EMTResource.com http://www.emtresource.com Emergency Medical Technician - EMT - Paramedic Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:36:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 CHP Officer arrests Chula Vista firefighter at scene http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/chp-officer-arrests-chula-vista-firefighter-at-scene/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/chp-officer-arrests-chula-vista-firefighter-at-scene/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:13:57 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1339 CHULA VISTA, California — A CHP officer arrested a Chula Vista firefighter last night over a disagreement on the placement of the fire truck. The Chula Vista Fire Department responded to a rollover accident on the I-805 and parked the fire truck near the center divide. The firefighters were treating two patients when the CHP officer instructed one of the firefighters to move the fire truck. The firefighter refused and continued to treat the patients, at which point he was then handcuffed and placed in the back of the CHP patrol car. The firefighter was detained for approximately 30 minutes and then released at the scene. The CHP and Chula Vista Fire Department will meet today in order to discuss the incident. [Read the full story and see the video at CBS8.com]

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Emergency notification misuse or misunderstanding? http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/emergency-notification-misuse-or-misunderstanding/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/emergency-notification-misuse-or-misunderstanding/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 17:08:51 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1307 PALO ALTO, California — A few residents are upset over a recent alert sent over the automated emergency notification system by the Palo Alto Fire Department. Fire Chief Eric Nickel approved the following message to be sent over the countywide alert system to approximately 27,000 residents:

This is a message from the Palo Alto Fire Department. Palo Alto firefighters will be hosting a community pancake breakfast benefiting Project Safety Net this Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rinconada Park, located at 777 Embarcadero Road. The event will include a simulated automobile rescue using the Jaws of Life and a live landing of Life Flight’s helicopter. For additional information, please find us on Facebook and Twitter or visit Project Safety Net at www.psnpaloalto.com.

Some residents claim this was a misuse of the emergency notification system because they believe it was primarily sent as a way to market the fire department’s charity pancake breakfast. In the fire department’s defense, Chief Nickel states the notification was not intended as a way to market the event, but instead it was sent out of concern that residents would flood the 9-1-1 dispatch system when they saw the Life Flight helicopter landing in town. Citizens are naturally curious when they see emergency personnel and apparatus, so the fire department wanted to ensure the community was aware this was a simulated event and not an actual emergency. [Read the full story at EMS World]

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Norman Fire Department receives unique CPR training http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/norman-fire-department-receives-unique-cpr-training/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/norman-fire-department-receives-unique-cpr-training/#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:54:06 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1294 NORMAN, Oklahoma — The Norman Fire Department received a rather unique form of CPR training last Friday. The fire department hosted a Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) course where they practiced CPR on cat and dog dummies. BART is a non-profit organization that trains EMS providers to be better prepared in dealing with animals on scene. The course consisted of the following three stations:

  • Handling and restraining
  • Resuscitation
  • Determining heart rate and respiratory rate

The fire department was provided with a kit to restrain animals and medical tools for treatment. [Read the full story at The Norman Transcript]

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Medical Abbreviations http://www.emtresource.com/resources/medical-abbreviations/ http://www.emtresource.com/resources/medical-abbreviations/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:35:53 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1282

The table below shows the most common medical abbreviations that are used for documentation.

