Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lessons learned from Tim Russert

Frank Poliafico, Director of the Initial Life Support Foundation posted this link to a New York Times letter on a listserv I subscribe to. It is a 50-year-old journalist's account of a silent heart attack he recently experienced.

Many on the listserv thought that this would be good to distribute to students. Perhaps you would like to pass it along or place a copy on your squad's bulletin board. The life you save may be someone close to you.

It is also a good reminder that before dismissing a complaint of weakness as dehydration, flu or general whining, always do a thorough exam. A nonchalant or disgruntled EMSer could easily have RMAed this one and found themselves in court--no matter how much the patient said he didn't want to go.

By the way, if you don't know Frank Poliafico, you should. He is an interesting, passionate man who usually has a booth at the major conferences. He is also an accomplished magician.

And if you don't know who Tim Russert is, Google him. He was a talented and highly respected journalist who didn't take shit from anyone. EMSers like people like that.

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