The MedicCast is a proud member of the ProMed Podcast Network.
A podcast for EMT’s, Paramedics, and other medical providers of all kinds.
Fill out the New Survey!
Link of the Week: Great Student Medication Math Resource!
Extra Content for MedicCast Listeners for less than $1 per day (via monthly subscription)
- NREMT Study and Prep Tips
- All Tips and Meds segments from the MedicCast and Nursing Show as separate downloadable files
- Special iTunes Podcast Feed for Members – Get the segments as a podcast
- Extra Members-Only content added monthly
Lexi-Comp, the premium provider of mobile medication reference software including new iPhone and iPod Touch apps, Lexi Tox and many other Lexi-Comp products.
Visit www.Lexi.com/mediccast and sign up to win a free iPod Touch and Lexi-Comp software.
Tip of the Week: Metric System Math Review
Visit MedMathSimplified.com to get your free chapter of the eBook for the series.
About using EMS or “Old Paramedic” Math Shortcuts:
A question I get a lot from MedicCast listeners and EMS students is, “Is there ever a time to use these medication math shortcuts and tips from the old paramedic’s back of tricks. Sure there are. One of the best ways to use these methods is to check your work on tests and other regular calculations. Once you’ve run the full formula and calculation, I always counsel students to ask themselves if the answer makes sense? A this point in a calculation, use these shortcuts to double check your work. They will let you know if you are in the ballpark or not.
For instance, in a drip rate calculation like you might commonly see on a test, the “Dopamine ten and two” method would provide you with a check on problem. Here’s a sample problem from the Med Math Simplified eBook that comes with every tutorial:
Orders: 5 mcg/kg/min Dopamine
You have a 250 mL bag with 400 mg of Dopamine inside and a 100 kg patient. How many drops per minute do you set using minidrip set (60 gtts/ml)?
When you do the normal calculation using the tutorial’s step by step program, you come up with a drip rate of 19. The dopamine 10 and 2 method asks that you divide the weight in pounds by 10 and subtract 2. A 220 pound man, divided by 10 and subtract two gives you a drip rate of 20. We came up with 19 so we are in the range and our number is probably correct. If your answer was not near 20, you would have a clue that it was wrong.
Another time to use these shortcuts is in really unusual and urgent emergency medical situations. These are situations that 99 percent of us will never encounter. (This can be interpreted by the lawyers out there as never.) If you find yourself in a situation when you literally have seconds to make a decision, make it and move on to the next patient. The key is to later make sure you come back and double check your dose the right way, and do it as soon as possible. Just to reiterate, I can’t recommend these methods when performing actual patient care but I will leave it up to you to decide when and where you might need this.
The final use for these old paramedic tricks is in megacodes and classroom situations. Some instructors love things like the “Dopamine Clock” and the “10 and 2″ methods. It saves them time and for some of them, I think it seems to show you “know the ropes.” Just a note for those in my region. If you ever come by me in a megacode, you better do it the right way first!
Then you can amaze me with your knowledge of parlor tricks and slight of hand.
Contact the MedicCast EMS Podcast:
Comment or share ideas at the MedicCast Forums forums.mediccast.com
Rate the podcast at iTunes and help others find the MedicCast
Visit the MedicCast Store
Get the MedicCast Newsletter — Sign up now — it’s free!
Call the Voice Mail Line — (941) 306-3342
email me at email@example.com
Song this week:
Music from The Podsafe Music Network
This week- Geoff Smith with “Not on the Radio”
Click below for Geoff’s songs on iTunes
Click here to check out other Songs from the MedicCast Network Podcasts at the iTunes Store.
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.