If you spend a decent amount of time away from the rest of societies waking hours and your love coffee chances are you’ve found yourself wanting a brew at 3am. Reluctant to try and carry a full espresso machine in the car ( although it would make us popular at standbys) I was looking for an easy portable solution to my coffee woes.
One of the boys from the #EMSwolfpack put me on to the Aero Press, you can pick one up for about $50 from ebay.
I’m able to pack it down into a little blue bag with coffee and a cup and borrow some hot water from which ever Hospital I happen to be at. I’ve gotten so proficient I can usually make a cup in the time it takes to photocopy the patient record’s.
I’d recommend the Aeropress to any diehard coffee fans and I’m glad I can now have decent coffee on ranges with the army ( makes the medical car very popular)
I’m happy today, because the first step has been taken towards Paramedics becoming a registered profession.
Theres still work to do and the job of those that have put in the hard yards thus far isn’t over yet. We still have a ways to go.
But on behalf of those who have been waiting and cheering you on from the sidelines thank you for your efforts thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made and will continue to make
Because of you I’ll be telling trainees one day that I wasn’t a registered professional “back when I was your age”
For a profession of carers we absolutely suck at caring for our own!
I say this because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it happen to often, everyone will ask how you are in the minutes and hours after a big job. Then its mostly left to you to arrange any additional services you might need ( assistance programs, counselling sessions , if you are lucky enough to have that). I’ve always been a fan of the buddy check, or grass roots peer support. Peer support has been embraced by many services world wide, not only in the Ambulance and medical fields but also in just about everywhere else you can imagine.
What if someone has issues after the fact? What about if I don’t feel okay a month or two later, what if my behavior changes. Would someone out there have the courage to ask me whats going on and be prepared to accept the answer?
The first thing we check in any emergency is danger, we put ourselves before the patient, because everyone goes home. Why don’t be put ourselves first outside of work.
Unfortunately in the last few years we have lost 26 Paramedics in Australia to Suicide (between July 2000 and December 2010).
This is 26 to many, the happiest I could ever be is if I retire many years from now and this number never climbs.
So today, Call a mate reach out. Do and informal debrief (the kind with coffee or beer), develop a community culture in your workplace of caring for ourselves so we can care for others.
After a hiatus due to work, SMACC US and Life, I’ll be back to blogging and podcasting. Over the next few weeks you should see content appearing more regularly. Along with hopefully the development of a project that’s just in the planning stages that I’m sure you will love
Your out with some friends, in the bush/ backyard/on the mountain bike trail, behind you your mate screams and you turn around to see him holding a hand to his wrist, pressurised blood managing to makes its way around his clamped down palm. In the past, I would have improvised, made a solution out of whatever was easily available. But now for a relatively cheap outlay (less that $60 for a top of the line setup) I have some proper equipment. This scenario isn’t all that common, but to those of us who enjoy venturing far away from human habitation we recognise its a game ender. Often in prehospital work we say we’re nothing without our kit. While I can perform CPR and basic patient assessment with my hands. As the cautious prepared gent that I am I like to have some equipment handy should a situation arise.
There are various designs of Tourniquet out there. I’m not here to say that one is better than the other. But if your looking for the best, the SOFTT-W is hard to beat, I have about 4 or 5 rattling around bags, cars and my fiancés handbag.
They have been proven again and again in numerous trials that show without a doubt that stopping severe extremity bleeding early can only be advantageous. Leading to the placement of arresting life threatening hemorrhage above all else as the initial responsibilities of prehospital providers. This also goes for the outdoors and every day life. For 30 dollars you can get a pressure bandage and a SWAT Tourniquet which could be the tools you need at some point. Why improvise when the proper kit is available for two lunches at a hospital café!
The SOFTT-W (SOF Tactical Tourniquet Wide) is to my mind the best available. I own about 4 of them scattered throughout various equipment setups. The metal windlass and thick straps make for easy application, the D ring clip is secure and with some slight modifications the Tourniquet can be made thinner for packing away.
Credit to ITS Tactical for the Video.
