Fire EMS

Patient Assessment: A Lost Art

Issue 8 and Volume 160.

AS WE ENTER INTO THE 21ST century, technology is moving faster than ever before. Our personal and professional worlds are filled with labor-saving devices and technology, both of which are supposed to aid us in our day-to-day functions. Emergency medical services (EMS) are no exception to this new phenomenon. The questions before us include, “Have we lost our ability to properly assess patients?” and “Are EMS providers relying too heavily on technology and not enough on their instincts with regard to patient assessment?” EMS personnel must remember the basics when conducting a thorough patient assessment and not rely too heavily on technology. Photo by John M. Buckman. Click here to enlarge image Between 1978 and1982, the LifePak® 5 defibrillator made its debut. The esophageal obturator airway (EOA) was the primary prehospital advanced airway device. A “progressive EMS system” may have had 20 choices of pharmacological interventions. Body substance isolation (BSI)…

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