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Ambulance: Undercount

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I responded to a cardiac arrest right out of the chute yesterday. Elderly woman recently out of a SNF had been showing signs of delirium according to the family in the last few days, who last saw her alive at midnight. A BLS crew was dispatched for an unresponsive as the only crew available. We had just punched in so we jumped in our rig when our supervisor told us the crew was calling for ALS.

On our arrival, I grabbed my house bag, heart monitor, and our new isolation bag, which holds isolation gowns, face shields, and surgical and N95 masks. After climbing three floors, I enter an apartment and made my way through a living room and a hallway into a bedroom where I could see several people doing CPR. I set the isolation bag down and started gowning up as I asked the EMT what he had. In the room with him where four firefighters all gowned up as well as his partner. “She’s got rigor in her arms and jaw, but she’s warm with no lividity.”

(For nonEMS, a patient after a patient dies, they stiffen and their blood pools through...

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Ambulance: Me and Sponge Bob

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

SpongeBob torments me in the night. My daughter bursts into my room . “Daddy what are you shouting? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I’m fine,” I say. “Go back to bed.”

With my wife on isolation is another room, only half the bed should be distrurbed, but I have torn off the covers and left them in a jumble.

It is SpongeBob’s fault, of course.

SpongeBob, aka Corona, aka Covid-19. He torments me at night.

This SpongeBob doesn’t talk like the one my daughter used to love on TV. No, he makes a high pitched, half animal, half robot sound as he waves his arms and runs after me.

In my dream, I am on the basketball courts at Wolcott Park. Two beautiful basketball courts laid out and to end. Basketball courts without rims of course, as the mayor ordered them taken down weeks ago. I stand on the court without a basketball. Instead I hold a blanket, with which I try to capture SpongeBob by leaping on him, but he always manages to escape my grasp. I think I have him, but then he is free and pouncing on me, I kick him off, but...

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Ambulance: Isolation

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I enter the house by myself, wearing a surgical mask, goggles and gloves. I hold a yellow full body gown in my hand, ready to put it on if need be. The daughter leads me into a bedroom where her father lays on the ground on his back in the doorway between the bedroom and the bathroom. He is a big man close to three hundred pounds and he is naked. He has soiled himself. The daughter tells me she came over to check on him and found him like this. He looks blankly up at the ceiling. His walker is still upright by his legs which are as thick as an elephants. His toe nails are also thick, uncut and ridden with fungus. From six feet away, I ask him if he knows where he is and his answer shows confusion.

“He’s had a fever,” the daughter says. “He’s been home from rehab for three days and he has been coughing.” She looks at me expectantly. Message conveyed.

I walk back outside and tell my partner, he’ll need to put his gown on. Together we bring the stretcher in, and after putting a surgical mask on him, with soap and water, we...

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Ambulance: Finally

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

The state ordered all health care workers in the state to wear masks today.  Just a few weeks ago, my wife was getting chastised for wearing a mask at work and scaring everyone.  Then one of her coworkers got sick with COVID and ended up on a vent.  So now on self-isolation, she has left the house just twice to spent portions of  the last two days waiting in a long line of cars to get a COVID test only to be told they ran out of tests.   I am hoping her cough and fatigue are just allergy season, but it would be comforting to be able to get her tested. 

The noble lie about masks and coronavirus should never have been told

33 more deaths in Connecticut bringing the total to 167 with over 1,000 hospitalizations.


Ambulance: July 5

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

The epidemic will largely be over in Hartford County on July 5th according to a new graph released by the state health department.  The peak will be around May 22, assuming people maintain social distancing.  This makes much more sense to me than the projected date of April 15 for the entire state.   Hartford will peak later and lower than New Haven and Fairfield counties to our south.

An article mentioned today that social distancing will last for a few week longer.  I’m okay with that.

Daily coronavirus updates: Gov. Lamont says shelter-in-place measures not necessary yet; attorney general orders some inmates in Danbury prison released

Ambulance: Waiting

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Connecticut has been named by the White House as one of the next “hot spots” for COVID. This is based on the fact that 15% or more of our COVID tests are positive. A University of Washington model says the outbreak will peak in this state on April 15 and our hospital’s capacities will be outstripped.

