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|Author||Topic: EMT training|
posted 08-02-2001 11:01 PM ET (US)
I just signed up to take EMT training this winter, 140 hours, October through January.
My daughter is allergic to so many things. I need to be able to take care of her in an emergency. She's been in the hospital 8 times in 22 months. So brave, so unfair. She's allergic to eggs, wheat, casein, milk, chocolate, oranges, dust, shellfish, and nuts.
On Tuesday night, a friend over for dinner gave her a pistachio nut. 2 minuets latter, she’s crying like crazy, in 5 she’s beginning to blow up. 2 teaspoons of Benadryl, in the car and to the hospital. 130 mph in a 40 (SAAB 95 turbo), passed EVERYONE. She’s passing out with wife in back seat. Wife and I afraid to give epinephrine. Dumb. We could have killed her. Nearly did.
Hospital in 7 min (takes me 22-30 in morn when going to work). Instant shot of epinephrine. IV steroids. Poor kid. Dr. Took us aside after it was over and laid it out for us: If we even think she has been given something she’s allergic to, 1) epinephrine, 2) 911, 3) Benedryl.
I think my wife and I were/are afraid to administer the drugs. My wife is in almost denial about Jackie’s allergies, and in her usual fashion, tries to over-compensate by controlling other aspects of Jackie’s life. Don’t read that as bad, because she’s a great mother, its just to show how deep her/my frustration goes at trying to deal with the allergies, while at the same time allowing Jackie to have as normal a life as possible.
Well, I thought it was time you knew something more personal about me. Plus, I needed to talk, and all are asleep in my house tonight.
My boats name is Jacqueline. Next year, when I get her painted, and put on lhg’s decals, she’ll be <script>Jacqueline’s</script><bold>Whaler</bold>.
Is anybody else an EMT?
Anyone with allergic kids?
posted 08-02-2001 11:18 PM ET (US)
22-years as Navy Hospital Corpsman. Certified as EMT years 6-9. Years 10-20 Independent Duty Corpsman "practicing medicine" on ships without doctors (DD, DDG, LST.) Retired and became a Paramedic. I now fish from my Montauk in Puget Sound.
posted 08-02-2001 11:31 PM ET (US)
Oops, typo - that's 26 years, not 22. Sorry.
posted 08-02-2001 11:36 PM ET (US)
Hello Shipmate! Good to hear from you. I got out after six, Loved the job, got tired of the "hurry up and wait" nonsense. "The Admirl is comming next week, so we are going to "field day" until the your fingertips are gone. Made E-6 just befor I left.
Would you recommend certian courses to help me care for my daughter? I have seen a 40 hour class on Pediactric ALS. I'm not sure of any others.
Thanks, FTG1/SS Sherman
posted 08-02-2001 11:42 PM ET (US)
I feel for you. I can also understand how you daughter must feel. For me it is bee stings. Almost killed me at 5. I carry an epi-pen with me a lot of times now.
Seems like more kids are getting allergic to common stuff anymore.
The training won't hurt. I still remember the stuff I got as Scout (Eagle I might add). It came in handy the day I saved a girl's life when she got hit by a car and lost an arm.
posted 08-02-2001 11:49 PM ET (US)
Yes, it really does seem to more common nowadays. I didn't know anybody who was really allergic when I was a kid. One kid who was allergic to grass and milk. could never play sports. His parents mover to NYC.
It seems like about half of the parents I talk to have a child with allergy probs. And if you look at the stats on asathma (American Heart and Lung), it is really alarming!
Sean, glad to hear you were there for the girl. That must have been scary for both of you.
posted 08-03-2001 12:59 AM ET (US)
Glad to hear that things turned out all right for your daughter. Best of luck with the EMT if you choose to pursue that. I can tell you that it is really interesting information, and can come in very useful in the outdoors.
Regarding the epi, if your doc did not give you one, ask him for a prescription for an anaphalaxis kit, or simply "ana kit." I write for these all the time for people who come in with new allergies to bees, etc. The kit, which you get at the pharmacy, contains an epi pen, benadryl, and directions. And as he said, don't be affraid to administer the epi. More people die from allergic rxns then you would beleive, and things can go south in a hurry.
