TCA Overdose | EMS Patient Care Tips

Patients who have overdosed on TCA medications can present with serious cardiac toxic symptoms. We may not see the effects of this type of overdose in the field due to a longer onset time, but there are various signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for when we encounter a patient claiming to have taken too many of this drug.

It doesn’t matter if it was accidentally or intentional. The outcome is same. Take a quick look at this weeks Monday Minutes to be sure you don’t overlook a key clinical presentation.

EMS Continuing Education


Did You Consider Solu-Medrol?

I often hear paramedics say they don’t consider giving solu-medrol to their asthma patients because it takes too long to work. I have seen some EMS agencies removing this drug from their drug box due to this and the cost savings of doing so.

But shouldn’t we look a little beyond the immediate care we give and what we see is happening to the patient? This week I point out a few things that may have you re-thinking the use of this drug.

Do you use solu-medrol as part of your treatment for asthmatics?  Is your agency considering removing this drug from your options or have they already? Post your thoughts below.

Interested in joining me over at Turbo Medic? Click here for details.

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CPR vs. CCR | EMS Questions | WWJD 2/7/2013

Got a question on the differences and the EMS view between CPR and CCR or cardiocerebral resuscitation. So I gave a quick overview on this and showed a screencast of a sample protocol used by EMT’s and paramedics for CCR.

Do you use this method during initial cardiac arrest patients? Something similar? Post your comments below.

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EMS Patient Assessment | Speech

While common evaluations of speech are usually focused at the potential stroke patient. Assessing a patients speech is also important for other illnesses or injuries. Check out this weeks Minutes for common speech assessments and terms you can use during your EMS reports.


Also see here for more Stroke information.


EMS Assessment | Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Take a look at this weeks Monday Minutes. This video shows common carbon monoxide poisoning signs and symptoms and I think you will realize that this can often mimic many other illnesses and we can’t be looking for that “Cherry Red skin” in these patients as something to rely on. I tell a story on this one and would love to hear yours as well. So go ahead and post your CO poisoning story below.

You can also watch this carbon monoxide poisoning video on youtube here.



You can get details on the EMS Quick Study Guide by clicking here.

EMS Zebra Hunting Or Doing What’s Right?

This week we revisit a bit the idea of Zebra Hunting in EMS. Do you see more paramedics needing to do interventions than others? Do they have more patients who need saving or are they over reacting or hunting for something that isn’t there?

Take a listen to this episode and give your opinion below

Show notes

Josh from

Tim Noonan from

Does Rural EMS Have A Patient Care Advantage?

When thinking about rural EMS systems compared to an urban setting. Does the rural setting have certain advantages? What about disadvantages? Issues like available resources, transport times, volunteers, skills frequency and others can play a role in overall patient care.

So what are your thoughts? Do these two systems differ? Are they similar enough not to matter in the long run? Take a listen to this lively episode.

Show notes

Please check out the quests this week.

Thanks to Tim, David and Rommie for joining us and lending their insight. Special thanks to David Aber for joining in the chat room and providing the links below to some interesting reports.

Tim Noonan at Rogue Medic

David Aber at EMS Difference

David Blevins on Facebook

Rommie Duckworth can be found at Rescue Digest

Co-host Josh Knapp is over at WANTYNU

Take a look at these reports that David Aber was kind enough to provide. Great information.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Focus People

Great things are happening in EMS. New drugs, expanded protocols, high tech equipment. At the same time we deal with drug shortages, out dated and unproven standards of care and almost self sabotage of ourselves in the media, constantly putting up with the lowest common denominator in our ranks.

We need to find our focus. Sure work on the new stuff but maybe concentrate on the older issues too that are holding us back as a profession and as providers, lending for less than optimal patient care. How are you and your agency focusing on more steps forward and less steps back.

EMS EKG Help | PVC’s

This Monday Minutes gives a short EMS EKG help overview on premature ventricular contractions.

Check out the Ultimate EKG Study Guide Bundle by clicking here.

Should We Lie To Patients?

When your patient asks if he is having a heart attack, do you tell him, no matter how bad the 12 lead looks? Have you ever avoided these quesions, told white lies or just plain lied in what you thought was the best interest to the patient? What do you think? When does a patients stress level or anticipated reacition influence what or how you tell them?


Show notes:


Tim Noonan – RogueMedic

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