To Die and Die Again

This story happened early in my career and has weighed on me from time to time since. The disease responsible crops up all too frequently in my own family. I am afraid something of similar caliber will happen to me one day. It was late evening, maybe 9pm, when the call came through, “Code 4:…

Ebola: Barrier Nursing

Ebola certainly dominated the headlines in 2014. Our service, like most others, did in-house training guided by the health region in order to prepare for its unlikely appearance in our community. It bothered me that we were just now designing an updated PPE/provincial care algorithm. There are many other highly infectious diseases that perhaps should…

Flirting with 911

I once had a ten year old patient ask me to marry him on a call because I reminded him of AJ- the WWE diva. Um, sure I do kid. I’ve also had a ninety year old patient ask for my picture because that would apparently make him feel better. I’ve seen an intoxicated patient…

Old MacDonald Had an….Accident

Moving to the prairies, I have found myself deep in Canada’s agricultural epicenter. Sites such as the one above are common. The fact that farming season is gearing up into full swing after a long winter would be hard to miss. I am also acutely aware that although I grew up in farm community, I…

Disaster Management: Who you gonna call?

WARNING: Contains graphic/disturbing images. “Between 1981-1990 Canada experienced 167 declared disasters, approximately 1.4 per month. In 1991-1997, 100 disasters were declared, approximately 1.2 per month.” http://www.psychink.com/insite.htm (1998 Montreal, Quebec Ice Storm)             As if day to day activities in a paramedic’s life are not enough. What happens when disaster strikes and…

The Art of Differential Diagnosis

A Case Study (Names/Dates have been excluded to protect patient privacy. Photos are representations only.) One of the most important tasks required of pre-hospital emergency workers is obtaining the information and evidence on scene that can help develop pertinent differential diagnoses. This job can be made especially difficult by poor historians, unusual patient presentation and…