Best of luck to you with your EMT, and feel free to email me with any questions.
resident in anesthesia
posted 08-03-2001 04:45 AM ET (US)
The EMT cours is great info, and never hurts to know. Beyond your daughter's allergies, the stuff you learn could be beneficial in many other situations. The course goes way beyond what any first aid course will teach you. I was certified in 1988, and can't count the number of times I have used what I learned both on and off the job.
I can only imagine what you went through with your daughter, and pray I don't ever experience anything similar with my own.
posted 08-03-2001 06:05 AM ET (US)
Thanks Joe & Rob. I'll ask the docter about the "ana kit" today. We are taking Jackie back for follow up.
There is an intern in my office who rides an ambulance in the city for Fordam U. He told me that an EMT on an ambulance call could not have administered the epi to my daughter. He said that you need a higher level of certification to "perscribe," ie: paramedic.
Is this true? If so, then when I call 911 the next time ackie has a reaction, what are they actualy capable of doing for her?
This doesn't seem right....
posted 08-03-2001 08:46 AM ET (US)
It's really kinda funnny (not for the girl of course) that happened the very evening I was awarded my Eagle Scout award. My parents and I had just gotten home when I realised I had forgotten something. So I took off on my bike to go and get it, still in my uniform. I never made it because of the accident. To this day I don't remember being scared, nor just what it was that I was going to get. I can tell you that when I made it home my mother told me I was very pale. I don't even remeber what exactly I did, the training just kicked in. The most vivid memory I have of this whole event is seeing another young guy, about 15, running down the street with the girl's arm to give to the ambulance. He had come from the next block with it (the driver took off, arm stuck to his side mirror). I never did find out who she was and if they managed to re-attach her arm.
This was long before surgeons got so profecient at reattaching severed limbs.
I avoided news stories about the case, my parents only told me that the driver was caught and prosecuted. some young guy that panicked. Hope he learned his lesson. The truth is from what I saw he wouldn't have been responsible anyway. The girl just darted out into the street in front of him.
I know this was kinda gruesome, but it does show that one never knows when first aid training can come in handy.
posted 08-03-2001 08:59 AM ET (US)
Larry, my heart goes out to you. My son Jamie, my best friend, taught me the true meaning of life. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 1 month of age. He also is allergic to many things. I could write many thing that he has been through over the last 13 years but that doesn't matter. I thank God for my wife every day. She is an EMT and also a paramedic. I have also learned about medical emergencies. It's great for you to become an EMT. My son is fairly healthy and loves to fish and play golf so thats what we do. Carpe Diem, Jay
posted 08-03-2001 09:15 AM ET (US)
Jay I can only imagine. I'm so glad you and your son are such good friends, and spend time together. Life is too short and precious.
Before my daughter was born, I was compleatly focused on my careear, worked 12-14 hour days, weekends, etc. I wanted to go as far as I could. I succeded, but what a hollow victory. Now I could not care less. since Jackie was born, I have taken a much less stressful job, a 40% pay cut, and work 40 hrs a week. I spend my time either with Jackie, in the woodshop, or working on the boat.
I am so much happier! Carpe Diem is right!
posted 08-03-2001 02:31 PM ET (US)
I am sure most people realize I didn't mean funny ha ha; funny as in strange set of coincedances.
posted 08-03-2001 02:35 PM ET (US)
Here's a little bit of hope for you, Larry: I had virtually the same kinds of allergies (and trips to the hospital) when I was young. I turn 30 next week and thankfully I've outgrown all of my allergies except for peanuts. (I still carry an epipen tho)
Good luck and hang in there...
posted 08-03-2001 02:35 PM ET (US)
Of course! There is no other interpitation!
posted 08-03-2001 03:32 PM ET (US)
Larry, it is true that EMT's are not certified or authorized to administer meds. However, if your daughter has been prescribed the ana-kit, you will have all you need available to you, and you don't need the EMT training to use it. However, the training comes in handy for so many other things. At a minimum, all parents should know basic first aid, and CPR to include infant/child CPR.