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z

Abbreviation Meaning
A assessment
a before
A/O alert and oriented
A-fib; a-fib atrial fibrillation
A-flutter; a-flutter atrial flutter
A-line arterial line
A-Tach atrial tachycardia
A-V arteriovenous
AAA abdominal aortic aneurysm
AAROM active assistive range of motion
ABC airway, breathing and circulation
Abd; abd abdomen, abdominal
ABI acquired brain injury
ABG arterial blood gas
ac before meals
AC joint acromioclavicular joint
ACL anterior cruciate ligament
ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone
Add; add adduction
ADL activities of daily living
ad lib at discretion
adm admission, admitted
AE above elbow
AFO ankle foot orthosis
AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome
AIIS anterior inferior iliac spine
AJ ankle jerk
AK above knee
AKA above knee amputation
ALOC altered level of consciousness
ALS advanced life support
ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
AMA against medical advice
amb ambulate, ambulated or ambulating
AMI acute myocardial infarction
amp ampule
AMS altered mental status
amt amount
ANS autonomic nervous system
ant anterior
AP anterior-posterior
APAP Tylenol
APGAR appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration
appx approximate
ARDS adult respiratory distress syndrome
ARF acute renal failure
AROM active range of motion
As Asian
ASA aspirin
ASAP; asap as soon as possible
ASCVD arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease
ASHD arteriosclerotic heart disease
ASIS anterior superior iliac spine
assist. assistance; assistive
ausc auscultation
AVM arteriovenous malformation
axill.temp axillary temperature
BAC blood alcohol content
BC; BCP birth control, birth control pills
BBB bundle branch block
BE below elbow
bicarb bicarbonate, NaCO3
BID; b.i.d. twice a day
Bilat; BL bilateral
BK below knee
BKA below knee amputation
Blk Black (African-American)
BM bowel movement
BOS base of support
BP; B/P blood pressure
bpm beats per minute
BR bedrest
BRP bathroom privileges
BS; b.s. breath/bowel sounds
BSS balanced salt solution
B/S bedside
B.T. bowel tones
BUN blood urea nitrogen
BVM bag valve mask
C centigrade
c with
C&S culture and sensitivity
CA cancer, carcinoma
ca calcium
CABG coronary artery bypass graft
CAD coronary artery disease
cal calorie
CAOx3 conscious, alert and oriented to person, place and time
CAOx4 conscious, alert and oriented to person, place, time and event
CAT computerized axial tomography
CBC complete blood count
CC; C/C chief complaint
cc cubic centimeter(s)
CF cystic fibrosis
CHF congestive heart failure
CID cervical immobilizations device
cm centimeter(s)
CMS circulation, motor and sensation
CMV cytomegalovirus
CNS central nervous system
CO cardiac output
CO carbon monoxide
CO2 carbon dioxide
C/O; c/o complaint of
conx conscious
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CP cerebral palsy, chest pain
CPAP continuous positive airway pressure
CPR cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CSF cerebral spinal fluid
CV cardiovascular
CVA cerebrovascular accident
CWI crutch walking instructions
Cx chest
CXR chest x-ray
Cysto cystoscopic examination
D5W 5% dextrose in water
D50 50% dextrose solution
DC; D/C; dc discontinue, discharged
dept. department
DIP distal interphalangeal
DJD degenerative joint disease
DM diabetes mellitus
DNAR do not attempt resuscitation
DNI do not intubate
DNR do not resuscitate
DO doctor of osteopathy
d/o days old
DOA dead arrival
DOB date of birth
DOE dyspnea on exertion
DT delirium tremor
DTR deep tendon reflex
DVT deep vein thrombosis
Dx diagnosis
dz disease
ea each
ECF extended care facility
ECG; EKG electrocardiogram
ED emergency department
EEG electroencephalogram
EENT eyes, ears, nose and throat
e.g. for example
EPI epinephrine
ER emergency room
ET endotracheal tube
et and
etc et cetera
EOTH ethanol (alcohol)
eval. evaluation
ext. extension
F Fahrenheit
f female
FB foreign body
FBAO foreign body airway obstruction
FBS fasting blood sugar
FD fire department
FEV forced expiratory volume
FH family history
flex flexion
FPD fire protection district
FRom full range of motion
ft. foot, feet
FUO fever of unknown origin
FVR forced vital capacity
FWB full weight bearing
fx fracture
g; gm gram(s)
GB gallbladder
GCS Glasgow Coma Scale
GI gastrointestinal
gr grain(s)
GSW gunshot wound
gtt drops
GU genitourinary
GYN gynecology
h; hr hour
H&H; H/H hematocrit and hemoglobin
H&P history and physical
H2O water
HA; H/A headache
Hb; hgb hemoglobin
Hct hematocrit
HEENT head, eyes, ears, nose and throat
HEP home exercise program
Hg mercury
Hisp Hispanic
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
h/o history of
HOB head of bed
HR heart rate
hs at bedtime
ht. height
Htn; HTN hypertension
Hx history
I&O intake and output
IC incident commander
ICP intracranial pressure
ICS incident command structure
CICU intensive car unit
IDDM insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
i.e. that is
IM intramuscular
imp. impression
in. inch(es)
indep independent
inf inferior
IO intraosseous
IRDS infant respiratory distress syndrome
irreg irregular
IS incentive spirometry
IV intravenous
J joules
JVD jugular venous distension
K potassium
KAFO knee ankle foot orthosis
kcal kilocalorie(s)
kg kilogram(s)
KJ knee jerk
KUB kidney, ureter and bladder
KVO keep vein open
L; l liter(s)
L; lt left
LAC laceration
Lat lateral
lb; # pound(s)
LBB long back board
LBBB left bundle branch block
LBP lower back pain
LE lower extremity
LLL lower lobe of lung
