Archive for July, 2013

Paramedic superpowers.

Recently I was talking a little bit about motion sickness in the back of an ambulance. I personally have never experienced it but I received many messages about it. This got me thinking about what other problems might plague Ems that I haven’t considered. Maybe there are people that are immune to some of the things that especially disturb some medics.

Paramedic super powers if you will.
I have one. My sense of smell. It isn’t that I can’t smell, my sense of smell very quickly acclimates to the situation and numbs enough to not affect me. There have been calls that I am even amazed there is not more of an effect on me.

An obvious DOS that has been dead for days, the kind that is found because the smell has infiltrated the neighbor’s house two doors down, the kind that has been down so long the skin has ruptured and maggots are present. Yeah the first whiff of it will tickle my nose, then it’s done. I can walk around it and have no effect. Well at least no olfactory effect.

I remember a call where a young female was having extreme morning sickness. She was continually vomiting and during transport vomited so much bile all over our floor I had to have my boots resting on the stretcher so I wouldn’t get them wet from the little sea of liquid. I quickly became used to the smell. My partner and the patient’s mother who was riding up front had to have the windows down, their heads outside and they were still gagging.

I quickly learned this power comes with great responsibility. I have to remember that the smell might not be affecting me but could be extremely uncomfortable for my coworkers. A patient who fell and was stuck in that position for 3 days before anyone noticed might have seemed to be a very standard care patient to me. Since I didn’t warn my partner about it and he went walking into a confined space full of stagnant urine and feces…. yeah, he was pretty furious after dealing with his uncontrollable gagging right next to the patient.

So do any of you have any super powers associated with Ems or your first responder work? Anything that gives you an advantage in our area of work? I’d love to hear about it.