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Large Vessel Occlusions - My latest EMS1.com article.

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I Don't Save Lives

When I tell people what I do for a living, I generally get one of two responses. The first is the nodding head accompanied by some form of the phrase "Oh, that's cool." I generally assume that these are the kind folks who, for the sake of social norms, asked me about myself without really wanting to know the answer. It's the same as when you ask someone "How are you?" Unless you are a medical provider, you aren't really looking for them to tell you about their hemorrhoids and how they're having difficulty getting an erection.

The second response, however, goes something like "Oh, wow! You save lives!" That's far better for the ego. I've thought about this many times throughout my career. "Saving lives " sounds so noble and so heroic. Upon hearing this phrase I picture myself shirtless with six pack abs and bulging biceps (neither of which I have ever had) standing atop a mountain of smoldering debris. The near -lifeless b…

A Moment in Time

We must have heard it one hundred times over the last three days. Kip Teitsort, national expert on violence in healthcare, was in town to teach Twin City Ambulance's four DT4EMS instructors an advanced level instructor course.
"This is just a moment in time." Kip would remark as he paused during a skill to show us how the elbow was controlled or how the attacker was now off-balance. Over and over he said that phrase. "This is just a moment in time."
To paint things more clearly you need to understand a bit about Kip. He's a man who was both a paramedic and a police officer. He's got 30 years of training and several black belts in multiple martial arts systems, and has instructed police and SWAT officers in defensive tactics. He's also taught self-defense to scores of healthcare providers all across the country - his current focus.
Kip has intensity and energy that never waiver, which he needs to match his passion for protecting healthcare workers from …

No Quarter for Hiders

One of our outstanding young medics popped into my office for a chat. I was expecting him, having left him an open invitation to stop by. It was no surprise, either, when he launched into discussion about a pediatric arrest he'd responded to recently. I suspect he partially wanted to be sure he'd done everything right and that it wasn't his failure as a medic that left a family tragically short a child. Concerns such as this are commonplace following these kinds of calls - you wonder if there was something... anything that would have changed the outcome. Usually there's not, and from what I have been able to ascertain the child received excellent care from this medic, and all of the firefighters and police officers on scene.
Unfortunately, people die. Yes, even kids. This medic was struggling with a run that hit close to home for him. I could tell by the way he talked about it; he mentioned things that happened again and again. He keyed in on very minor points but with …