other people's emergencies: random thoughts of an urban paramedic

For more than twenty years I've worked as a paramedic for the city of Boston, Massachusetts. The opinions expressed in this diary are mine alone, and do not represent the views of Boston EMS. Names, dates, locations, and physical characteristics have been changed to ensure patient confidentiality.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Follow Up: The Cardiac Arrest

Some of you wondered what became of a cardiac-arrest patient we recently resuscitated. (Winning the Battle; Losing the War, May 1, 2009.)

Well, I learned some details last night, and the news is surprisingly good. He didn't have a ruptured aneurysm at all, as we'd feared. In fact, it was a straight-up cardiac arrest, a so-called "primary arrest" that did not involve any medical conditions beyond the cardiac event itself.

The patient will survive. He suffered some brain damage after being deprived of oxygen, but he is awake, able to talk, and remains an inpatient at the hospital where we transported him. Soon he'll be transferred to a rehabilitation facility, where he'll receive physical and occupational therapy. Unfortunately, some of the brain damage is likely to be permanent. But the hospital staff expects him to make a good deal of progress, and hopefully, to return almost to normal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank Goodness!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Last Angry Man said...

Score one for the good guys.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Bernard v Rensburg said...

You should come and work in South-Africa. It's not half as bad as the media says it is, and there are about 20 shootings EVERY single night! We also do Motor Vehicle Accidents day in and day out... and not this puny crappy stuff... real crashes with very real injuries!

11:35 AM  
Blogger TS said...

That sounds like a nice change, actually. At least there's some variety.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Bernard v Rensburg said...

You bet. The salary is a bit shitty if you work for the government owned EMS, but if you work for one of the tonnes of private ambulance services (www.er24.co.za , www.netcare911.co.za) then you get a better salary, nicer calls, and quite a good reputation. Visit www.paramedicsa.co.za or www.mediczone for more info.

3:38 PM  

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