We fly/transfer many patients with STEMI on Air Care and Mobile Care. And, fortunately, a majority of these patients end up doing very well. You accept them at the referring facility, load them in the helicopter, and transfer them to the cath lab at the receiving facility without incident. You certainly may make some adjustments in nitro drips, maybe give some metoprolol, certainly review their outside hospital records, but usually the biggest benefit you are offering them is rapidity of transport. Transport 20 or 30 of these patients without incident and you might get lulled into thinking that these patients are so incredibly stable that nothing bad will happen during the course of the transport. To do so would be folly.Read More
How many hands does it take to run a code? Think about that for a bit...
In the SRU, the available hands seem essentially limitless. There's a train of PCAs and medical students lined up to perform CPR, a nurse to run the monitor and defib, a nurse and/or pharmacist pulling up meds and mixing drips, a nurse charting, a MD dedicated to the airway, a RT to help with bagging, not to mention the MD running the whole show. At a minimum you probably have 10 hands ready to ensure compressions are as uninterrupted as possible, to keep a check on the respiratory rate, to hook up monitors, push meds, defib, and all the other tasks that are necessary to code a patient.
Now what do you do in the back of the helicopter when a patient loses a pulse?Read More
Logistics are pretty much everything. A focus on logistics is what helps UPS deliver 500,000,000 during the holiday season. A focus on logistics is what helped the Allies win World War II. But logistics doesn’t just happen on the global, macroscopic scale. Logistics plays a role in every procedure we do in the ED and in the prehospital environment. If you only focus on learning the mechanics of physically performing a procedure, you are neglecting crucial steps that will help ensure your success. In this our latest podcast in the Air Care and Mobile Care Online Flight MD Orientation, Dr. Steuerwald and Dr Hill discuss some of the complicating factors for prehospital airways, focusing on both some of the logistical issues that come into play and some of the mechanical/physical considerations.Read More
As critical care transport professionals we are often perceived as an action oriented specialty. We frequently pride ourselves on procedural excellence and efficiency. (a difficult intubation, or fast scene-time etc.) However, the reality is that we spend the vast majority of our patient care time engaged in cognitive behavior... in THINKING rather than acting!
Because of this, it is imperative that we make every possible effort to understand how we think while caring for others. In addition, we should be aware of some of the cognitive biases that threaten our thinking processes, decision making, and thus the patients who place their trust in us.Read More
Making a checklist can help cognitively unload you in high stakes and high pressure situations. Post-intubation consider the following important points:
Protecting the Tube
Continuous wave form ETCO2... each and every time
Secure Endotracheal Tube at the appropriate depth (See LIT week 6)
Analgesia and Sedation
Restraints... Do you know where the soft restraints are stored?