city of La Habra Heights is hiring paramedics. They don't pay very much at all and I would only be able to work there a couple times a month but they are willing to train me as a firefighter and get me my firefighter 1 license. If I had that I would be able to apply to just about any fire department in California. As luck would have it, my partner at Gerber knows the guy that is in charge of hiring at La Habra Heights Fire. I am going to apply on Monday and see where it leads.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

You think you had a bad day?

One of my patients today was recently caught by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). While under their care he developed chest pain. Last night they took him to the ER where they checked his troponin levels and sure enough, he was having a heart attack. After going to the cathlab we transferred him to another hospital where he could be stabilized just to be sent back to....Syria (I know that all of you thought Mexico).

Los Angeles County = Frustration

Today we had a patient at a dialysis clinic that had her heart rate shoot up pretty high. It was ranging between 148 and 162. Even though our patient had no real complaints at the time (and her vitals were all stable except her heart rate) we wanted to get her heart rate lowered. We got her on some oxygen and started an IV. We then had her try a vagal maneuver without success. I then made base contact and tried to get an order for Adenosine (a drug that can sort of reset the heart but it doesn't feel too good so I'm told) just in case the patient started to deteriorate during transport. They decided that if the patient starts to deteriorate during transport that we would have to recontact them for the order of Adenosine. I'm sure that is just what my partner would love to be doing right when the patient is talking a nose the hospital instead of treating the patient. In other counties (where they trust the paramedics) we would have gotten the order.

The best part is what the MD did as soon as we arrived at the ER. He gave her Adenosine! How frustrating.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Great Shift

A great shift is when you can go into work, check everything out then get 4 1/2 hours of much needed sleep. The afternoon was much rougher...we actually watched a couple episodes of Band of Brothers. I love being paramedic.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Spare Uniforms

I always try to have a spare uniform at work just in case I get some undesirable stuff (blood, vomit, etc.) on the one I'm wearing. Today I was waxing my rig and as I squeezed the bottle of wax it exploded. I had wax all over my uniform from neck to boot. I never thought that I would have to change my uniform due to a wax explosion. The wax didn't even work out well for polishing my boots. How frustrating.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Today we transported a patient from San Pedro Hospital (SPPH) to little company of Mary's Hospital (LCM). We do this quite frequently because SPPH does not have a cathlab for cardiac patients. The only thing that made this call blog worthy was the "visitor" that my patient had last night. Evidently a security guard was walking by my patients room at about 11 at night and happened to see someone standing behind the bed. Since it was well after visiting hours the guard went to the nurses station to tell the nurse. When the nurse entered the room and asked the patient who was in there with him he thought that she was a little nuts. The RN checked the room and found no one. She then tried to check the bathroom but it was locked (interesting since there are no locks on the door). The RN did not believe the patient and had other people ranging from nurses to doctors to priests check out his room. After about 30 minutes the bathroom opened up and no one was ever found. My patient never saw anyone or any thing. The only person to see a "ghost" was the security guard. I heard that he incident even made it into the priests afternoon sermon. I'm sorry I missed that one.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Medicinal Use?

A few days ago my partner and I got to work a standby (that's where we sit around a location for a movie shoot, stunt or other such nonsense) at an r&b concert. It was put on by Microsoft, which was promoting the new Zune, and the State Parks and Recreations department. It was at an park just outside of Chinatown near downtown LA. I don't know what they were expecting but the promoters went a little overboard on the EMS. We had two different BLS providers there plus a private paramedic unit and LAFD showed up with an ALS engine, a Rescue, two bicycle paramedics, and their tactical command post. Of course with all those resources, nothing happened.

Half way through the concert my partner and I were approached by to girls that looked about 18. They asked us if we were firemen. We said no, we were paramedics to which they replied that will work. They then asked us for alcohol. When they found out we had none they asked for a bowl to smoke. As they walked away disappointed I couldn't help but wonder if they wanted the marijuana for medicinal purposes.
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