Connecticut’s COVID-19 peak could be two weeks away. The state won’t have enough hospital beds or ICU options when that happens, model predicts

I have been watching the numbers steadily creep up, but it still seems unbelievable that it will be as bad as it is other places. I say that not because I don’t believe it is possible or that it will not happen. It is just that it is still so quiet here in terms of volume, both with 911 calls and at the hospitals. The 911 service I work for has fewer cars on the road than typically. Nearly every ED in our area is slow compared to past norms.  Unless they have otr think they have COVID, most people are staying home.  Hospitals have large empty patient care tents sitting waiting for the...

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Ambulance: Mask Up

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

There are five types of COVID EMS calls.

1. Patient is known COVID with confirmed positive test. EMS is notified of this prior to arrival. We wear appropriate PPE. One provider enters the house, and if the patient is ambulatory, walks them out to the ambulance. If they need a stair chair or stretcher, a second provider enters, gowned and we take the patient out to the ambulance.

2. Patient screens positive for COVID through the EMS dispatch questioning. (Fever, shortness of breath, exposure to COVID patients, etc.). EMS is informed. First provider enters as above, assesses patient and takes patient to hospital with appropriate protection.

3. Patient is unknown. EMS single provider enters house, screens/assesses patient. Patient screens positive for possible COVID. We don appropriate PPE as required.

4. Patient is unknown. EMS single provider screens/accesses patient. Screen is negative. No PPE is worn. En route to hospital, patient begins displaying signs symptoms of COVID or changes their story. We think “F!”, and quickly put mask on...

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Ambulance: Prayer

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

We were nonstop in the morning. Then they sent us to cover a suburban town. From the radio, I could hear the city was still busy. We parked next to a small basketball court that no one ever plays at. Since they shut down all the hoops in my hometown, I have been coming here on off days with my daughter, and I bring my basketball to work hoping to get sent out here to cover the town. I work on my free throws and three point shots while I wait for a 911 call to come in. No sooner did I get there today that the cavalry –the town rec department–arrived and, with apologies to me, they put boards across the hoops, per edict of the mayor. At least they let me make my last shot. I texted my daughter that our court was shut down, and she replied “Noooooooooo!”

My wife is officially on home isolation now. She needed me to get her a thermometer and so my partner and I drove all over town to all the big pharmacy chains, but no one had any. I tried Amazon, but they couldn’t promise a delivery until the middle of April. I finally found one at a 7-11,...

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Ambulance: Radio Traffic

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

“We’re going to need Decon.”

“Main Street, use full precautions.”

“We have an isolation patient.”

“Shortness of breath, fever, just moved here from New York.”

“4th Floor apartment, vomiting, fever, use precautions.”

“We need resupply, out of gowns.”

“Positive screen. Take all precautions.”

Patient on corner, just left hospital who wouldn’t test him because they are out of kits, wants a ride to another hospital.’

“Out at the hospital, give us a decon tag.”

And so it goes.

A guy I have known professionally for over twenty years is on a vent.

My boss at the hospital called and wants me to sit with him tomorrow and go over a “Con-Ops” plan. That means continuing operations in case either he or I become incapacitated the other will know what to do.

I brought a patient to my hospital today.  As I went by the decon room they were intubating another possible COVID patient. 


I read this in the Hartford Courant:

“A model prepared by the University of Washington projects that as the coronavirus hits a...

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Ambulance: Close to Home

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I came home today to find my wife wearing a mask.  She works in a couple different health care settings.  I remember a couple days ago, she was telling me about a coworker, who looked ill when he came to work.  She shooed him away from her, and told him to go home, or if not, at least put on a mask.  My wife has been rigid from the beginning in wearing a mask at work, even when her bosses told her it was not necessary.  The coworker is on a ventilator today, and my wife is wearing her mask at home, and taking her temperature twice a day.  Our kitchen and living room smell like bleach.  

557 new cases in the Connecticut today, including 16 deaths, the state’s death total now is 69 lives struck down by COVID-19.

I’m back working the ambulance tomorrow.  I will have my surgical mask on all day.

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