Grand Rounds From the EMS Blogosphere


Grand Rounds From the EMS Blogosphere

By Adam Thompson, EMT-P Jun 29, 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 myriad 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 summarize some of the most popular blogs and their topics. Enjoy.

Something for Everybody

Steven "Kelly" Grayson, author of the book En Route: A Paramedic's Stories of Life, Death, and Everything in Between, has become one of the best known EMS bloggers on the Internet. His blog, A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver, consists of excellent riffs on topics from being an EMS newbie to being a gun-owning father. Each topic Grayson attacks is bound to strike up an interesting conversation. It is very easy for experienced EMTs and paramedics to relate to his posts. Grayson--or, as many of his readers know him, 'AD'--has recently started a new podcast series for those just getting started in this great career. His "Confessions of an EMS Newbie" podcasts are quickly finding their way onto iPods everywhere. He also has plenty of posts for experienced professionals, if that's what you're looking for. Grayson's years of experience and excellent writing skills provide for great reading. If you're new to the world of EMS blogs, it won't be long until you find yourself on Kelly's, with an uncontrollable urge to leave a comment.

Learning From Others' Mistakes

Tom Bouthillet is an expert on ECG interpretation and creator of the Prehospital 12-Lead ECG blog. Recently he has been sharing a smorgasbord of case reviews for readers to learn from. His post of June 7, "The Missed STEMI," took on the topic of an atypical MI. Tom provided a great example of a heart attack missed by paramedics. The emergency department eventually captured a 12-lead ECG and treated the patient for a coronary artery occlusion. Tom's blog is an excellent resource to learn how to limit such misses. Take the time to browse through some of his older posts--you won't regret it.

Fool Me Once, Shame on No One?

Tim Noonan is the Rogue Medic, an EMS blogger who strays from the norm. Tim's blog features plenty of great prehospital research. He has a way of questioning tradition with an evidence-based approach. This causes disarray among many of our peers who question Tim's tactics. One of his recent posts, "Occupational Hazard: Playing the Fool," takes on the touchy topic of pain management. As an advocate for liberal pain control, Tim writes about being fooled by a drug seeker. Tim says he would rather be fooled by a drug seeker than fail to treat someone in pain. While this isn't the most popular approach, the Rogue Medic stands by his decision. Read more on his blog and see why.

Captain Happy

Justin Schorr, also known as the Happy Medic, has made quite a name for himself recently. He has partnered up with fellow blogger Mark Glencorse, a U.K. medic known as Medic 999, to start the Chronicles of EMS. This has turned into a reality series aimed at discovering the differences between different prehospital systems. It is an interesting approach that has gained many followers. Recently Justin has been publishing posts about the Chronicles of EMS, product reviews and testing for captain. This blog has become a regular read of mine. Drop by and leave some comments.

Good-bye to a Favorite Read

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Glencorse, Medic 999 mentioned above, has decided to end his blog. He made this choice, he says, because it was difficult for his employer to understand that patient privacy was not being infringed upon. Mark has remained a strict proponent of the Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics, and has provided a great service to the EMS community. We in the healthcare field who post case reviews on our blogs tend to change so many details that no patient could ever be identified. I understand Mark's decision to shut down and protect his career, but it is truly disappointing to see. This is a step backward, in my opinion. When we censor ourselves out of providing education, we make a big mistake. I know Glencorse will find ways to continue to leave his mark in EMS.

Blogging Tip

Create an account on blog server websites. Blogger and WordPress have easy ways to sign up for free. This will associate a name with the comments I urge you to leave on other blogs. There is so much we can learn from each other, and you will greatly benefit from getting involved with the discussion. Maybe you will even find yourself wanting to start a blog of your own.

Until next time, get involved in the conversation. There is nothing a blogger loves more than a few comments on his post. Whether it's a debate or just a discussion, the input is appreciated.

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

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