Thursday, July 23, 2015


Those of you who know me, know that I am active on several different EMS forums, including serving as admin staff over at and a few EMS-focused Facebook groups.

One of the things that makes me cringe on a regular basis is the grammar and spelling used by entry-level members of my profession. This has become clearer as I spend time reviewing PCR's at work and at volunteer agencies. Today, I was on a conference call for work, and an executive pointed out that word choice and PLACEMENT matter quite a bit.

For example, lets look at how one can open their narrative: 

"Arrived to find patient lying in bed w/ FD medics."
"Arrived to find patient lying in bed, with FD medics providing care."

 Which makes you sound intelligent, and which makes you laugh? Is grammar more important now?

And, now for some levity, I give you Weird Al, a guy who's built his life around playing with words:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

John Hinds and #ResusWankers

For those who read my smaccUS Day 1 blog, you know how much of an impact Dr. John Hind's lecture on a resuscitative thoracotomy had on me.

I was beyond shocked when I woke up on Saturday morning to find out (through Twitter, how else) that he had died. One of the last things I did before walking out of McCormick Place on Friday, at the end of SMACC, was to get a chance to shake Dr. Hind's hand. I actually walked partially out of the building with him, and I explained how he had changed my opinion of a local EM Physician who did the same procedure in our local ED. I can't claim to have known him well, but I do know he will be sorely missed in the FOAMed community.

A few points.
#1: John had been campaigning for an Air Ambualnce for Northern Ireland. There is a petition to push for the same thing, as a fitting memorial to him. I know online petitions are mostly useless, but this one is a great cause, so go ahead and sign it HERE.

#2: EmCrit has a podcast up with some never-before-heard audio from Dr. Hinds. Great stuff.

#3: SMACC has put up the video for Dr. Hind's SMACC lecture on "Crack the Chest, Get Crucified". Go watch it.

#4: The RAGE Podcast (Resuscitationist's Awesome Guide to Everything) has re-posted John's 2014 smaccGOLD talk "Cases from the Races". Here is the audio combined with the slides in a video format. Fantastic lecture.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


My time at smaccUS is done. I flew home yesterday. Spent the day working today.

I've been to a LOT of EMS-focused conferences. I've never had more fun than I did in Chicago this week. The social network aspect was amazing, and I made a BUNCH of new friends. I had a fantastic time, and I've already booked my room for SMACC in Dublin next year. I would encourage all who are on the fence to come and join me in Dublin in June 2016.

Yesterday, I spent the day playing tourist. I saw the Field museum (which I hadn't seen during my previous visit to town). Yes, I'm a nerd, and I really enjoyed the exhibits. Even got a T-Rex Selfie!

One of the funniest moments was when I tweeted I was on the plane headed home. Several folks pointed out that my first name was spelled wrong on my name badge. My response? I didn't really care - they got my Twitter handle correct, that was the most important!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

smaccUS - Day 3

Day 3: The Last day.

Again, too many talks to sum up each one, and so many good talks going on at the same time. I can't wait for all the podcasts to come out so that I can catch up.

The most interesting lecture for me was Haney Mallemat's (@CriticalCareNow) discussion on fatigue and sleep schedules. It was discussed that commercial truck drivers have FAR greater restrcitions on their work hours than EMS providers do, yet us medics drive emergency vehicles, with greater risks than a long-haul trucker.

Of course, Simon Carley (@EMManchester) talked of Dunning-Kruger, and gave me an opportinity to insert one of my favorite memes into the #smaccUS discussion.


The afternoon continued with a musical interlude - Cups song and a Frozen parody. Can't find the video, but I'm sure it exists.

At the end, the SMACCFinale was amazing. Set up as a game of Family Feud, with 70's era costumes. I've never seen two teams more intent on NOT winning a game, though. And there was this bombshell from the folks behind the conference:

Finally, there was a last shot of the #EMSWolfpack roll call. I put the hashtag up on the board to see if anyone noticed. Notice it they did. 22 folks claimed membership in the group on the board, and I think a few more were around.

Friday, June 26, 2015

smaccUS - Day 2

Alright. Day 2 at SMACC, and I'm starting to get the hang of it. LOTS of folks who are HUGE in the FOAM scene, and many are VERY cool about it. This phenomenon, of course, has a hashtag (#smaccSquee) I got to talk with John Hinds and Mark Wilson after a session this afternoon, and both seemed genuinely interested in interacting with us mere mortals. J.

Like yesterday, I'll do my 3 big takeaways:

  1. Impact Brain Apnea is a thing. While I'd never heard the term before, I've surely heard the phenomenon described. now, perhaps, I'll not write it off as simple bystander hysteria.
  2. Some EM docs, even from "GREAT" hosptials, still don't understand what EMS is, what EMS does, and what tools we actually have. That was midly depressing, BUT quite a few EM docs in the room took to Twitter to defend "us", so things aren't really that bad.
  3. Ultrasound looks REALLY REALLY cool, and I REALLY need to learn how to use it, because it's clearly the future of medicine, especially in the emergent environment.

The conference closed for the day with SonoWars, a combination of education and contests for folks who know about ultrasound. As much as I KNOW I know nothing about ultrasound, I still found it VERY interesting. It's fairly clear that ultrasound technology is only going to become more portable and less expensive, and will likely continue to be embraced as a prehospital diagnostic tool.

Like many things at SMACC, there was a song:

SMACC 2016 has been announced as Dublin, Ireland. There are so many variables at play, but I'm going. This has been so much fun that I can't imagine sitting on the sidelines and just watching next year. Come join me! There's already been talk of the #EMSWolfpack doing an AirBNB share or similar, recognizing we are all poor medics, and if we save money in housing, it gives us more money to play tourist.

After the conference proper, there was a gala dinner on Navy Pier. Live band, food, alcohol, and lots of SMACC-Talk made for a fun time. A highlight of the evening was seeing my old mentor "Sparky" (@EMBasic) and how much a part of FOAMed he is, specifically with the EMBasic blog and podcast. A bunch of the "#EMSWolfpack"crew ended up hanging out outside by the Blues Brothers car. Of course, I wasn't there, but after meeting up with a few others, we met Henrick from Sweden, who's a nurse anesthetist that works in EMS. We had a short discussion on nurse-based EMS vs. medic-based EMS, and decided that we pretty much do the same thing J.

Anyway - Today is the 3rd and final day. Please follow the hashtags and partcipate at least a bit. Once this is over, much of the material will be condensed into podcasts and other forms of FOAM.

Previous Coverage:
smaccUS Day 0
smaccUS Day 1