We have had two near drownings and a drowning (all children)since June, and in two of the cases, it was the parent's ability to administer CPR that was critical.
posted 08-03-2001 04:05 PM ET (US)
Man, Thank God for me and my family's health! I had many close calls with BAD asthma as a kid. A pre-cut tree almost killed me on X-mas eve. After a trip to the hospital(I was blue) I remember crying in the living room as my family undressed the tree and my dad took it to where he bought it from. I thought it was my fault that Christmas was ruined until he came home with a balled Blue spruce. You take for granted the close calls, the almosts. I guess if we thought about all the "it could haves" we would never leave our homes. I remember doing 140 in a car once(just myself) on a deserted highway and being pumped after I slowed down. To this day I get like panic attacks when I think of what could have happened. Modern medicine is amazing and will cure most ailments, stupidity(like my speeding)is a waste.
posted 08-03-2001 04:28 PM ET (US)
I am EMT trained as a firefighter. Everyone around water should get CPR trained. Drowing, electroqution, heart attack victims many can be saved if the chain of life is entact----Bystander CPR, early defib, and advanced ems for pushing the drugs.
All of our rigs, police included carry defibs. We can't push drugs but encourage the parents to adminishter the epikits if it is an allergic reaction. I recommend carring one in each family car, one at home and one with the child's school nurse, and when she is old enough on in her backpack or purse. Best to have back up. Always call 911 first. All of our ambulances carry epi kits and MICT qualified to administer them. It is deffinantly safer than 130 mph. Find out response times to your house. We get to all or our calls in 5 minute or less. Most medical plans cover the ambulance calls 100%.
posted 08-03-2001 05:08 PM ET (US)
I remeber being one slippery foot away from certain death in a river I was wade fishing. Never went back to that stretch again. I can buy salmon cheaper than my life.
posted 08-03-2001 05:19 PM ET (US)
Wow. I never thought my post would get such a response. This is great!
Bigshot, I am a pretty non-confrontational guy, so you wont see me juming into the fray too often. Sufice to say that I am glad you have found a support group here on the forum. To be honest with with you, when I started posting in Jan, it seemed like responses were slow in comming, and I took it somewhat personally. A forum member emailed me on the side and told me not to worry about it, that if I gave it time, things would change. And they have.
I think your quick replies make new members feel more welcome, and that has to be good. I really don't like reading the testy kind of stuff that went on in the squall post for instance. Don't think it was your fault, I just don't like reading it. I just don't have time for that nonsense in my life, so I filter it out.
Bob, Man you are so right! I have not slept well in nights. I should have given the epi right away. I knew it was right, but I hesitated. I think due to lack of training/confidence in medical decision. I'm going to correct that!
You know, my wife wants to move to better school district. I never thought about it, but now am concerned about Hospital proximity/quality, Ambulance response times, staffing etc. Its certianly another way to look at things.
posted 08-03-2001 07:08 PM ET (US)
Hi Larry,Hope you do get your EMT.I'm A firefighter so I have to have it.I've got whats called an EMT-D.If anyone is able to take it, they should.I'm glad everything went well for your daughter.-Pat
posted 08-03-2001 08:32 PM ET (US)
Larry: I've been an EMT for 20+ with more calls than I care to remember. In Suffolk County, New York, EMS has recently introduced an "assisted medication protocol" which allows basic EMTs to administer certain medications to persons for whom they have been prescribed; epi is one of those medications and you or any other EMT should be able to assist your daughter; as a parent of a minor there should be no question of your ability to assist. Good Luck with the EMT course - it's full of valuable information and may get you to ride with your local fire department or ambulance squad. We can always use the help!
posted 08-03-2001 09:33 PM ET (US)
Hi Pat & White Bear!
Thanks for your thoughts for my Jackie! I'm getting pretty psyched about the class,.. its going to be good.
