Too Many Senseless and Preventable Deaths

Hello all,

I do not usually write much about thing going on at work, but lately I have witnessed a lot of deaths that could have been prevented. I am talking about people that choose not to wear a helmet when riding on ATV’s, Razors, and motorcycles. Wearing a helmet is a personal choice, but in my opinion it is not an intelligent one choosing not to wear it. Do I enjoy riding on the above mentioned recreational vehicles? Yes, I enjoy them very much. But choosing not to wear a helmet is like playing Russian roulette with your life.

I have seen several people die lately, in which several of them were not even out of their teen years. They have not even begun to live life, but now they are gone. Could wearing a helmet guarantee they will not die if they crash? No, but it certainly increases their chances of survival by ten fold.

It is heartbreaking telling a family member their loved one has died, especially when they are not old enough to even drive a car yet. I hear it all of the time. “I grew up on the farm and never wore one. And I didn’t die!” As true as that may be, I consider that person lucky. My very own nephew was in a razor accident yesterday in which, luckily, he only sustained a laceration to his head that required staples. His head CT was clear, again thankfully, but next time he may not be so lucky. Now, when I get my hands on him, he is gonna hear a full on lecture about helmet safety rest assured.

I beg and plead with all of you reading this, the next time you see someone you know going to ride on a recreational vehicle without a helmet, stop them and make them put one on. If you do not, that may be the last time you see them alive. Please spread the word about helmet safety and help me make more people aware of this senseless tragedy.

God Bless you all and I will post something in the near future about my next book.

Jerrid Edgington
Paramedic & Author

 

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A Real Feel Good

As I was sitting at home yesterday afternoon working on edits for Resuscitation, my phone rang. I picked up my phone and almost didn’t answer it because it was one of the numbers from my employer. I’m a firm believer that my days off are not meant to be bothered with work jargon. I decided to answer it and I’m glad I did.

One of our paramedics from another shift called me because he was sitting at a diner in his response area when a man approached him and told him about the motorcycle accident he suffered a year ago. The man lives in another state and was on his way to Tulsa for an orthopedic appointment. It turned out that I was the paramedic on his accident. He wanted to speak to me and gave my co-worker my phone number.

I called him and we spoke for about thirty minutes. He wanted to thank me for taking care of him. In my eighteen year career, this was a first. It’s often we take care of people and never hear from them again or know how their injuries turn out. This particular man suffered several bone fractures and we flew him to a trauma center in Tulsa.

He’s still on the road to recovery and his prognosis is good. I’m not one that enjoys accolades, but it made me feel good the man wanted to thank me for all we did. I explained to him that I was a part of the team that cared for him and that I would pass on his appreciation to them as well.

Needless to say, in a stressful day of editing, his phone call definitely lightened my mood.

A Rewarding Shift

More often than not, 90% of our calls are not life threatening and don’t really require a trip to the hospital via ambulance.

I was thinking back to a call a several years ago where we were dispatched to a suicide attempt via drug overdose. I understand that mental illness is something that can be very difficult to live with, but I’m a firm believer that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Back to my story. The patient took an abundance of two psych medications and mixed them with alcohol. When we arrived, the patient was barely breathing. My partner and I moved the patient to our ambulance and went to work. I inserted a breathing tube with ease and took the patient to the hospital.

Long story short, had we not performed our life saving measures, the patient would’ve died.

It’s calls of that nature that make my job very rewarding and worth all the other, as we call it, BS calls. I love being a paramedic and God willing, I’ll continue to do it for another 20 years in top of the 18 years I’ve completed already.

Jerrid
Paramedic & Author

A Paramedic Rant

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I had something happen on a call today and it infuriates me. Someone please explain to me how someone can assault a law enforcement officer, and they get the book thrown at them. Yet, someone can do the same to a health care provider, but nothing happens to them. Please, someone explain what the difference is.

I went on an overdose call today and found a man barely responsive. We took him out to our ambulance and when I started to assess him, he woke up. He punched me in the face, knocking my glasses off in the process. I’m not sure what angers me more, the fact that he hit me in the face, or the fact that I didn’t see it coming. I’m usually very good about dodging fists and feet, but not today.

In my twenty year career, I’ve been bitten, punched, kicked, nearly stabbed, and even had someone who was HIV positive spit blood in my face. Yet, charges are never filed and they get away with it. But, if I was a law enforcement officer, they would be appropriately charged. Please don’t take this rant as I’m bashing law enforcement, because I’m not. We couldn’t do our job without them. But the combative patients get away with murder against a healthcare provider. If anything, I think people should be charged more heavily since we don’t carry weapons that can be used to protect ourselves.

