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Paramedic’s Corner: Reporting May calls and handling summer heat
Paramedic’s Corner: Reporting May calls and handling summer heat

Ambulance Director Gary Carmack
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (June 21, 2010) — May was busy at the Pulaski County Ambulance District. PCAD responded 403 times to calls, bringing the yearly total of responses to date at 2,270 patients. The highest call area in May was Waynesville with 139 calls, St. Robert with 119 calls, Richland with 56, Crocker with 25, and Laquey with 24. PCAD responded to Fort Leonard Wood and Rolla nine times each and five times to Dixon. Most of the Rolla and Fort Leonard Wood responses were for transfers.

The hospitals most requested and transported to were Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla with 89 calls, St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon with 84 calls, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital with 51 calls, and Lake Regional Medical Center at Osage Beach at 14. The highest destination long distance runs were St. John’s Hospital in Springfield at seven calls, followed by University Hospital in Columbia at three calls.

The highest responses by age group were 70 years or older at 48 responses followed by 21 to 30 years old at 45 responses. The highest medical reason for calling was cardiac-respiratory and the highest trauma calls were motor vehicle crashes and falls. The busiest day of the week was Mondays and the highest call time was between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The peak call hour was 4 to 4:59 p.m.

We have some bad news to report. The Laquey base suffered a lightning strike destroying the radio, telephones, garage door openers, antenna, and special radio cables.

We also have some good news. We are doing a lot of first aid and CPR classes. This is important to have community support and early citizen CPR. The most important factor is teaching the citizens to call 911 early and get the paramedics en route with a defibrillator.

Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death and disability in the young. To be honest, nearly every single crash is preventable. The usual causes are drinking, speeding, and careless (talking or texting on cell phones, etc.)

Please consider the following safety precautions for heat:

Drink plenty of water and natural fruit juices, even if you're not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and colas.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. If you must go out, use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

• Avoid going out during the hottest times of the day. Take frequent breaks if working during the heat of the day.

• Using a buddy system between co-workers in high heat stress jobs can help ensure that signs of heat stress do not go unnoticed.

• Inside during the day, keep shades drawn and blinds closed. Use air conditioning whenever available. Even just two hours per day in air conditioning can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

• Fans should only be used in a ventilated room. Blow hot air out a window with a fan during the day, and blow in cooler air at night.

• Take cool (not icy cold) baths or showers. Eat frequent, small meals. Avoid high protein foods, which increase metabolic heat. Fruits, vegetables, and salads constitute low protein meals.

• Do not leave children or pets in a closed vehicle with the windows up. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees within minutes.

• Provide extra water and access to a cool environment for pets.

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