Grand Rounds From the EMS Blogosphere: December 2010

This column is an update of what is being talked about on EMS blogs around the Web. EMS blogs have become quite popular lately, especially with the EMS 2.0 movement underway. I began the Paramedicine 101 blog in 2009 in hopes of creating an online educational resource for prehospital medicine. It has become a popular multiauthor site of which I'm very proud. There are a myriad of other EMS blogs as well--some for entertainment, some for product reviews and best practices, and others, like mine, for education. If you're unfamiliar with what's out there, look no further. Here we will regularly summarize some of the most popular blogs and their topics. Enjoy.

What's New in Critical Care

The EMCrit Blog is an archive for the EMCrit podcast, which is dedicated to critical care within the emergency department. It may not be a prehospital blog, but its topics are worth checking out nonetheless. Two of the most recent were traumatic arrest and the 2010 ACLS guidelines. The podcasts are very well done and provide yet another great educational resource.

Mobile EMS

Do you have one of those fancy Android phones? If you do, and you are in EMS, then the Droid Medic, another EMS Blogs site, is the blog for you. Andy is the Android medic, and he will teach you exactly how to get the most out of your smart phone. His posts and tutorials provide many tips, tricks and fixes for Android users. He has a two-part video tutorial to show you how to turn your phone into an EMS tool. He also has many news articles and reviews, and is up to date with any new releases. Go check out Andy's (actually Sean's) blog and see what else is there.

Biased for the Patients

The Rogue Medic is at it again. Recently he has taken on the new fad of carbon monoxide monitoring. The Rogue Medic, aka Tim, is regarded as somewhat of a research king by those of us who know him. His two-part look at research on the Masimo Rad-57 leaves us wondering if these devices are a truly reliable basis for treatment modalities. A recent study done on the device had negative results. Tim also authored a couple of follow-up posts worth reading on how not to respond to negative research (with an addendum here) and how to respond to negative research.

Without guys like Tim, would we just accept everything we're told by some product salesperson? He questions every product, every medication and every procedure we perform. He does the research and dissects the results. Tim is never satisfied with just having the answer; he needs to evaluate the method used to achieve that answer. For that I salute him.

Wordsmiths in EMS

We in EMS generally limit our writing efforts to two- or three-paragraph narratives riddled with medical abbreviations in hopes of providing a good history of present illness. Only a few of us write much more than that, and even fewer are any good at it. But how many times have you thought you could write a book based on some of the calls you've run?

Well, a few of our peers have written those books and have actually done damn good jobs. Two of the three guys I am going to mention have already been featured on Grand Rounds. Peter Canning, Kelly Grayson and Michael Morse are all phenomenal authors and EMS bloggers. Kelly and Peter both author blogs I have mentioned before, A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver and Street Watch: Notes of a Paramedic, respectively. Michael writes a blog titled Rescuing Providence. He has a way of writing about calls that entertains even those of us who see the same things every day. In a post called "Innocent," he describes a moment on a chaotic call where he reflects on his childhood in order to understand just how helpless and in need a young girl is. If you are looking for some excellent EMS stories, head over to Michael's blog and have a read.

Tip of the Month

Try to connect with your readers. All too often we see blog posts or stories about how great the author of that story is. No one wants to read about why you think you are a hero. Think about what you like most about the blogs you enjoy reading, and use those attributes. One of the things I tend to appreciate as a reader is honesty. I want the nitty-gritty. Maintain patient privacy, and obviously don't write about something that will get you fired, but be truthful. The humility of utter honesty will help you connect with your readers and give them something they may be able to relate to.

Adam Thompson, EMT-P, is a paramedic with Lee County EMS in southwest Florida and an EMS educator with Edison State College. Read his blog at, or contact him at