A really good friend of mine is the Youngest ever Asst Fire Chief in CT. His name is Matt Grech. He worked for me when I was flying high in the careear. Now, he is one of my best friends. Great guy. He comes up on weekends to help me work on my Whaler. When my wife, who has never seen the boat, asked him about it, he said "It needs a lot of love, but it is indeed a boat." Now how's that for friendship for you? He's the Asst Chief of the Long Ridge Fire Dept, in Stamford CT.
It's funney, I never asked him about his medical training. I'll ask him tomorrow.
I'm glad to hear that EMT's with the new rating can administer perscribed medicines. That makes some sense!
Thanks guys, Larry
posted 08-03-2001 09:47 PM ET (US)
I missed your post by mistake. I really glad to hear that there is hope. I'm very afraid for her. she is on inhaled steroids until further notice, and when ever she has a reaction, she goes on preloane(sp). all the other inhalers, beneydril, zantac and maalox. She weighs 25 pounds! ?Thats a lot of drugs for 25 pounds, even if she does have her fathers stamina.
I sure would like to hear more about how you worked through the allergies durring your childhood, and thanks for giving me some hope for an allergy free future for Jackie!
posted 08-04-2001 03:42 AM ET (US)
glad to hear your daughter is still doing well. Close on the above med - trade name is Prelone -- it is prednisolone, similar to prednisone. A po steroid.
I must disagree slightly with one of the above posts. Epi pens are metered so that you are not going to give too much, and they are IM, meaning given in the muscle, so all you have to do is get it in one of the larger muscles, usually thigh/buttock or shoulder. My disagreement is with call 911 then give. I would give epi pen then call 911. Airways can go to h*ll faster than you want to believe, and some 911 operators talk slowly.
Just the perspective of someone who has seen it happen. Remember, ABC. (airway breathing circulation) anyhow, best of luck and let me know if you have other questions.
posted 08-04-2001 10:23 AM ET (US)
I have taken first aid and Wilderness first responder courses. I myself am allergic to lobster ( which really blows, as I live in Maine!) I developed this problem at age 40, so you never know when an allergy might strike. I always carry an Epi-pen in my first aid kits. You never know when you might need it....and it can save a life. Just because you aren't allergic to a bee sting now, doesnt not mean that you will not be next time. Damn, that last lobster was tasty! The trip to the ER was another story......
posted 08-04-2001 02:09 PM ET (US)
Larry tahnks for your kind words. I have outgrown my asthma. I do keep an inhaler just in case lying around. Kids can and will outgrow stuff. My sister was allergic to whole milk and around her teens grew out of it. Feell sorry for Macman, love lobster. Prednisone is a nasty steroid that from what I know should only be used for short periods of time(month?)due to wicked side effects. Look into it or see another(or 2) specialists if you can not get the right answers you want. Good Luck
posted 08-04-2001 02:23 PM ET (US)
sea food allergies seem to be a real pain. One day you eat lobster, the next day you have reaction.
Is there medical raeson for sea food allergies cropping up so fast on people, or am i wrong in this?
posted 08-04-2001 11:49 PM ET (US)
Can you tell me about the side-effects of steroids? Or point me to a real resource? The medicne you mentioned, Prelone, is the one she goes on when she has a serious attack, plus inhaled sterioids durring spring and fall allergy seasons, along with albuteral to open the airways.
I'm so worried about hurting her future, because we can't get her allergies under control now.
PS: Take a good look at Ross Stores (ROST). Been berry berry good to me....
posted 08-05-2001 12:24 AM ET (US)
Sorry about your daughter. I know the feeling. Mine has type 1 diabetes and insulin lows are always a concern, especially when she is asleep at night. Hang in there, maybe it will pass or lessen as time goes on.
posted 08-05-2001 12:42 AM ET (US)
Thanks Don. I hope your little girl stay healthy and happy too. Kids are so wnderful, they don't deserve this.
posted 08-05-2001 09:09 AM ET (US)
Larry, Thanks for telling us about your daughter. Having a child puts it all in perspective.
We just saw the movie "Family Man". It has the same message.
posted 08-05-2001 03:16 PM ET (US)
Larry, hope all is well with your family. Allergies are a big problem today. My wife and I are really trying to use Breast milk for our new son as I think it helps cut down on certain allergies. Good luck to you and look at foods and environmental causes or aggravations. I had our well tested a second time, $300 but worth every penny.
