EMS Educators

The National Association of EMS Educators is the best Instructor program that I have ever attended. Dr. Chris Nollette is a great leader and the President of NAEMSE.

Star of Life

The Star of Life has been an EMS symbol for years. Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians have identified with the blue star as part of their heritage.

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association has been an advocate promoting healthy hearts for over 50 years. Their efforts to prevent heart disease and educate the general public has saved millions of lives.

Archive for EKG

Oct
23

Trauma Injury

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Trauma can be a wound to the body whether intentional or accidental or as shock which can include psychological. Trauma can cause death or be as minor as a hospital visit. This all depends on they type of trauma and the amount of time that has passed since treatment was sought out. There are several different types of trauma. Some of these types are Penetrating trauma, blunt force trauma, and psychological trauma.

Blunt force trauma often occurs when an injury is inflicted which does not pierce the skin nor organs of the body or any internal space of the body. A blunt force trauma can happen intentionally in such instances as a fight or a brutal attack of sorts. It can also happen unintentionally by means of auto accident or as simple as a fall. Blunt force trauma differs from penetrating in that blunt force trauma is not piercing or puncturing, however it can be just as dangerous and in some cases more dangerous.

Penetrating trauma is when an object pierces the skin, organ or body cavity. This can also be an incident where no outside penetration was the cause but a broken bone or other internal body part was the cause of the piercing or puncture without the piercing of the skin. These types of injuries can be like blunt force traumas in that it can be intentional and unintentional. In cases of intentional it can be from a gun shot or a knife from an altercation. As far as unintentional, like blunt force trauma, penetrating can also occur from an automobile accident or a fall.

Psychological trauma is a result from some sort of traumatic event such as a war, seeing others hurt or from direct violence. You can develop psychological trauma during or after a blunt force or penetrating trauma as well. PALS certification also helps to save children who have been injured in a trauma related incident. Psychological traumas can be long term as well as short term depending on the person. Seeing a professional that is certified in that area of medicine is a must when dealing with this type of trauma.

No matter what type of trauma you have, it is very important that you seek proper medical attention. The quicker you seek medical attention, the higher the chance you will have of having a positive outcome without long term complications. Just because you have been involved in an incident or accident in which a form trauma is not immediately observed doesn’t mean its not there. There is always the risk of internal injuries which you may not know about until its too late. In conclusion, do not play around with any type of injury, no how minor. Getting immediate medical help may save your life or the life of another.

Oct
04

Patient Assessment of the Trauma Victim

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In emergency medical situations a patient assessment is one of the most important steps emergency personnel utilizes at the scene. This assessment will assist the Advanced Cardiac Life Support emergency workers in answering all of the vital questions. Who, what, how, and address all life threatening situations not only with the patient but in the surrounding area as well. Who the patient is; is the patient a pediatric or an adult? This makes a big difference in your approach to treatment. What happened; what is the emergency and how did it happen or the mechanism of injury.

Knowing where the injury is and how it happened will also weigh in on the mode of transportation as in by air or ambulance, is it going to be a rapid transport situation. If it is going to be a rapid transport situation then all of the life threatening wounds should be addressed and the rest can be done on the way to the receiving facility. Knowing the what and how will also be able to help you decide the type of receiving facility to transport to. Some facilities offer higher levels of care than others depending on severity of injury.

The patient assessment always begins with a scene size up. You should always make sure the scene is safe. Look for downed power lines, irate individuals with weapons, gas leaks, etc… Once the scene is safe and you are allowed to enter you will want to then make sure you observe body substance isolation or (BSI). Before you enter a scene it is a good idea to have BSI. You want as much protection as you can get from the fluids and other substances from the patient and your scene. Once you have observed BSI you will want to find out the number of patients. Knowing this will help you to find out if you are going to need to triage patients as well as know if you are going to need additional resources which is the next step in the patient assessment.

Once you have determined whether or not you will need additional resources and they are contacted if needed, you will then need to determine the mechanism of injury. Knowing the mechanism of injury will assist you in determining the level of care the patient will need and almost always in conjunction with all of the other steps it will help you to make a transport decision. Finally you will need to have a partner hold c-spine. Especially if they have suffered a fall, motor vehicle collision, or any injury involving the neck, head, or spine. This is also where knowing the mechanism of injury comes in.

Knowing how to perform a patient assessment is a vital part of the emergency care process. This will be a part of your skills and knowledge required in your training in the Emergency medical field, especially that of an Emergency medical technician. This will also help anyone who is in any field in which responds to medical emergency calls such as first responders and volunteer firefighters as well as paid firefighters.

Mar
20

Heart Disease

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Heart Disease is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women in the U.S.  That’s why it is important to learn about your heart and symptoms and be checked by your physician if you experience any irregularities with your heart.  Heart Disease can be inherited and or enhanced by the life-style choices. The American Heart Association ACLS recert class can help prevent sudden cardiac death. Some examples of causes of Heart Disease are cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise, and inherited which  would be based on the family history.

Not everyone gets Heart Disease some are born with it and that is known as Congenital Heart Disease.  Congenital Heart Disease is a type of defect or malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occur before birth.  Congenital Heart disease my present itself at birth and sometimes not until adulthood. It is not known why it occurs as a fetus but has been said that exposure to some viral infections and alcohol could play a role.

