Category Archives: Medical

Orlando Terrorist Attack

TerroristThe largest mass killing by shooter in America’s history.   That’s what it was. There were 50 killed plus over 50 injured.   People more intelligent than me will talk about every angle they can think of concerning the matter.

So, let’s simply look at how an event of this sort affects fire and EMS response.

First of all safety is paramount in a situation of this sort.  A bullet flying from an assault rifle will go a long distance.  One of the police strike force team members was struck in the head and most likely only survived because of the helmet he was wearing.

The initial arriving emergency responders were certainly met with mass chaos.  Scores of wounded were fleeing the night club.  Many were loaded into privately owned vehicles or police pickups for transport to the hospital.  Not necessarily a bad thing.

Triage  in a safe area would be a first order of business.  Lighting for that area would also be important.  Stripping some of the initial ambulances of their supplies and equipment would be a good move.

Orlando is a large city with a number of ambulances, but fifty patients adds up even if you load two patients per ambulance.  Twenty-five is a lot of ambulances.  Smaller cities will need mutual aid.

Transport to hospitals must be coordinated so you don’t overload some while under taxing others.   El Dorado would be taking patients to the Wichita hospitals.

Living with the memories will affect many.   Somebody had to check each of the 50 dead which will leave some terrible memories.   Some type of debriefing is in order as soon as possible.

Everything our Orlando brothers and sisters did was admirable.  We wish them the best in their recovery.

EMERGENCIES – Some They Never Forget

By Fire Chief Steve Moody

sNOW 3It was a cold, snowy day around three decades ago.   A prolonged streak of cold weather helped give the eight inch snowfall added opportunity to not only cover the ground, it also gripped the roadway.

I was assigned to the ambulance.  The emergency calls for the day had been steady, but nothing serious.  Although, those in emergency service know this can change without notice.

We were rounding up restock supplies for the emergency call that just brought us out of our station and to the hospital.  That call was insignificant, so much so, that recall of what it was eludes the memory.   What one does recall is the hospital is three and a half miles from the fire station.

The family was enjoying the warmth of their home not far from the fire station where we were housed.  Pizza was the choice of meal for this evening.   The baby boy sitting in the high chair was just starting to eat adult food.  First one bite, then the next, and then coughing.

At first it wasn’t panic.  But, mother’s finger sweep of the mouth didn’t correct the problem.  Still coughing and a slight discoloration of the face.  Now panic was the reaction.  Mother yells at father to call 911.

Baby choking is a type of call that is not all that strange in occurrence.  Most times the caller calls back to report “all is well” long before emergency crews arrive on scene.   So, we weren’t too frantic when the dispatcher gave us the message, “Baby choking.”

We grabbed our gear, jumped into the ambulance, and headed the ambulance towards our call.  But, almost immediately thereafter we got another Dispatcher message.  “Mother advises that baby is still not breathing and is becoming unresponsive.”    Immediately, we pushed the ambulance as best we could on the snow-packed roadway.

On arrival we were handed a limp, ashen-faced child.  Back blows, followed by chest thrusts, and then repeated. Check the airway, nothing.

My partner grabbed a tool called a laryngoscope.  The tool has a round handle (housing two C-sized batteries) with a straight blade coming 90 degrees off the end of the handle, sporting a miniature light on its end.

The blade was inserted by my partner into the baby’s mouth lifting the tongue and lighting the airway.  There lied the pizza chunk.  A long, goofy bent tweezers was inserted, grabbed the pizza and removed it.

Unfortunately, the baby had gone without breathing long enough that he was now in cardiac arrest.  CPR was administered as we headed to the hospital.  Half way there we got a return of pulse.

Sounds like a wonderful ending doesn’t it.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

The child survived but was severely brain damaged.  His very basic functioning life would continue for approximately nine years.

Just one sad beyond sad event that medics handle.  Some they never forget.

 

 

 

 

A Live Saved

IMG_2578Jeff was eating when it happened. That last bite just didn’t go down quite right.

Sister Linda was in the other room. She called for Jeff and there was no answer. When she went to find out why he didn’t answer she found him lying on the floor. So, she did what you do when you have an emergency – she called 911.

The call came in as a “Unconscious Unknown”. Fire, EMS, and Police immediately responded.

Law officers were the first to arrive. They made sure the scene was safe.

The fire station is in close proximity to the home on Vine Street, so the firefighter’s arrival was expedient. Firefighter Chris triaged Code Red. The Heimlich Maneuver was tried repeatedly, but it didn’t seem to help. Jeff’s condition went from emergent to dire.

EMS arrived and re-triaged Code Blue. A couple rounds of CPR were performed when suddenly Jeff began to breathe on his own. Jeff’s triage condition went back to Red and then one step better to Yellow.

Jeff was transported by EMS to Susan B. Allen Hospital. Jeff was released the next day to sister Linda.

Emergencies happen everyday. Sometimes people do the right things in the right time, sometimes they don’t. This time everybody performed flawlessly. The consequence?

“A Life Saved.”

