It all boils down to this.  In eleven days, I will have completed the first part of achieving my goals.  Keeping my nose clean for that long shouldn’t be a problem.  A&P hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.  I started out rough, but have managed to turn things around and barring a catastrophe on my final, I should end the semester with an A.

I have learned about more than just A&P in this class though.  My instructor is a County Paramedic and along the way, he has managed to incorporate little tidbits of useful information into our classroom lectures.  You see, he is a believer that not only should a good medic know how to assess what is wrong with a patient and know what drug to give, but they should know why that drug is used and exactly how it works.  For example, during our lecture on the nervous system, he got into Rapid Sequence Intubation. He explained to the class what each drug does, and why it’s given.  Our lecture on Wednesday made me think a little bit though.  We somehow ended up on the topic of protocols.  He pulled up his agencies protocol “novel” and explained how it’s organized, and highlighted some of the very aggressive protocols they use.  He was skimming through the cardiac section and that’s when my brain started working.  The have access to Lucas Devices, ICE therapy, and Lifepak 15’s.  I asked him if the ICE therapy was as successful for them as it seems to be for everyone else.  Of course, he started his reply by explaining to us exactly what hypothermic therapy does, and how it works in a cardiac arrest situation.  He then rattled off some stats that blew my mind.  80% of their patients that had ROSC walked out of the hospital neurologically intact.  Keep in mind, that’s not 80% of their Cardiac Arrest patients.  But to have that many that they were able to get a pulse back for walk out of the hospital the way they were before the arrest, it blew my mind.

It excited me and yet at the same time I was a little saddened by it.  Working for a small private, we don’t have the luxury of having access to the equipment they have.  Our Medical Director is very aggressive as far as her protocols go.  She actually has in place the ability for us to use ICE and the Lucas device.  However, being a private, we don’t have the financial ability to provide these tools.  It almost isn’t fair. With the contracts we have, I would think that those types of tools would be a necessity, not a high priced option.  Now, I realize that the equipment used in pre-hospital medicine isn’t cheap…from the thousands spent on stretchers, Lifepaks, and ambulances, among other things.  But there should be a way for small, independent companies to have access to these incredible tools of the trade.  Being a current EMT, I wouldn’t be as involved working with this stuff, and trust me, I wouldn’t wish the use of these things on any of the Medics I work with, but wouldn’t it be nice to have access to them if we needed them?  Instead of just being able to give that 85 year old male some drugs and Fast Patches for that cardiac arrest, wouldn’t it be better to be able to induce hypothermia to increase his chances of surviving this ordeal?

Perhaps this is just wishful thinking on my part.  I honestly believe to some extent that it is.  But with me pursuing what I am, and being as much of a sponge for knowledge that I have become, I can’t help but wonder.

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