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Naloxone - Over the Counter

Opioid overdoses are one of the most common forms of fatal overdose - not just heroin, but prescription opioids too. The increasing availability of opioid antidote naloxone - often hailed as a miracle - has the potential to save many lives. Naloxone works by blocking the action of  μ-opioid receptors. Its high affinity for this receptor allows it to antagonize opioids present, such as heroin and morphine. In addition to  μ receptors, it also competes for κ and σ opioid receptors. Via intramuscular or intranasal administration, naloxone works rapidly and can save a life. A relatively short duration of action...

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Preventing the Dreaded Back Injury

Affecting so many emergency services providers (around 40% of work injuries), the back injury can be devastating to career and ability. What may seem like minor aches and pains are often the forewarning that something isn’t right, and they should always be viewed that way. In 2013 the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics looked into its 21, 749 reported cases of injury and fatality. 9, 290 of these cases reported a back injury – that’s 43% of all cases. Manual handling incidents are the main cause of injury in EMS; proper lifting technique in such a physical job...

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Telemedicine

The term ‘telemedicine’ was coined in the 1970s, though technological advancements have enabled it to become an extremely valuable tool in modern medicine, particularly over the last decade. The World Health Organization notes it is the utilization of information communication technology by health care professionals to ‘improve patient outcomes by increasing access to care and medical information’.Early days in telemedicine can be identified in records as early as the mid 19th century, involving accounts of electrocardiograph data transmission over telephone wires. Mid-modern historic progressions include the use of television in consultations between psychiatric institute specialists and state mental hospital general...

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What makes a good stethoscope?

What makes a good stethoscope?

"I can't hear anything!"The bane of EMS existence at some challenging times, auscultating lung, heart and other body sounds can prove quite difficult dependant on a number of factors, whether related to patient, equipment or other ambient noise.Sound reaching the practitioner's ears from a patient's body is often quiet enough to warrant using a stethoscope; we’re talking quieter lung sounds, not speech, rumbling belly bowel sounds, the "hear it a mile away APO" or very loud stridor, for example.A stethoscope has a resonator which is placed close enough to the sound source (eg. on the patient's chest) and creates acoustic...

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EMS - Outdoor Exposure and Exercise for Overall Health

Have you noticed a trend with EMS workers and their love for the outdoors, particularly outdoor sports and activities? The links have been found - numerous times - between exposure to the outdoors and physical and mental health. The outdoor exercise bandwagon is certainly worth jumping on.In addition to the physical benefits, being outdoors in the sun also provides vitamin D - necessary (among other nutrients such as calcium and magnesium) for bone and immune health. Remember the night shifts; getting outdoors in your spare time during the days helps maintain healthy vitamin D levels. Though the amount of time...

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