Stay away from Paramedics
Of course, an ironic title may get your attention. You may also have an ironic view of your first or your next medical emergency. No, Paramedics are not bad company to keep.They have plenty of experience and technical expertise to offer you during or after your medical or traumatic event. Lets use "heart attack" as an example. I put heart attack in quotes because it's a generic phrase for a number of events that are caused by heart disease, in this case (atherosclerosis) or narrowing of coronary arteries by fatty plaque. Lets use the more specific event known as a (myocardial infarction ) or death of heart muscle. Even death of heart muscle may not be specific enough because it is a dynamic event. There are signs and symptoms and then precautionary treatments for decreased oxygen levels in the hearts muscle or nerve tissue known as (myocardial ischemia). Ischemia may result in mild or life threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances known as (dysrhythmia) or even cardiac arrest. Results of the precautionary treatments vary and may diminish the symptoms and reduce ischemia intially. This initial treatment with aspirin, nitro glycerin and somtimes morphine may provide a period of time for physician evaluation with fewer events to deal with during diagnosis. Repeating doses of treatment may be needed because of mounting evidence that the myocardium is sustaining damage, or infarction. Medics have many ways to gather information. EKG, 12 lead EKG, pulse oximetry, assessment skills such as reading and interpreting EKG's, listening to heart and lung sounds, observing skin color, feeling the quality of pulses and listening to medical history. Medics can treat suspected or confirmed myocardial infarction with oxygen, aspirin, nitro glycerin and anti- dysrhythmic drugs Cardioversion and Defibrillation are needed if an infarction causes a rhythm disturbance and or cardiac arrest. Next the paramedic puts all the findings into a concise, informative and factual presentation. This report could be given over a radio or cell phone and then will be repeated face to face for the nurses and doctors who receive the patient. This communication is a valuable interaction between the medics and medical staff on behalf of the patient. The findings and precautionary treatments that medics do decreases the time that the heart muscle is challenged by decreased blood flow. And in Myocardial infarction; "Time is muscle" All of this seems very good and positive. The interventions that pre-hospital caregivers and the expertise of the Doctors nurses and technicians is amazing and may well save your life. However you have to agree that prevention is the way to "Stay away from the Paramedics". Follow your doctors advise, know your medical history and what it really means. Read about prevention and people who have changed thier lifestyle to save themselves from a debilitating or fatal event. People who lose weight, stop smoking, improve their diet and reduce stress are taking proactive steps toward health, longevity, vitality and happiness. I'm not a Doctor! I can't give medical advise. So show this article to your Doctor and let him or her give you an opinion. Don't "Stayaway from Paramedics" when you really need them. Get to know the resources in your community. If you have medical history that they should know about, visit their station or contact their Medical Director. Some EMS providers will "Preplan" for a patients needs. Please feel free to contact me with questions about your local EMS resources and providers.