EMS Patient Assessment | Neurological Findings

When assessing your patient as a paramedic or EMT, there are some key neurological queues you should be looking for. These can raise or confirm suspicions that a neurological event may be happening with your patient. This weeks Monday Minutes gives some signs and symptoms to look out for.


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What are some signs and symptoms you look for when assessing a potential neurologic emergency?

EMT, Paramedic or Just Driving Miss Daisy?

ambulance1MMEvery once in awhile we like to talk about the whole ambulance driver name tag. Should we care and why? Does it matter and the perception that gets us there.

But don’t we own part of the reason we are called Ambulance Drivers? With EMS Facebook pages touting Taxi this and shucking that, its no wonder we can’t shake the name. Plus the fact that the bulk of the call types we get really don’t leave us with much else to do but drive the ambulance.

A sensitive topic for sure. Take a listen to this one and share your thoughts and suggestions on how we shed this brand we have made for ourselves once and for all.

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Be sure to visit John Broyles on his podcast this Saturday by clicking here and check out Josh and his one of kind EMS oxygen wrench by clicking here.

Shout out to Dave Konig for joining us in the chat room as well.

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Don’t Miss Important Chest Pain Indicators

While many patients with chest pain describe it with classic symptoms, you will have patients with atypical pain that might throw you off or lead you to discount the pain. Keeping on eye out for other things like risk factors and equivalent symptoms can help you treat the patient correctly and get them the continuum of care they need. Be sure to check other EMS chest pain care over on YouTube.

Is Treating To CYA Enabling 911 Abuse?

Too often we get patients who don’t need an ambulance never mind the care we can give. Call it job security, just part of the job, whatever. But does responding and transporting these “patients” just give them the green light to keep calling 911 for a high priced taxi ride?

People talk. When we start IV’s, give oxygen, do EKG’s on patients who clearly don’t need it and we are doing it to CYA with our QA/QI department or hospital staff. It just sends a message to these people that “hey, last time I called 911 I got all this treatment and was whisked right into the ED”.

Shouldn’t we be treating each patient as needed? Based on assessment and not a protocol? What do you think?

Show notes:

Josh Knapp at WANTYNU

Jim on Facebook

Assessing EMS Patient Assessment

Patient assessment in EMS is pointed to as the key ingredient with our patient contacts. Yet how much time is really spent on this in class? Things like the importance of reassessment, differential diagnosis and treatments. We seem to have this pride of ABCDE, DCAP, BTLS and knowing it, sticking to primary and secondary surveys. But what about really knowing what we are looking for and identifying true emergencies instead of fitting patients into protocols? Check out this episode, share your patient assessment tips and tell us your indoctrination into “patient assessment”.

Thanks to Bob Sullivan for dropping by with his thoughts. Loved the “treat every question as if it may be the last one you get to ask” tip.

Show notes:

Greg Friese article “Patient Assessment: A non-linear process” and comments at EMS1.com

25% Off WANTYNU wrench use promo code “emsofficehours”  at http://wantynu.com

Donate for the 10-13 at http://goo.gl/aQq8c

Follow Bob over on Twitter he is @emsptperspect

Look At The Patient, Not Your Watch

Should we be concerned about meeting a time line like “The Golden Hour”? What about focusing more on what the patient looks like, what they need and what would be the safest way to provide them appropriate care and transport.

Check out this article over at EMS1.com


Speaking of trauma. Join us this week for a discussion on IV access in trauma patients. Do they really need 2 large bore IV’s? Motivated by a recent EMS1.com article, this should be a good discussion.

Join us live at 7PM EST on Wed 8/24. Click here to bookmark it.

In the meantime what are your thoughts? Take the quick survey below.
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How Big Or Little Should EMS Treatment Go?

Ever notice how some EMS providers do everything to it’s maximum while others go at a slower, smaller pace? Which is right and which is wrong. Is there a right and wrong? Listen in on this weeks lively discussion on drug dosages, IV sizes and more.


Show guests:

Mark Albert

Tim Noonan

Josh Knapp