By: Jess Metlay, Captain, 2013
As EMTs we do not provide official diagnoses for our patients but in EMS care it is important to recognize and differentiate between different call types. In this spirit, each month I’ll present a short scenario and either ask you to provide a treatment plan or tell me what’s wrong. So, without further ado…
You drew the short stick this year and ended up on call during Thanksgiving. Luckily today has been pretty unremarkable and call volume is low. You are in the middle of dinner at the station when you notice that your partner, a 35 year old male, just returned from using the bathroom for the fifth time in an hour. In fact, he has been going to the bathroom rather excessively throughout the day. You are a bit concerned, especially since he just recovered from a pretty bad respiratory infection, so you ask him about how he is feeling. Your partner reports that he feels okay right now, although he has been thirsty all day, so could you get him a glass of water? You come back with a cup of water and continue talking. He is generally cooperative and forthcoming with information although after a while he begins to become irritable with your questions since you interrupted dinner and he is still quite hungry. You ask to take his vitals and find that they are normal, except that his pulse is slightly elevated at 110 beats per minute. A quick physical examination is unremarkable save for the fact that his skin is dry and his breathe smells a little odd although you cannot quite place the smell. You have been with your partner all day, so you know that it has been a pretty typical Thanksgiving. Call volume has been slow, so you both have been hanging out most of the day – eating a lot of food and watching TV; essentially the ideal Thanksgiving. After some consideration you think that you have figured out the problem. To be safe, you ask your partner one last question about his medical history and then transport him to the hospital.
What was the question and what’s wrong with your EMS partner? Send your thoughts to email@example.com.