Pain Tolerance and the 1 – 10 Scale

Last night I watched a friend of mine break a stack of bricks with his bare hand. As a trained martial artist he's no stranger to breaking things with his body. In fact, he's been putting his hands … [Read more...]

The TICkLeS (TICLS) Mnemonic for Pediatric Assessment

If you know me, you know that I'm a sucker for good, useful mnemonics for prehospital care. Since we've been discussing pediatric assessment lately, I thought it might be a good time to review an … [Read more...]

EMS Assessment of Newborns

Babies make us nervous. It's a simple fact. And it's nothing to be embarrassed about. Assessment and evaluation of the newborn infant is the patient assessment equivalent of a high-wire act. The … [Read more...]

The MEND Stroke Assessment for Prehospital Care

If you've been in and out of a few continuing education classes over the past four years, you've almost assuredly heard reference to the MEND neurological exam. Perhaps it was gone over in detail or … [Read more...]

Six Patient Statements That Should Concern You

As we develop our experience in EMS, we encounter certain statements that make us sit up and take notice. Sometimes we take notice because we remember a call where things started going down hill right … [Read more...]

Advanced Medical History Bracelets and Methods

"Check for medical alert tags or bracelets." Your EMT instructor probably made you repeat this phrase dozens of times through the course of your EMT class. Checking for medical alert bracelets is a … [Read more...]

Understanding the Plantar Reflex (or Babinski Sign)

A question that comes up frequently in our EMT class is, "How do we assess distal motor function in altered or unconscious patients?" It's a fair question. We usually drill our EMT students on … [Read more...]

The Six P’s of Compartment Syndrome

We sometimes overlook compartment syndrome while teaching isolated limb injury because it tends to develop hours to days after the initial insult. That late onset might suggest that it falls outside … [Read more...]

Do They Have Decision Making Capacity?

It’s an important and sometimes, surprisingly, challenging question. Lots of things can affect our decision making capacity. Our patient’s ability to understand and make decisions is an important … [Read more...]

Suicidal Evaluation: The DEAD PIMP Assessment

It's a difficult situation that just about every EMS provider has been faced with at some point. Someone, somewhere thinks a friend or loved-one wants to commit suicide and they call 911. You arrive … [Read more...]