This video dives into 4 important ECG rhythms every EMT should be aware of. While treatment of these rhythms is out of the scope of practice for the EMT, it is important to be aware of their significance. This is a great video for EMT's who are planning on attending AEMT or Medic school. As always, follow your local protocols.
All living cells in the human body require oxygen in order to efficiently convert glucose into energy. In order for cells to receive oxygen, there needs to be adequate blood flow throughout the body so that oxygen-rich blood can deliver oxygen to the tissues and cellular respiration can occur. When there is impedance in the bodies’ ability to perfuse blood to the tissues, shock may occur. Shock occurs when there is a circulatory failure throughout the entire body, which results in cellular damage and can lead to multiple organ failures if not treated immediately.
Blood pressure is a major determinate in the perfusion of tissues because there needs to...
Both Croup and Epiglottitis are inflammatory conditions capable of impairing the upper airway. Though different by nature, croup, and epiglottitis present with similar signs and symptoms, making it difficult for EMS personnel to differentiate between the two. In this article, we will discuss the differences in these conditions and how to treat and manage them.
Croup is an acute form of laryngotracheobronchitis, which is inflammation of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi (and also a ridiculously long word). Croup commonly occurs in infants and children ages 6 months to 6 years and is characterized by low-grade fever, barking cough, hoarseness,...
There are many acronyms used in emergency services that are intended to make procedures easier to remember. Here is a list of some common ones and when to use them:
This is applied as a precaution for EMS providers to protect and isolate from body substances such as blood, urine, feces etc. while giving medical treatment. BSI should be applied before every call and can include gloves, eye protection, facemask, gown etc. depending on the nature of the call.
After you have determined the scene is safe, your first action of the physical assessment will be to check your ABCDE’s. This is an acronym that...
A grandstand holding more than 200 people at a high school football field has collapsed, resulting in numerous injuries of all different levels. You and your partner arrive first to the chaotic scene. You are overwhelmed as you notice the amount of patients needing help, knowing there are not enough resources available to treat them all. Fortunately, there is a simple triage system that gives you a place to begin treating the situation: START triage. START (Simple Triage and Rapid Transport) is the most commonly used triage algorithm in the US. It is a scene management system that is used when the number of patients exceeds the resources of the on-scene...
The abdominal cavity is the largest cavity in the body, housing many vital organs. For this reason, many calls EMS providers respond to involve abdominal pain. Although it is not always clear what might be going on when someone presents with abdominal pain, it is important to know the anatomy of the abdomen so you have an idea of what organ system might be affected. The abdomen is divided into four quadrants anatomically. You can determine what organ system might be affected based on which quadrant the pain is located in.
Types of Pain
There are three types of pain associated with abdominal pain: visceral, parietal and referred. Visceral pain is...
In this article, we are going to discuss some common EKG interpretations that are beneficial for EMT-Basics to understand in the field. Although performing electrocardiographic rhythm interpretation is outside of the EMT scope of practice, having a basic understanding can be advantageous during calls so that you have a better grasp on what is going on with the patient. REMEMBER: ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR LOCAL PROTOCOLS!!
First, let's look at what a normal heart rhythm looks like and then we will look at some common morphologies that may indicate the need for treatment.
Normal Sinus Rhythm (NSR)
Normal sinus rhythm is the natural looking rhythm in...
What is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that results when a person's core body temperature (CBT) drops from the normal body temperature of approximately 98.6°F to 95° F or lower. A drop in body temperature occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. When this occurs, the body forces blood to its core to keep vital organs perfused. Over time, CNS function slows down resulting in impaired thinking, feeling, and speaking. If left untreated, hypothermia will lead to complete cardiac and respiratory failure, and ultimately death.
Causes of hypothermia
Causes of hypothermia are typically classified by the amount of...
Now that we have discussed the basics of Capnography, lets look at some common waveforms and how to interpret them. As was mentioned in the previous article, a normal waveform takes the shape of a square with an end-tidal measurement (height) between 35-45 mmHg and a baseline of zero. Below, we will see how changes in ventilation change the waveform shape and end-tidal measurement.
The trademark sign of hyperventilation is a CO2 measurement of less than 35 mmHg. This is because hyperventilation causes a decreased CO2 level in the body due to excess elimination from rapid breathing. The shape of the waveform is typically...
Explosions have the potential to create a multitude injuries and it is important to know how they affect the body in-order-to treat patients effectively. These types of injuries are most commonly experienced during battle, but have the potential to occur in mines, factories or anywhere as a result of terrorism. Events involving explosions are complex to manage and may involve multiple patients, not to mention multiple agencies, which can make them a challenge for EMS personnel.
Blast injuries are typically categorized from primary to quaternary. Primary blast injuries are caused by the shockwave from the explosion itself. Shockwave is a rise in air...