The SOFTT-W if purchasing it out of your own pocket is quite on par with the cost of most other devices and for that money you get a better device less likely to fail. It is currently the top recommended device for TCCC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJEKD_exUkA video from the manufacture Tac Med solutions.
CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzXNsfesUb0 Manufactures video advising on use.
One of the original Tourniquets initially adopted for widespread used in the US Military after the need for more formalized TCCC was recognized in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Issue has been drawn with the Plastic Windlass bar snapping on lower limbs due to the tension required to successfully occlude femoral flow. Its important to note that that their have been various issues with inferior quality CAT’s making their way onto the market for the purpose of Re-enactment and these are not intended to be used as medical devices. Try and ensure your buying from reputable dealers of medical supplies.
The MAT (Mechanical Application Tourniquet) My least favourite device. Don’t spend your money on it. The housing in bulky, the release is far to easy to trigger, there’s a reason this thing got a solid not recommended rating from the TCCC Committee.
This is my super compact trauma kit, no larger than a Phone its got a perminate place in my trail running pack. A Sling, and elastic bandage, A SWAT-T Torniquet and a Quickclot sponge is enough to get me or someone else out of trouble without having to carry a firstaid pack. This augments a Boo Boo kit for scrapes, blisters and minor wounds.
All packed up and ready to go!
If your Still not convinced have a look;
Naimer, S. (2014) A Review of Methods to Control Bleeding from Life-Threatening Traumatic Wounds. Health, 6, 479-490. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.66067.
, and Minimising blood loss in early trauma resuscitationTrauma January 2014 16: 27–36, first published on October 1, 2013 doi:10.1177/1460408613504066
If your unaware, the big day for the Paramedic Registration vote is the 7th of August! Time to start making some noise about what we want as paramedics.
Registration is Important. So get on social media and make some noise the tag is #PararegAus
Its time to stop playing prehospital care state by state an move to a national qualification system!
This is a quick primer on how to dress!
Our job requires us to sometimes spend extended periods of time in conditions others would soon give up on. The Rainstorm in the middle of winter, the 45+ Degrees on the side of the road in the middle of summer.
Its cold now, so I’ll lead with that. I’m lucky to work for a service that issues, Thermals, A fleece, A soft shell jacket and a Hardshell (Goretex Rain Jacket), I’m going to quickly talk about these items and how to use them.
One big jacket is not the answer to everything, the best thermal regulation is achieved by multiple thiner layers. This cuts down on bulk and allows you to adjust your clothing as the temperature dictates.
Thermals are a light thin clothing long or short sleeved, they are typically made of polypropylene or wool, in various weights from 150 to 300. The smaller the number the lighter the fabric. Thermals are designed to be worn under clothing. To trap heat they aren’t windproof or waterproof they will also move moisture away from your skin and keep you warmer. These are a Base layer, worn closest to your skin should always be directly on your skin, you will then put T-shirt’s and uniform shirts over the top.
Insulating Layers, Fleece and High Loft Jackets;
Everyone is fairly familiar with Fleece jackets, Look for a good 200 or 300 weight jacket made with Polartech, a fairly popular fleece fabric. Fleece will also wick moisture away from the skin, Fleece is best worn closer to the skin to move moisture. Its best to layer it over a base layer and then layer a uniform shirt or Shell layer on top. It can also be thrown over your uniform shirt on those not so chilly days where you just need something to take the edge off.
The icing on the cake, these block wind, keep you dry and add a little extra insulation. The shell layer exists mostly to reduce the chill from the wind. I’m issued both Pants and Jacket for work. In most Ambulance services this can be achieved by topping off your layers with the issues rain jacket or soft shell (these are a popular jacket combining fleece lining and a windproof water resistant fabrics creating an all in one garment for those days that aren’t to chilly or wet)
Here I can be seen at 0300 in the morning at Bowral Hospital, Its -3 degrees outside, I’m wearing a set of thermals, a fleece jacket and My Ambulance issued rain jacket a High Vis Goretex jacket.
With a little planning before your next shift you can be comfortable and warm.
While your out looking try and find a thin set of softshell gloves (these will set you back about $80) but will make cannulating on the side of the road at 0 degrees much easier.