I didn’t get a chance to read this post all the way through until now. As I type this my 10-day-old son sleeps. My perspective on life changed in an instance. Work is no longer important and I am thinking of looking for a job closer to home, which will most likely pay much less but will allow me to spend more time with my family.
Ex Navy myself (West Coast) , only 4 years and out GSM2 (E-5) - Never forgot the training. First aid and keeping a cool head. I remember the epi pens that used to be in the mk5 gas mask kits, just ram it into leg in case needed, Direct Pressure and elevation, ABC’s. Military Training and conditioning stays with you your whole life.
posted 08-05-2001 10:26 PM ET (US)
No doubt. When whats his name (now on the scrap heap of history) drew that line of death back in the late 80's, we stepped across for weeks. Trained for weeks to prepare, sucked rubber FOREVER! Fire in the .., Hot run in the .., HE on the deck, Went port and starboard for 3 weeks, we were on EVERYTING. Got the Battle E that cruise.
You know, I hated the BS when I was in, and didn't really appriciate what a great gig I had. I miss it now.
posted 08-06-2001 10:39 AM ET (US)
Larry, you can't worry about long term effects of drugs taken now to keep Jackie healthy and alive. Remember Carpe Diem. I know it's easier said then done. My son is on 10 differn't drugs 2 to 5 times a day and it is a big worry about long term effects. But you have to keep her alive and healthy and trust your doctors. My son is my hero in many ways, he accepts things the way they are. When we go to the hospital he can always find some other kid that has things worse than him and turns it into a positive. These kids, and all kids, are special gifts from God intrusted to us to show us the way and the true meaning of life. Regards, Jay
posted 08-06-2001 05:56 PM ET (US)
I know, I know. I just keep thinking that I could be doing something different!
posted 08-06-2001 07:58 PM ET (US)
I emailed you some more info, but most of the deleterious side effects from steroids are from chronic rather than short term use.
webmd is a decent source for some more info, in addition to the other sites i emailed you.
posted 08-06-2001 10:30 PM ET (US)
Thanks so much for sending the info! I'm taking tomorrow off to go work on the boat, so I won't get to look at it till Wednesday (I think you sent it to my work address, which is what I used when I registerd. Real mail is email@example.com). I'll go look at webmd tonight!
You know, this forum has really been a great experience. I feel like I'm not alone, and I really appriciate all the support each of you has given me.
posted 08-07-2001 10:09 AM ET (US)
As a volunteer First Aid Squad Member since 1969, and currently an EMT Instructor, I commend you in your interest in becoming certified as an EMT. Helping others becomes an experience that cannot be duplicated, especially when you do it as a volunteer.
The current EMT-B program will teach you to assist in the administration of certain drugs which are prescribed to a patient. One of these is epinepherine by autoinjector (epi-pens). The process is simple and in your case, with your daughters allergies, it is essential for you to learn this process even before you get to class in October. Your doctor should be able to help you out in this regard.
posted 08-07-2001 10:45 AM ET (US)
I do know how to do it, its just hard to overcome years of Dr's telling you not to administer medication unless absolutly necessary, and with the epi, administer it if ther is even a doubt!
I'm glad I'm going, it will be great to be able to help other people, esp my daughter!
posted 05-09-2002 11:12 PM ET (US)
I'm certified! The training was tougher than I thought it would be, and the state exam was a bear, but I made it.
posted 05-10-2002 03:24 AM ET (US)
I became an ER doc because of something bad that happened to me -- and if I can go back to college after being out for 10 years and become a doctor, I believe anyone can if they want to. I'm a big fan of 'adult learning.' (no jokes please)
Congrats on your certification, and if you like it, don't be afraid to learn more, you can never know too much -- and the more you know, about disease, injury, drugs...the less fear you will have. You'll certainly be more useful on any boat!