Winds Destroy Home – Cole Creek Road

*Story by Captain Troy Jellison

SANY0113Early this morning, April 3rd, at approximately 1:30 am, the El Dorado Fire Department along with Butler County EMS responded to a report of a residential structure collapse with people injured.

When crews arrived on scene they found that high winds had completely destroyed a single wide mobile home.

The couple who lived in the home were injured, but those injuries were non-life threatening and were quickly transported to SBA Hospital for treatment and evaluation. EFD personnel remained on scene to assist some friends of the family round up several dogs that were on the loose.

Once the animals and the utilities were secures, the property was turned back over to family of the homeowners.

A Brave Young Lady ~ An Important Medical Lesson

MichelleFrom the beginning.

The young lady had been feeling “Under the Weather” for several months. Her name was Michelle Linson.

It all started in the fall of 2013 with headaches and a general tired and exhausted feeling. Sometimes a fever, sometimes cold symptoms.

Michelle didn’t know what to think. She thought the headache part might be simply the result of hormonal changes caused by “getting older.”

But, the conditions continued on longer than any sickness she had ever experienced. Moderate headaches became migraine headaches. The headaches were so severe they started causing her to miss work. And Michelle wasn’t the type person to miss work.

Her lymph nodes under her jaw seemed to be a bit swollen, but only if you really studied it. But to most everybody nothing out of the normal.

The migraine headaches started getting worse. Michelle described them as “debilitating.” It now was a pain not an ache, not what someone might consider a migraine as she thought she had been having. And it had now widened to the area going up from behind her cheek bone and made her ear hurt too. At times it even made her “dizzy.” The conditions then got worse.

So, Michelle went to see her family physician on Valentine’s day of all days. The physician tested her for mononucleosis and that test came back negative. The physician told her, “There is nothing I can do for you – you need to see an ENT Ear, Nose, and Throat physician.”

She saw the ENT physician on the 19th and he ordered an ultrasound scan for the 21st. The physician saw just what seemed to be swollen lymph nodules, nothing to unusual in the scan.

The day it changed.

Michelle was at work on March 4th when the pain came back with vengeance. In tears she advised her supervisor, “I don’t think I can stay at work.”

After that conversation she went over to the interconnected fire department to get her blood pressure taken. When one of the old firefighter medics took her blood pressure it was “highly elevated.”

She was told that she needed to go to the emergency room immediately – either by ambulance or by car. She chose the car option. Her dad drove her, she was unable to drive.

With a blood pressure of 186/109 the emergency room physician wanted her to get a CT SCAN. There was a discrepancy with the size from the original test that was performed the week prior.

Her ENT physician then ordered a LIVE ultra-sound guided biopsy to be done on March 12th. During this biopsy she experienced incredible pain. Afterwards the swelling increased to the size of a softball on the side of her neck. And more high blood pressure and continued head pains.

Carotid TumorAfter another CTA on the 20th, several of the physicians consulted each other and agreed upon the problem. It was a “Carotid Bifurcation Tumor” or also known as a paraganglioma. She would need surgery.

The surgeon told Michelle that he only did this type of surgery maybe once a year. He drew a diagram of the tumor for Michelle. Michelle remembers him as being very thorough – and very concerned.

He explained. “During or after the surgery, you could have a stroke. You could be saddled with a feeding tube for the rest of your life. You could permanently lose your voice. And your voice might be lost forever. And worst case you could die.”

He also explained that had she waited any longer the tumor could have became “inoperable.” If the first scan was accurate the tumor had grown in size from a grape to a golf ball – tripling in size.

The surgeon wanted to do the 2 1/2 hour surgery “as soon as possible.” But Michelle being Michelle, she scheduled the surgery – with the surgeon’s approval – for just over two weeks out.

The reason? It would cause as little as possible impact on her employer.

Michelle3The surgery.

It was Tuesday, May 13th. The surgery took longer than expected – 4 hours & needed 2 units of blood. The tumor was dangerously entrapped around the carotid artery. One of the nerves had to be literally “stretched” to make room for the surgeon’s instruments and the tumor’s removal.

The recovery.

Michelle made it through the surgery in remarkable fashion. For a period of time she wasn’t able to speak, then began to speak with a slur, but this was an expected affect explained beforehand. A little numbness on her neck & in the mouth remains and she says there’s an occasional drool. And, of course there’s the scar. But, considering the alternative it’s a Mighty Beautiful Scar.

Michelle says, “I’m glad I did what I did. I’m glad I didn’t push back. I feel amazing now. I can’t believe all that was from this THING”. And her message to others is, “Go with your gut feeling, don’t leave it up to the brain.”

MichelleThe lesson.

Nobody knows your body as well as you know your body.

Medical personnel be careful.

Seemingly healthy young people can have serious underlying medical conditions. Everybody in the medical “ladder of care” needs to be vigilant.

Epilogue
Michelle Linson is an amazing young lady.

She worked through this period in her life like a “Champion among Champions.”

We thank Michelle for allowing her story to be told.

Think of Zig Ziglar’s famous quote whenever you see Michelle and her beautiful smile: “Whenever you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”