This top ten list comes from a popular EMT presentation Dan did about 10 years ago called Reviving Your Patient Assessment. Some things never change.
10. Don’t splint your patient to death. Multiple fractures = multiple trauma. Don’t miss the big picture.
9. Listen to gut feelings – there is a reason that the “look test” as a tool has been passed from generation to generation of EMS providers. It works.
8. Roll vomiting patients away from you – some things are learned by experience.
7. Assure adequate breathing – it isn’t enough to be breathing. You must be breathing adequately.
6. Patient’s with fractured femurs never feel “relief” no matter how much traction you apply – I have learned over the years that “relief” is a relative term.
5. In serious patients you may never get to palpate the ankles. That is OK – The lesson here: steps are important, judgment is more important.
4. Don’t be distracted by obvious injuries – It’s easy to be but stay focused.
3. Don’t wait for low blood pressure to consider shock – Hopefully all that pathophysiology has helped us to understand this better.
2. Bring your defibrillator – It is a part of the CABs and every minute counts.
1. Treat every patient as you would want your grandmother treated. It feels good, it is what the patient wants and it prevents lawsuits.