ProMedNetwork.comWelcome to Episode 157

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Link of the Week: Great Student Medication Math Resource!

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EMS News–

GHS newborn ambulance is baby-safe times two

Be Ready for Radiological Threats

Gift Ambulance Heads from Ohio to Nicaragua

Florida County Looks to Trim Responses

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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.

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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

Geoff Smith

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Until next time, Scene safety, BSI!

Creative Commons License

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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