LLQ left lower quadrant
LMN lower motor neuron
LMP last menstrual period
LOC loss/level of consciousness
LOS length of stay
LP lumbar puncture
lpm; l/m liters per minute
LPN licensed practical nurse
L/S lung sounds
LUL left upper lobe of lung
LUQ left upper quadrant
m male, meter(s)
MAE moves all extremities
MAP mean arterial pressure
MAST military anti-shock trousers
max maximum
mcg microgram(s)
MD medical doctor
MED minimal erythemal dose
mEq milliequivalents
meds medications
mg milligram(s)
mgtt millidrops; microdrops
MI myocardial infarction
MICU mobile intensive care unit
min minimal erythemal dose
min. minute(s)
ml milliliter(s)
mm millimeter(s)
MMT manual muscle test
mo; m/o month, months old
mod moderate
MOI mechanism of injury
MP; MEP metacarpophalangeal
MS multiple sclerosis, morphine sulfate
mv millivolt(s)
MVA motor vehicle accident
Na sodium
N/A not applicable
NaCL sodium chloride
NaCO3 sodium bicarbonate
nc nasal cannula
NDT neurodevelopmental treatment
neg. negative
NG; ng nasogastric
N.H. nursing home
NIDDM non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
Nitro; NTG nitroglycerin
nn nerve
noc night, at night
NPA nasopharyngeal airway
NPH neural protamine Hagedorn
NPO nothing by mouth
NRB non-rebreather mask
NS normal saline
NSR normal sinus rhythm
NVBL neurovascular bilateral
n/v nausea/vomiting
n/v/d nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
NWB non-weight bearing
O: objective
O2 oxygen
OA osteoarthritis
OB obstetrics
OBS organic brain syndrome
OD overdose, once daily
OOB out of bed
O.P. out patient
OPA oropharyngeal airway
OR operating room
ORIF open reduction and internal fixation
OT occupational therapist/therapy
OTC over-the-counter
oz. ounce(s)
P pulse, poor
P: plan
p post, after
P.A. physician’s assistant
PA posterior/anterior
PAC premature atrial contraction
para paraplegia
PASG pneumatic anti-shock garment
PAT paroxysmal atrial tachycardia
pc after meals
PCL posterior cruciate ligament
PD police department
PE physical exam, pulmonary embolism, pedal edema
PEA pulseless electrical activity
ped pediatric
PEEP positive and expiratory pressure
per through, by
P.H.; PHx past history
PID pelvic inflammatory disease
PIVR pulseless idioventricular rhythm
PJC premature junctional contraction
PMH past medical history
PNA pneumonia
PNI peripheral nerve injury
PNS peripheral nervous system
PO; p.o. by mouth
pos. positive and expiratory pressure
poss possible
post posterior
post.op after surgery
prn as needed
PROM positive range of motion
PSIS posterior superior iliac spine
PSVT paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
psych psychiatric
Pt; pt patient
PTOA; PTA prior to our arrival, prior to arrival
PVC premature ventricular contraction
PVD posterior vascular disease
q every
qd every day
qh every hour
qid four times a day
qn every night
qod every other day
qt. quart(s)
R right
RA rheumatoid arthritis
RBBB right bundle branch block
RBC red blood cell
re: regarding
resp respiration, respiratory
RESPS response
RFPD rural fire protection district
RLL right lower lobe of lung
RLQ right lower quadrant
RN registered nurse
R/O; r/o rule out
ROM range of motion
ROSC return of spontaneous circulation
RR respiratory rate
RROM resistive range of motion
RUL right upper lobe of lung
RUQ right upper quadrant
Rx prescription, intervention plan
s without
SACH solid ankle cushion level
sc; subQ subcutaneous
SCI spinal cord injury
SC joint sternoclavicular joint
sec. second(s)
SIDS sudden infant death syndrome
SL sublingual
SOB shortness of breath
S/P status post
S/S; s/s signs and symptoms
stat immediately
STD sexually transmitted disease
Sux succinylcholine
SVT supraventricular tachycardia
Sx symptoms
tab tablet
TB tuberculosis
TBI traumatic brain injury
tbsp tablespoon(s)
temp temperature
TIA transient ischemic attack
tid three times a day
TKA total knee arthroplasty
TKO to keep open
TPR temperature, pulse and respirations
trans transport
tsp teaspoon(s)
TUR transurethral resection
Tx traction, treatment
U/A upon arrival
UA urine analysis
UE upper extremity
unconx unconscious
URI upper respiratory infection
US ultrasound
UTI urinary tract infection
UV ultraviolet
V-fib; v-fib; VF ventricular fibrillation
V-tach; v-tach; VT ventricular tachycardia
Vec vecuronium
VD venereal disease
V/S; v.s. vital signs
WBC white blood cell
w/c wheelchair
w/d warm and dry
w/d/pink warm, dry and pink
Wht white, Caucasian
wk. week
WNL; wnl within normal limits
W/S watts per second
wt weight
yd yard(s)
Y/O; y.o. years old
yr year
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Jefferson County BLS units may start carrying Narcan http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/jefferson-county-bls-units-may-start-carrying-narcan/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/jefferson-county-bls-units-may-start-carrying-narcan/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:29:00 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1277 JEFFERSON COUNTY, New York — The state EMS advisory committee has accepted a proposal to allow Jefferson County BLS units to carry Narcan. If the proposal is approved by the director of the state’s EMS bureau and the commissioner of the Department of Health, Jefferson County’s BLS units — (5) ambulance agencies and (21) first responder agencies — will start carrying an intranasal form of Narcan. This measure stems from an increase in overdose deaths in Jefferson County over the past two years. [Read the full story at Watertown Daily Times]

