Charging drunks, cardiac kudos, exhausted Aussies and were going to take a look at another special interview segment from EMS today 2012 with their EMS 10 award winners, if that’s what you’re looking for, you found it right here on the MedicCast.
Drunk Driver EMS Fines
In this week’s news have you ever ended up in the back of your unit with a drunk driver just because the police don’t want to deal with them? Well guess what, some places and agencies are charging drunk drivers who need emergency services a fee or fine.
In Franklin County, Virginia they are instituting a new $350 charge for any DUI drivers that require some kind of emergency response to their location. So police, fire, or EMS comes to their location they get a $350 fine right off the get-go. Now this is assessed at their DUI hearing so it will be interesting to see if this has any deterrent effects.
CARES Recognizes Cardiac Champions
A local agency to me was recognized by the CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival) registry as their area’s Pennsylvania agency that provides extra exemplary cardiac care. Susquehanna Valley EMS, right up the road from me in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was recognized as being the top out of 23 reporting agencies in the state of Pennsylvania in their cardiac care and cardiac survival rates.
Along with regular practice and training in managing cardiac codes efficiently, Susquehanna Valley EMS also uses other standards of practice to improve survival. These include therapeutic hypothermia, chilling the patient with cold normal saline IVs and basically following the updated guidelines from the American Heart Association and the emergency cardiac care (ECC) guidelines. These tools are there for a reason and if you apply the recommendations and standards of care that they give you, you’re going to be able to improve care for your patients and maybe your agency will get recognized.
Exhausted Australian EMS
What do you do when you’re just so exhausted you can barely keep your eyes open and you’re trying to stay awake and give a medication on the way to the hospital during along transport? How you handle that when you’re just that exhausted is a problem of your management. This is problem in the states and it’s also a problem all over the place.
I found this article on Australian paramedics talking about this very issue. An anonymous paramedic is featured in the article and she talks about the fact that they’re putting in over 80 hours a week. They’re dead on their feet and that this exhaustion is actually causing medical errors to occur endangering both the patients and the paramedics treating them.
I would argue these errors occur not at the fault of the paramedics, but under the responsibility of the agency’s supervisors and medical directors. EMTs and paramedics taking care of patients when you get that tired, when you become that fatigued and you end up making mistakes, it’s like you’re operating under an impairment. You might as well just have given yourself the drugs or alcohol and then let them treat themselves on the way to the hospital.
David Reinis Improves Cardiac Knowledge
Next up is an interview segment I did with paramedic and educator David Reinis at EMS today 2012. David is one of the EMS 10 innovator award winners from last year and he is in Colorado near Denver. Our sponsor for event, Physio-Control was instrumental in helping to recognize these EMS leaders and innovators.
David came up with an innovative way to educate and maintain standards for cardiac care with the paramedics by reviewing cardiac anatomy using pig hearts. Check out this interview with David on how he found a unique way to revisit anatomy and physiology and help folks understand things like STEMI’s, things like acute coronary syndromes, and of course cardiac arrest.
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