Sunday, December 02, 2007

Okay People...Here's a Medical Lesson

A few days ago a local news crew did a story on a local County EMS system on bad response times and high employment turnover. The story, while had some vaild points, was for the most part, and for lack of a better term, Bullshit. And while I have lots to say about all of that today I'm gonna talk about something that one woman they interveiwed said that made me want to shoot my own television. Her daughter had dislocated her shoulder, which , from what I understand, she has done many times before. While I understand this injury is very painful. It is not life threating. It blows the big one. And I am very generous with pain medication for my patients show that dislocated or broken a bone. But will you die, not likely, unless you have massive multi-system trauma like bliteral femur fractures and a broken pelvis. Then we start to worry. Anyways, Im getting off track...So Mom's being interveiwed...blah...blah...we waited three days for an ambulance to show up...blah...Then she said it...a statement all Paramedics cringe at..."She could have gone into SHOCK!" What the fuck!...Come again...So here it is a lesson on what is and isn't SHOCK.

Shock is defined in most if not all medical textbooks as: A state of inadequate tissue perfusion. Now there are several types of shock.

Hypovolemic: a reduction in cardiovasular volume AKA bleeding to death or Plasma loss such as the case with Severe burns or Fluid and electrolye loss from massive vomiting/diarrhea.

Distributive: Shock that results from mechinisms that prevent the distribution of nurtients and removal of waste products. The blood and other fluids can't get were they are going due to either poor vascular tone or other reasons such as infection
Anaphylactic: A severe...SEVERE alleric reaction that results in the bloodvessels dilating and movement of fluid in to the interstial space AKA the vessels a too big and fluids are going where they don't need to be.
Septic: Massive Infection were toxins crompromise the vascular's systems' abilty to control blood vessels and distribute blood. AKA the blood vessals are to sick to work right so blood can't get were it needs to be

Obstructive: shock resulted from interference with the blood flowing through the cardiovasular system. AKA...Something plugging up the pipes and/or the pump

Cardiogenic: shock resulting from failure to maintain blodd pressure due to inadequate cardiac output AKA they be having the BIG ONE causing the heart to fail therefore it's not able to pump blood through the body

Neurogenic: shock resulting from an interuption in the communication pathway between the central nervous system and the rest of the body resulting in decrease peripheral vascular resistance. AKA spinal cord injury...brain can't talk to the rest of the body so it can't control the blood vessels below the injury. so they dialte resulting in shock.

Okay thats the types of shock...and they are all bad. If you are in shock you are DYING. Let me repeat that IF YOU ARE IN SHOCK YOU ARE DYING. Shock does NOT happen in the following circumstances: Dislocated shoulder alone, minor MVA in the drive thru of micky d's, during a posticatal state of a ETOH induced seizure, a fall from standing height with no injury, being placed under arrest for DUI/ public drunkeness/ or beating your wife with a chair leg, being filled with the holy spirit, being assaulted by another drunk asshole and the only injury you have is a busted lip. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

These are examples of shock...Auto-pededestrian with massive facial trauma, large avulsion across left side of chest and amputated arm with a blood pressue of shit over squat. Man with tombstoming ST elevations in fucking every lead with a blood pressure of shit over squat. Female with 8 GSWs to the chest, legs, and Abdomen who is remarkably still alive when police clear the scene for us to come in with a blood pressure of shit over squat. Old guy with a temp of 105, Respiratory rate of 40, heart rate of 140 and pnemonia with blood pressure of shit over squat. These are all shock. So for fuck sake people quit using this word to descibe...well I'm not quite sure what you are trying to descibe. But unless the person is in an ACTUAL state of shock as explained above, just fine some other word to use. And it ain't shock.


chucker said...

It's those damn medical shows that let people throw around such terms as "shock" and "amnesia." No, that last one is from Soap Operas.

The last time I waited three days for transportation it was for a North Charleston cab. I guess it finally showed up.

Anonymous said...

Out here in the forest we rarely get complaints of overlong arrival time. In fact, many people seem amazed at how fast we show up. I suppose it's all relative.
Now we come to "shock"...I've had people tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when I've said they are not, in fact, "in shock", "in seizure", or any of several other death-dealing maladies. Clearly my education and years of experience are critically flawed! How could the state have ever issued me a license?


Maria said...

I totally agree! I HATE it when non-medical people inappropriately use medical language. It makes me cringe for them, because they look dumb.

emergencyem said...

Why wait 3 days? Why not load up her daughter and take her to the hospital?

painter in hiding said...

That was an exageration darling.

painter in hiding said...

Oh, I misread that last comment...sorry...My thoughts exactly, there were several cars in the driveway from what they showed on the TV and this dislocated shoulder was a chronic problem (They did however only wait like 20 mins for a ambulance, because it came out as a non emergent "alpha" response call. Meaning no lights/sirens response)