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University of San Francisco starts student EMS system http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/university-of-san-francisco-starts-student-ems-system/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/university-of-san-francisco-starts-student-ems-system/#comments Sat, 05 Oct 2013 17:22:58 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1271 The University of San Francisco created the USF Emergency Medical Response (EMR) program over the summer to provide EMS services to the campus. The EMR program operates on Fridays and Saturdays from 1900-0700 and the crew consists of two EMT’s that are college students and one FTO to supervise. The new service pulled its first shift at the beginning of the Fall semester and so far the majority of the calls have been ETOH related, lacerations and complaints of pain. I’m not sure about you, but I wish we had a program like this at my college! [Read the full story at San Francisco Foghorn]

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Arizona dispatcher laughs at 9-1-1 caller http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/arizona-dispatcher-laughs-at-9-1-1-caller/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/news/arizona-dispatcher-laughs-at-9-1-1-caller/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 17:11:33 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1262 PIMA COUNTY, Arizona — A Pima County dispatcher is under investigation for laughing during a 9-1-1 call. Lalo Delgado called 9-1-1 because his girlfriend caught on fire after his car went up in flames. A seemingly emergent and scary situation for Delgado was met with laughter by the dispatcher. A stunned Delgado then questioned the dispatcher about the chuckling in the background and the dispatcher told him it wasn’t regarding his situation. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating the nature of the laughter. [Read the full story at myfoxphilly.com]

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Tactical Operations Acronym http://www.emtresource.com/resources/hazmat/tactical-operations-acronym/ http://www.emtresource.com/resources/hazmat/tactical-operations-acronym/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 18:20:39 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1230

The SINCIAPCPDDD acronym serves as a guideline for emergency personnel during hazmat tactical operations. The table below shows which tactics each hazmat response level is able to conduct. Most EMT’s are only trained at the level of First Responder Awareness (FRA) and therefore can only participate in the SIN portion of tactical operations.

Tactic FRA FRO IC Tech / Spec


Safety checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark


Isolate and deny entry checkmark checkmark checkmark


Notifications checkmark checkmark checkmark


Command and management checkmark checkmark


Identification and hazard assessment checkmark checkmark checkmark


Action planning checkmark checkmark checkmark


Protective equipment checkmark checkmark checkmark


Containment and control checkmark checkmark checkmark


Protective actions checkmark checkmark checkmark


Decontamination and cleanup checkmark checkmark checkmark


Disposal checkmark checkmark checkmark


Documentation checkmark checkmark checkmark
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Junctional Rhythm: A comprehensive overview http://www.emtresource.com/blog/ems/junctional-rhythm-a-comprehensive-overview/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/ems/junctional-rhythm-a-comprehensive-overview/#comments Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:45:26 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1163

A junctional rhythm is a protective heart rhythm that occurs when the atrioventricular node (AV node) takes over as the heart’s pacemaker. To fully understand a junctional rhythm, let’s first take a look at the cardiac conduction system and see how it operates in a normal, healthy heart.

