Is it hyperkalemia?

Dr. Tom Lewis discusses the weak and dizzy patient and one of the possibilities we must consider. Hyperkalemia is often difficult to diagnose in the prehospital setting. Considering the diagnosis in patients with the setting of weakness, syncope, fatigue or even arrest is crucial in the survival or chance of survival for these patients.

Why are you in EMS?

Dr. Tom Lewis and Deputy Director Luke Walker discuss what draws people to EMS. The variable days, helping the community, the excitement and the sense of belonging to something greater than yourself. They include excerpts from various paramedics and EMT’s on what makes EMS so enjoyable and some of the difficulties in our profession.

IV Fluids in EMS

Dr. Tom Lewis MD and Dr. Chuck Sheppard MD discuss the differences of IV fluids and fluid concentrations. They also discuss case examples and reasons to use specific fluids in certain patients for better outcomes. The variety of fluids including Lactated Ringers, normal saline and now the more reasonable cost of plasmalyte and normasol makes choosing the right fluid for pre-hospital care more complex. Our hope is to clear up some of the confusion.

Helicopter Safety & Landing Zones

Dr. Tom Lewis and Matt Benzen from Life Line discuss HEMS or Air Medical Safety and setting up landing zones for medical helicopters. Most air medical services in the country have similar safety procedures and a general working knowledge of landing zones and safety considerations keep our patients safer, help keep us safer and help us serve our community, both EMS and first responders.

Landing Zone Information Sheet

EMS Sterile Cockpit

Dr. Tom Lewis and Matt Benzen of Life Line discuss the concept of “sterile cockpit” and how it applies to EMS and ground operations. The “sterile cockpit” is from the aviation world where all focus is on the safe operation of the aircraft at all critical times of flight. This does not have anything to do with the germ filled environment we operate, but the concept of intense focus on our mission at hand. The mission of patient care and the safe operation of our vehicle for transport. The idle chit chat needs to stop when the call is dropped and our focus is on the mission. We are committed to the “sterile cockpit” approach for the care of our patients, the safety of ourselves and the safety of our community.

RSI Checklists from Mercy Life Line

Dr. Charles Sheppard, Life Line Air Medical Director for Mercy explains the importance and details of the RSI Checklist. Checklists are used throughout industry for complex procedures and decrease errors. EMS and medicine in general have been slow to adopt this useful tool to improve our practice and help assure consistent care of our patients. Check out the Life Line RSI checklist at RSI CHECKLIST