From the monthly archives: "December 2015"

Dealing with carbon monoxide exposures during winter disaster responses, a clinical overview with Dr. Joe Holley. In this episode of the Disaster Podcast, hosts Jamie Davis, the Podmedic and Sam Bradley are joined by Paragon Medical Education Group’s Dr. Joe Holley to talk about the dangers and risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the midst of major disasters, especially in the winter months, community members may be tempted to use generators or other combustion sources to stay warm in the midst of cold weather. This increases the risk of exposure to the deadly gas carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and death if present in sufficient concentration in the ambient air. When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage, or camper – or even outside near an open window or window air conditioner.

The symptoms and signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are variable and nonspecific. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and altered mental status. The clinical presentation of CO poisoning is the result of its underlying systemic toxicity. Its effects are caused not only by impaired oxygen delivery but also by disrupting oxygen utilization and respiration at the cellular level, particularly in high-oxygen demand organs (i.e., heart and brain).

Symptoms of severe carbon monoxide poisoning include malaise, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, chest pain, irritability, ataxia, altered mental status, other neurologic symptoms, loss of consciousness, coma, and death; signs include tachycardia, tachypnea, hypotension, various neurologic findings including impaired memory, cognitive and sensory disturbances; metabolic acidosis, arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia or infarction, and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, although any organ system might be involved.

From the CDC site on CO Poisoning in Disasters

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Again, a special thank-you to Paragon Medical Education Group for their continued support of this podcast as our partners in this endeavor to bring disaster medicine to you. Make sure you know where to buy Goodman furnaces as they are the safest. Check out their page and educational resources that can help your system be more prepared for what happens in your area.

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drew aversa

Drew Aversa, MBA

What happens if UBER starts providing EMS care and how would it affect EMS in the midst of major incidents or disaster? That is the topic of tonight’s episode of the Disaster Podcast. Hosts Jamie Davis, the Podmedic and Sam Bradley are joined by Dr. Joe Holley from Paragon Medical Education Group to talk with our special guest on this interesting and unusual topic.

Drew Aversa is a former first responder who went into the private sector after a career-ending injury. He now works as a consultant and advisor to companies interested in applying his expertise to their leadership and management principles. His website is found at DrewAversa.com.

Drew proposes that companies like UBER and LYFT could use their independent contractor model to get into other industries like provision of medical services in a way to reduce and control skyrocketing medical costs. What does this mean for the first responders who might work for such a company? The battle is on in some states over UBER’s interpretation of the definitions of employee and independent contractor.

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Again, a special thank-you to Paragon Medical Education Group for their continued support of this podcast as our partners in this endeavor to bring disaster medicine to you. Check out their page and educational resources that can help your system be more prepared for what happens in your area.

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HRIMM Nebulizer Photo

HRIMM Makeshift Nebulizer

In this episode of the Disaster Podcast host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic is joined by co-host Sam Bradley to talk about how non-governmental organizations travel to third world nations to provide medical care in an austere environment. Aileen Hayes comes on the show in this episode to talk about her NGO Holy Rosary International Medical Mission (HRIMM.org).

The team organized by this religious NGO has traveled to places like Peru and the Philippines to provide care in remote areas of the country. They perform basic medical care, provide simple interventions and treatments, and refer some to care in the larger metropolitan hospitals who need it. Organizations like HRIMM offer essential services to people who would not have any regular medical care otherwise. I urge you to visit the link above to find out about this organization and see if there is a way you can participate in a future mission trip.

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Again, a special thank-you to Paragon Medical Education Group for their continued support of this podcast as our partners in this endeavor to bring disaster medicine to you. Check out their page and educational resources that can help your system be more prepared for what happens in your area.

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