Cardiac Conduction System


The SA node is the heart’s natural pacemaker and is located in the right atrium. The SA node generates an electrical impulse at a rate of 60-100 bpm and sends it to both atria by way of the internodal tracts. This causes both atria to contract simultaneously and force blood into both ventricles. The electrical impulse then continues down to the AV node, which is located between the atria and the ventricles. The AV node slows down and regulates the impulse, then sends it through the bundle of His to the left and right ventricle. From the bundle of His, the impulse travels through the Purkinje fibers, which are inside the ventricular muscle, causing the ventricles to contract and pump blood throughout the body.

Junctional Rhythm

A junctional rhythm occurs when the AV node takes over as the primary pacemaker because either the SA node failed or the AV node blocked the atrial impulse. The AV node only generates an electrical impulse at a rate of 40-60 bpm, so you typically see a much slower heart rate. There are some circumstances, however, where the AV node develops an abnormal automaticity and exceeds the SA node rate. This is defined as either an accelerated junctional rhythm or junctional tachycardia, depending on the rate. A junctional rhythm is protective — the AV node serves as a backup for the SA node — so it should not be suppressed. The reason being is it would be more dangerous for a lower pacemaker site, such as the bundle of His, to assume the role of pacing the heart. Generally, the lower or more distal the pacemaker site, the less reliable and effective the pacing is.

How to Identify a Junctional Rhythm

A junctional rhythm can be identified by having a regular R-R interval and one of the following P wave characteristics:

  • Absent P Waves: This occurs when the AV node sends an electrical impulse to the atria and ventricles at the same time.
  • Inverted P Waves: This occurs when the AV node sends an electrical impulse to the atria first.
  • Post QRS P Waves: This occurs when the AV node sends an electrical impulse to the ventricles first.

The absence or change of the P wave indicates the primary pacemaker has shifted from the SA node to the AV node.

Junctional Rhythm Types

  • Junctional Rhythm: The AV node is the primary pacemaker with a rate of 40-60 bpm.
  • Accelerated Junctional Rhythm: The AV node is the primary pacemaker with a rate of 60-100 bpm.
  • Junctional Tachycardia: The AV node is the primary pacemaker with a rate > 100 bpm.

Visit the Junctional Rhythms page to learn more about the different types of junctional rhythms.

Junctional Rhythm Symptoms

Junctional rhythms can be completely asymptomatic or accompanied by any of the following:

  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Dyspnea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Syncope

Junctional Rhythm Causes

  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Digoxin toxicity
  • Ischemia of the AV node
  • Acute inflammatory process that may involve the conduction system (e.g., acute rheumatic fever, lyme disease)
  • Diphtheria
  • Drugs that can cause bradycardia (e.g., beta-blockers, calcium blockers, antiarrhythmic agents)
  • Metabolic states with increased adrenergic tone
  • Isoproterenol infusion
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Four basic principles to save your back http://www.emtresource.com/blog/ems/four-basic-principles-to-save-your-back/ http://www.emtresource.com/blog/ems/four-basic-principles-to-save-your-back/#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:13:18 +0000 http://www.emtresource.com/?p=1141

As an EMS provider, one of the quickest ways to end your career is with a back injury, which unfortunately happens more frequently than you may think. A survey conducted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) showed that 47% of EMS personnel have sustained a back injury while performing EMS duties. Scary — right? Although this percentage is quite high, it’s important to realize this is a preventable injury and you don’t have to become part of the statistic. Here are four basic principles of body mechanics that will save your back and put you in a position to have a long and healthy career.

Four Basic Principles

  • Keep the weight of the object as close to your body as possible: The likelihood of sustaining a back injury greatly increases the further you have to reach for the object.
  • Use your leg, hip, gluteal and abdominal muscles to lift: These muscles can generate a lot of lifting power with minimal risk. Notice how your back muscles, which are drastically weaker, were not included.
  • Think “stacking”: Try to picture your shoulders stacked on top of your hips and your hips stacked on top of your feet. Once everything is properly aligned, move them as a unit.
  • Reduce the height or distance the object needs to be moved: This is where the phrase, “work smarter, not harder” comes into play. Sometimes this can be as simple as moving the gurney as close to the patient as possible.

The next time you’re moving a patient or equipment, make sure to incorporate these four basic principles. Your back will thank you — trust us.

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