Some symptoms of heart disease are irregularities in the heart such as abnormal rhythms or arrhythmia’s, shortness of breath, which can lead to a heart attack.  Other symptoms of the disease are weakness, dizziness, sweating, and a faster heartbeat. Although many heart problems can have the same symptoms it is important to be checked by a doctor if the symptoms keep occurring.

Symptoms of heart attack can be but are not limited to feeling numbness  or arm, pressure or heaviness in the chest, extreme weakness, vomiting.
During a heart attack you may or may not have any symptoms at all , which is more common with diabetics.  If you do have symptoms they may last up to 30 minutes and can not be calmed by oral medication.  Tightness in the chest can turn into severe pain and then you should immediately be seen by a hospital.

There are many treatments and care for someone with heart disease.  You should learn CPR for you and your loved one in case of an attack. There are medications, stents and even surgical procedures, which should be discussed with your physician.

Even though there is no cure for the disease living with the disease is possible and manageable with direction from your doctor. You can also try to live a healthier way of life.  This would include no smoking, plenty of safe exercise and a heart healthy diet.

 

Mar
14

Angioplasty

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Angioplasty procedure in which and balloon catheter is passed into the narrowed portion of the blood vessel and then inflated in order to widen the narrowed or obstructed blood vessel. Typically angioplasties are safer than bypass surgery. Results from death from this type or procedure are far less than the bypass surgery is. Hypertension, diabetes, and smoking are just a few of the blockages that can occur in which angioplasty is used to remove. The balloon that is used during the surgery is not the same material as that of a toy balloon. The procedure can take anywhere from 30 min. to three hours in order to complete. The catheter used during the procedure is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or above the elbow and is carefully guided by the doctor through the blood vessels until it reaches the blog portion of the coronary artery, it is then inflated.

Complications may occur during or after angioplasty; some of these include tearing of the artery, kidney problems, arrhythmia, allergic reaction, and blood clots. There are of course as with any surgeries risks with angioplasty. Some of these complications include myocardial infarction, kidney problems, and death. Risks are much higher for those 75 years or older, patients suffering from diabetes or kidney disease, as with patients with poor pumping function in their hearts.

As long there are no complications most of the patients are only monitored overnight and released the next day. Patients are advised to avoid any physical and/or mental stress after the surgery is complete. If you have swelling and bleeding or pain from the surgery site develops any other kind discomfort shortness of breath the patient should seek immediate medical attention. Some of the different types of angioplasty include peripheral, coronary, renal artery, and carotid.

Peripheral angioplasty is the opening of blood vessels outside the coronary arteries utilizing a balloon. Commonly used to treat atherosclerotic, narrowing of the abdomen. Coronary angioplasty is used to treat narrowed coronary arteries of the heart commonly found in coronary heart disease. Renal artery angioplasty is used to treat atherosclerotic obstruction of the renal artery; carotid angioplasty is used to treat carotid artery stenosis.

The risk of death during and or after angioplasty with today’s modern technology is less than 1% providing all the guidelines for post-surgery care are followed. The procedure usually requires 23 hours or less of hospitalization after it is complete. According to statistics it is a relatively safe procedure.

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Mar
09

EKG

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An EKG also known as an electrocardiogram or ECG is a test that measures problems in electrical activity within the heart. An EKG shows the heart’s electrical activity on a piece of paper in the form of lines. The spikes and dips are also known as waves.

Electrocardiograms are usually implemented to find the cause of chest pain, check the progress of mechanical devices such as pacemakers; check out medication is affecting your heart, and overall health of the heart and to detect if any heart diseases are present. Different types of EKG’s that physicians implement are holter monitoring, event recorder, and stress test.

Some examples in instances when you may have an electrocardiogram test are; during physical examinations, stress test, before a major surgery, and before any surgeries involving the heart, (as well as  Pre, during, or post-surgery). more often than not, there are no risks during an electrocardiogram. Electricity is not run through your body from the machine. So in most cases an electrocardiogram is perfectly safe. The test usually also takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes until completion. Some of the health issues the test will show your doctor are heart rate, heart rhythm, heart attack, inadequate blood and oxygen level to the heart and structural abnormalities to name a few.

It is believed by some doctors that everyone ever 35 should have a baseline EKG done to have something to compare to you as you get older. An EKG cannot predict whether or not you’re going to have a heart attack. In some cases an electrocardiogram may need to be read several days later when comparing to a previous electrocardiogram due to the fact your test can appear to be normal during heart attack. No special preparation is needed before having an electrocardiogram test.

Drinking cold water and physical exertion can cause misleading changes in the electrical patterns during the test. The test can be performed in a hospital or in a doctor’s office. You will usually have anywhere from 12-15 leads or electrodes connected to your body in specific locations, you will be asked to lie still and breath normally as the machine measures your electrical activity. Usually right after the test, your doctor will be able to tell you the results.

In conclusion, echocardiograms are very much more useful in interpreting heart rhythms. They are not meant to prevent nor are they meant to treat any type of heart conditions and or diseases. In some cases that is determined through healthy living and genetics.

 

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Emergency Medical Services

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