You here about healthcare providers being assaulted around the country without charges being filed. In my past experiences I’ve been told the courts either plea bargain down the charge or drop it all together since the people aren’t in their right frame of mind, so why file charges? My question is aren’t the people that are high on drugs or drunk that assault police officers charged? I’ve seen it on more than one occasion.

Healthcare providers need more protection. I think it would be fair for us to carry pepper spray or even tazers. Then, we could protect ourselves. Thankfully I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and can handle myself with close quarters combat, but not all of the healthcare providers out there do the same as I do.

We need to protect our healthcare providers! That’s all I have to say about that!

A Responders Worst Nightmare

http://mobile.emsworld.com/news/11301575/ky-paramedic-finds-his-own-family-in-fatal-wreck

As a Paramedic I can tell you that my worst nightmare is responding to a family member, friend, coworker, or someone I know. My heart goes out to this Paramedic as he had to provide care to his wife and child. As you read in the story, they both passed away. I can not even imagine what this man is going through.

My heart goes out to him and please, keep him and his family in your prayers.

A difficult day on the ambulance

I worked my usual twenty-four hour shift yesterday on Medic-5, and it was a very busy and difficult shift. I lost count on the number of calls we ran on my unit, but the entire county was busy. We have six ambulances that cover the fourth largest county in Oklahoma. Being busy doesn’t bother me, that’s why I’m a Paramedic, so I can help people. But two calls in particular bothered me.

The first call, we were dispatched to a roll over accident that the patient was possibly deceased. The thing that was particularly difficult on this call was we were told it was possibly the son of one of our Paramedics, that was also on duty. He was informed and headed toward the call. Both of our units arrived on scene at the same time, and to the relief, it wasn’t our Paramedic’s son. Now, it is still sad that someone else’s son had passed away, but it was a relief for my coworker. The thing about this call that bothered me was he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Had he been, he would still be alive. Why don’t people realize that seat belts save people’s lives? I’ve seen it too many times in my career that someone dies as a result of not wearing one. I’m a true believer that God decides when we live or die, but why increase our chances by something as simple as not wearing a life saving piece of equipment? I’ll never understand that one. My heart goes out to his family, he was far too young to die.

The second call that bothered me was we were dispatched to a roll over accident with a possible entrapment around three o’clock in the morning. Once we arrived on scene, we found a four door car on its top. The patient was supine (on his back) inside of the vehicle. As soon as we approached him, the smell of alcohol was overpowering. The man was immensely intoxicated. This is something else I will never understand, why drive drunk? The thing that angers me is the fact he could’ve harmed, or even killed, an innocent family. Fortunately, he was the only one injured and he sustained some pretty serious injuries.

People, take this from someone who has been in EMS for over 18 years, wear your seat belts and don’t drive drunk.

Interview

Based on Interview by Tena Carr:

For Jerrid Edgington, the decision to look at becoming an EMT and eventually Paramedic came about after a Spinal Cord Injury that left him temporarily paralyzed. It was at that time that he realized that he wanted to help others the way the paramedics had helped him. When asked why he decided to become a paramedic, Jerrid states that he didn’t choose the medical profession – It chose him. Having been on the other side of the stretcher, so to speak, has given him the ability to put himself in his patients place and to know what they might be feeling and what they might be going through. It is that ability to empathize and put himself in their place that allows him to help them not only physically, but mentally as well. The hardest part of being a paramedic is dealing with death and the most difficult types of calls are the ones involving children. ”Not only are they more stressful, but they also compensate until the finally just crash on you. It’s very nerve racking.” There are many good aspects as well such as seeing the relief on people faces when they (the paramedics) walk in the door and knowing that he has the ability to help people in a time of need.

When it comes to his more recent endeavor, writing, Jerrid states that he has made several attempts in the past to write a book, but they just weren’t coming out right. In 2012 he started writing again and this time the words just flowed. He wrote “Racing the Reaper” not only to entertain, but to educate the public about the kinds of calls that ambulances are called on. Through his writing he has connected with and made friends across the world including places such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Germany – Something he states wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t decided to write a book. The hardest part of writing is worrying whether or not everyone will like his books. ”I know it isn’t possible to please everyone, but I try.”

When he wrote his first book, Racing the Reaper, he had decided that “self publishing” was the right route and did pretty well, selling over a thousand books on his own. It was after this that he decided to try to get “traditionally published”. The first attempt did not bring about a return, but then he came across a small publishing house called Master Koda Select Publishing and the re-editing of his first book “Racing The Reaper” (which is now available via Amazon) began. Re-edits of book two (Racing the Reaper: Resuscitation) are now underway and the writing of book three in the series as has begun. Updates will be available on his blog and on his website

He does have several more books planned, but being a paramedic is where he feels he belongs and where is heart is and, for now, he sees writing as something that he will continue on the side.