We showed up on a call for a 65 year old male having a difficult time breathing. As I walked into the room my patient was sitting upright and audible wheezing. My engineer went to work on vitals while I started setting up the breathing treatment. I also continued to ask him questions.
His shortness of breath woke him up and had been ongoing for the last 3 hours. His own breathing treatments provided no relief. He wasn't experiencing and chest pain or discomfort and had not recently been ill. There had been no sputum production. I also asked about his medical history. He said that he had asthma, emphysema, congestive heart failure, and chronic bronchitis. No wonder the guy had trouble breathing. He also had some cardiac history, hypertension and was a diabetic.
Five minutes after being on our breathing treatment he was perking up. He turned out to be a very talkative patient. AMR pulled up as we started a 12 lead on the guy (nothing there to worry about). His sugar was a little high but not outrageous. At this point we handed him off to AMR for the ride to the hospital.
Most of our calls are like this. Not really "life saving" but we do get to improve the quality of someones life. A majority of the time we can do that without administering any medication. I guess listening is one of our biggest skill sets.