Cerebrovascular accidents, commonly known as stokes, are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) put the number of stroke deaths at more than 140,000 per year. That is just the number of deaths. The number of those disabled from a stroke is much higher.
I began my medical career as a first responder within the US Army. I was a US Army Special Forces Medical Sergeant or Green Beret Medic (18D). We received the civilian NREMT Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic Training curriculums augmented with 3rd world-centric medicine and military trauma management training. The training provided to me was thorough and detailed. We were held to a high-performance standard, and patient care mistakes or oversights were unacceptable as our next patients would be in a combat zone.
Infantile hypotonia presents significant challenges in the pre-hospital setting. As a paramedic or EMT you will likely respond to calls involving both acutely and chronically ill children. The skill of accurately and rapidly assessing a pediatric patient’s tone is essential in the first moments of an encounter. Developing an approach to handling severe abnormalities comes with training and experience. In general, preparing for these encounters both in thought and in practice is a must to do your best out there. This article will explore hypotonia and provide background on the topic, as well as a few cases, that may aide pre-hospital professionals in further improving their preparedness in this arena.
Partum and peri-partum calls don’t happen all that often, but as an EMS professional you can expect to respond to the type of case described above at least few times in your career.
In 1986 the CDC began tracking pregnancy-related deaths and since collecting this data rates have more than doubled. Although we may not realize it, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any highly developed nation, according to the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM). Few nations beside the USA have a rising maternal mortality rate, amongst them are Afghanistan and Sudan.
The tones drop, you get to the rig, lights and siren scream out. You are on your way to a 5-month-old baby. Dispatcher says its an “unknown medical” call.
You get on scene and are met by frantic family members. You and your partner get into the house and the mother is crying. In between her sobs she’s begging you to save her baby. When you finally get to the child, you see that it is seizing. Then it stops. There is nothing. No movement and no breathing.
This is the first time you’ve ever handled a call like this.
You’ve only been an EMT for two weeks.
Training wasn’t like this. It wasn’t this real.
We’ve all been there — that patient whose circumstance, behavior or personality really makes us question our career choice. Perhaps it is a belligerent intoxicated homeless person or a very demanding, loud and aggressive person with a seemingly minor complaint. I’ll admit, there are times that I just want to walk away. It is easy to get angry. Expeditious to be dismissive. The challenge for me is to find a way forward and not react to a seemingly “bad” patient.
As we were about to deliver a PerSim system to Austin Community College the other day, I was reminded of the possibilities of how this company can transform the landscape of healthcare training. Last week while we were visiting some fire stations a voice rose from the corner of the room. I could not see his face, but his voice gently boomed across all other noises and sidebar conversations. It was immediately evident in the body language of the other firefighters in the room that this was the voice of someone respected and well regarded. The question, “So, you are going to take 15 years of experience and compress it into this medical simulator?”
The time for harvesting the benefits of augmented reality (AR) has arrived after decades of development in research labs. The confluence of affordable hardware and powerful software has made the possibilities as limitless as the human imagination.
Medical practice isn't just the regurgitation knowledge and doing procedures. The critical component is having the understanding, judgement and cognitive skill to apply the knowledge and motor skills in the appropriate context. Metacognition is the knowledge and awareness of one's own thought processes. The more aware a medical provider is of their thought processes, their limitations and strengths, the more effective that medical provider can be.
Mixed reality has allowed us to bring you a simulator that is affordable, portable and realistic. That realism isn't just a collection of awesome animations, but also in where you can use it -- nearly any operational environment. This combination allows for nearly limitless training scenarios, enhancing the training opportunities and allowing pre-hospital professionals to train more realistically and prepare to provide the best possible medical care.
Maybe you're confused. I certainly have been and I work in this industry. There are a bunch of different acronyms floating around to describe how computers can be used to create images to represent a simulated reality. "VR" or virtual reality is just what it sounds like: a reality that is completely virtual. "AR" or augmented reality is "computer assisted reality". So, what is "mixed reality"?
After meeting hundreds of pre-hospital professionals at the 2017 Texas EMS Conference, we are excited to announce that we are beginning to accept pre-orders for the PerSim Medical Patient Simulator for expected delivery in Spring 2018. While we're working hard to bring you PerSim, we're also making preparations to make it even better with a vastly expanded animation library and patient types. Stay tuned for more details.
Our trip to Washington DC and the American College of Emergency Physician's Scientific Assembly was a success! We met people from a variety of disciplines -- EMS, rural emergency departments, military, academic training programs -- who gave us some great thoughts on the PerSim.
We're heading to Washington DC this weekend to attend the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Scientific Assembly. This is the largest meeting dedicated to emergency medicine on the planet.
Well, it's been an eventful few months. We're working very hard to bring the PerSim™ to you in the coming weeks. Not only does that include writing code and getting the hardware working, we also have to develop business agreements, figure out how to package the system so that not only does arrive on your door safely, but you can also move it to different training events with the peace of mind that your simulator will be safe and sound. So, lots of little details to go, but the list is getting shorter!
I want to give you a peek behind the curtain and show you what we're working on. So, here's a quick tour: