Monday, March 17, 2008


I have seen Along Came Polly a thousand and one times, and I still think it has some of the funniest scenes ever. How prolific and diverse is Phillip Seymour Hoffman? "RAINDROPS!!" "OLD SCHOOL!!!"

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wiggle Room

I grew up in the days of the 'Son of Sam' murders.  And the whole Joel Rifkin thing was scary indeed (the Jerry Seinfeld episode referencing Rifkin was hilarious though!).  Billy Joel tells us that 'We Didn't Start The Fire', but, here is reason to be afraid- be very afraid. They call themselves Wiggleheads.  And especially if you have kids, you will understand.... these guys are FREAKS! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Truth Be Old.

The institute of Medicine's report on EMS sorted a recent year's data for ambulance transports to emergency departments by patient age:

Ages 65 to 74 accounted for 27.5 percent of transports;
Ages 75 and older took an additional 40%.  


Many older Americans are working longer, and I expect boomers are only going to increase that trend.  Seniors are healthier than in previous decades, even in spite of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and substance abuse.  Our journey into old age will play out rather predictably.  Early on, healthcare will focus on maintaining good health to enable work productivity and leisure enjoyment.  Inevitably, though, we will run out of time.  For those of us fortunate to reach old age, the months/years immediately preceding our elderly death is when many of us will spend an increasing amount of time and money on healthcare.  

Here are some more elder facts: 

In 2011, most baby boomers will begin to turn 65.

By 2026, the population of Americans ages 65 and older will double to 71.5 million.

Between 2007 and 2015, the number of Americans ages 85 and older is expected to increase by 40%.

The fastest growing segment of the population is individuals over age 80.

If you make it to age 65, the average life expectancy is an additional 18 years (i.e., 83).  

The question thus becomes more prevalent:  at what point does the desire for life quality outweigh the desire for life quantity? Think about what makes life worth living for yourself. Whatever is on your agenda, the older you get, the more likely you will suffer the loss of those quality indicators.
  You should understand that there are those who have reached the reality of this point.  
It can't be an easy reality with which to deal.  So do your part when dealing with the elderly, especially if they are your EMS patient.  Respect the patient's independence (or what might be left of it). And, don't assume the patient's complaint is always due to old age. 

Now take Robert Small.  He's a guy who understands that you're never too old to help others.  At age 60, he began a new career as a New York City EMT.  Rock on, brother.  


Curing the common cold 1 Million at a time

Surprise! Yet another drug product that doesn't do what it is advertised to do.  Last week, the makers of Airborne settled a false advertising lawsuit for $23.3 million.  Before you blame the lawyers and start adding this to your stories in the now infamous McDonald's burn case category, you should know that the Airborne company had projected sales of $300 million for its most recently concluded fiscal year.  

Think about that for a minute... $300 MILLION dollars of sales.  That's a lot of people buying this stuff.  Personally, I find it all fascinating:  the same forces that cured polio and made progress staving off full-blown AIDS have yet to figure out a way to combat the common cold, but wait...  It's a TEACHER who suddenly cracked the code with a mix of vitamin C and zinc.  Lovely. 

Not as brilliant, however, as the marketing plan behind this genius product. Airborne even made "Oprah" and "Live With Regis and Kelly."  Airborne then changed its advertising campaign when a plaintiff filed suit against the company in March, 2006.  ABC news then disclosed a report that the company's clinical trials were not conducted by doctors or scientists, but rather they were carried out by two laypeople. Ya can't make this stuff up.  

But because Airborne is classified as a "supplement" rather than a "drug", it can be sold without first being proven effective.  Have fun shopping at GNC everyone. Let me know how that works out for ya. 

Post Script:  Tamiflu- a Roche prescription drug that has been proven effective at treating the flu, will carry a new warning.  The new warning notes that there have been problems related to this drug that have proven FATAL.  

Here's my advice:   don't get sick. 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Does EMS Need To Call 911?

Men's health had this article published recently. The comments to the article that I have read so far are dead on.   Click the link and take a gander. 

CC Rider

I just finished a three-night ACLS course given through Nassau County VEEB, and I loved every minute of it. I have been to many classes, given by many different instructors.  Truly, this was one of the best instructed courses I have ever attended.  The student/teacher ratio was about 4 to 1 at all times except during lecture and movie presentation.  The instructors were very knowledgeable; and made themselves available both before and after class to answer any questions.  Equally impressive to me was the fact that the instructors somehow created a chemistry in the class wherein every student helped one another. Notwithstanding, the students were all EMT-CC or higher, except for me and one other very nice girl.  What an amazingly refreshing experience all around.  I passed my practicals and writtens first time around too.  Go me. In any event, its a good feeling to be part of a group so committed to what they do on so many different levels. Just like most attorneys (YEAH RIGHT!).  Can't wait to start my EMT-CC course in september. T minus 5 months or so. Get your bodies ready everyone. 

Friday, March 7, 2008

No Guts, No Glory

The norovirus and I know each other very well now, since it introduced itself to me last Sunday.  There I was- writhing in pain on my own bedroom floor from the stomach cramps. No, wait... I was sitting with my face buried in the trash can.... no wait... the sink... no wait.... the bath tub... no wait... the garbage wait... just vomiting everywhere, and in a 25 foot radius, like a rotating, vomiting sprinkler head. 

 I couldn't speak.  I couldn't control my bodily functions. My princess cried, while my power ranger tried to calm her.  Told my wife to call my brother and sister EMTs to take me to the hospital. Quick response. Had every EMT from my department, and about 20 firefighters in my house.  My kids watched.  My wife told everyone I was exaggerating.  And the norovirus and I snuggled together in the gurney.  How embarrassing. How humiliating. I was able to mutter that I wanted my own company within the department to transport. Caught hell for that the next day. Apparently, that request insulted everyone who wasn't in my company.... gimme a break and HTFU!!!  There wasn't much left inside of me. I was spilling my guts out, but I'm not talking about the obvious.  I'm talking about my dignity. I had nothing left of me by the time I reached the hospital.  

I didn't much like being on the bus looking up at my company's EMTs.  I much more prefer being an EMT looking down at my patient.  

My princess and my power ranger, well, they love coming to my 'house', running around the apparatus floor wearing one of my tar-ridden fireproof turnout gear gloves, shining my flashlight, and even sleigh riding in my helmet when it snows enough.  They love taking out a steth and listening to me whisper sweet nothings, and wrapping the BP cuff around each other's heads.  But lately, they don't like firefighters and medics.  They pan their faces when my pager goes off now, for they know there is someone calling for me and the other EMTs- someone with no guts- or worse, someone with a princess or power ranger of their own, watching it all, helplessly, and now memory-scarred.  

My power ranger still says he wants to be a firefighter.  My little girl still wants to be a 'princess doctor'.  They both know now that walking each of those paths requires more than just fighting fires, or treating sick princesses.  This all taught to them by my friend the norovirus.  With friends like that, who needs enemies.  It's all chillingly ironic. 

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hey, All You Starbucks Freaks... HTFU!

This video is dedicated to all the wonderful employees of my law office, and those at the courthouse who had to stay home because they were 'buried' under the one inch coating of snow we got the other day, or they 'had' to leave early due to the 'severe' weather conditions. HTFU!!! Major props to MDOD for the find....