You and your wife need to get a pediatric epi-pen for you daugter, and make sure that they are available everywhere she goes -- EVERYWHERE. Each car, the boat, vacation, relatives house. Your doctor can prescribe these, and they are FOOLPROOF. Don't be afraid to use them. Think of them like fire extinguishers. Seriously.
Second, the most likely problem you will have is unanticipated exposures to nuts (or other allergens) -- the reason they don't give them out on planes anymore is that they would find their way into the meals by accident and then someone with a bad allergy would unknowingly eat one and, well, you know the rest. Both you, and your daughter as soon as she's old enough, will need to recognize the signs of anaphalaxis early -- tingling lips, tongue, stuffy nose, itching eyes, wheezing and difficulty breathing -- because you want to identify reactions and treat them early, because they can get worse and tend to be faster evolving as one gets older. The epi and a trip to the hospital are the cure, and we are much happier to see someone who used the epipen earlier (even if they think they 'jumped the gun') because they do so much better.
The important thing is that she is okay.
posted 05-10-2002 03:28 AM ET (US)
I suggest that everyone obtain certification in CPR and first aid. Also, keep the certifications current.
posted 05-10-2002 08:33 AM ET (US)
Congradulations. You might want to consider joining your local volunteer fire rescue squad. I joined about ten years ago and over the years have become a certified firefighter and EMT-B. A big part of the reason I joined was my children. I had been in the Navy (AW2) and was familiar with emergencies, but felt I needed to know more and do more.
The best benefit was the added sense of security of having that extended family. The members look after each other and that extended to my family as well. The kids knew the fire and police and would not hesitate to turn to them if needed. In return, the fire and police also knew them and kept an eye out for them. That may be even more important now that they are older (12-16).
Whenever I roll out of bed in the early hours, I always tell myself that it's another deposit in the karma bank. If my family gets in an emergency, then somebody somewhere will step up and do the same if I'm not there.
posted 05-10-2002 08:41 AM ET (US)
Cograts Larry! Happy to see you made it through. You should be proud of your self and feel much more capable to help Jackie if need be. Carpe Diem, Jay
posted 05-10-2002 08:42 AM ET (US)
I'd also suggest that if one becomes certified in CPR and/or first aid, that he carry a mask for the CPR and gloves.
Having the skills to save a life are worthless unless one has the proper equipment and protection for himself.
posted 05-10-2002 04:56 PM ET (US)
Congratulations on making the grade. It gives me a warm sense of pride in seeing the students that I (and my wife) work with in our volunteer EMT education program here in New Jersey take their state exam and pass it. This year it was even better. My son was in the class. He got his EMT-B certification before he got his driver's license. He likes the EMT better I think.
posted 05-12-2002 02:35 AM ET (US)
Larry, Tin man's suggestion about joining a volunteer fire group if you have one is very valid. I am a fire capt (just over 30 yrs) and it is extremely hard to treat your family, especially kids. It helps to get to practice on strangers and find that all this stuff is afterall kinda normal. Dave
posted 05-12-2002 11:43 AM ET (US)
Larry, Congrats on getting your EMT ticket. I highly suggest you put it to use, on a volly squad or even try a private ambulance company working part time or per diem. The knowledge is great, but the real world application is a little different and treating a family member is even harder.
I've spent the last 13+ years in EMS. 11 yrs as a paramedic. I grew up in a house with a mom who was a fragile diabetic and a dad who was not around. I was 11 when he left and it fell on me to care for her.
(little wonder why I do this for a living)
any way...The helpless feeling I had when I didn't know what to do was the driving force behind my taking the EMT class. So I can understand where you coming from with your daughter. Thats why I can't suggest enough to practice what you learned in class and you will feel more comfortable with your skills as an EMT.
My thoughts are with you and your family.
posted 08-03-2004 01:12 AM ET (US)
OKay, I am still a newbie here, but I did research my topic, thus the posts from 2001.
My posting is just a STRONG recommendation/reminder that you all get certified ATLEAST in CPR. It probably would take you one day. If you take someone with you, it might save your own life.
I think it should be required as part of all boater safety courses.
I'll leave it at that.
posted 08-04-2004 09:28 AM ET (US)
[Closed three-year-old thread.]
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