Sticker Shock for Refractory VFib

Sunday, December 05 2004

One aspect of EMS to which I’ve given a little thought lately is its expressions. That is to say, “How can I better tell my non-EMS spouse, or anyone else, about:

* the “really great” MVA;

* the “rotten” duty shift where nothing happened;

* a “funny” suicide attempt, etc

See the problem? When we say “really great MVA” we actually mean “the car accident where quick and correct decisions, technical expertise, and lots if not all of our training coming into play, with a bit of luck, made a positive difference in the patient outcome.”

“Funny suicide?” Sure, we get ’em. The person who decides to end it all by taking everything in the medicine cabinet – which consists of an entire bottle of Flintstones vitamins and two bottles of Ipecac to wash the pills down. Now, there’s nothing at all funny about the fact that the person has a problem, is trying to do themselves in, etc. But, as one of my younger classmates might put it, “Dude, WTF?”

“Really great MVA”, like “hilarious suicide”, is much quicker to say. It’s just that if you happen to be telling that war story while waiting in line, or at a restaurant, bystanders will Look At You Sideways.

via DTs EMT.


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