Extreme Medical Services: Medical Care On The Fringes Of Humanity

Extreme Medical Services: Medical Care On The Fringes Of Humanity by Jamie Davis

Book: Extreme Medical Services: Medical Care On The Fringes Of Humanity by Jamie Davis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jamie Davis
struggling to breathe and was pale with a slightly blue tinge to her lips. They could hear wheezing of her labored respirations from across the room. On the coffee table in front of her were several medication inhalers and a portable home nebulizer with tubing that led to a mask.  
        Dean put the bags down on the floor next to her and started to pull out a non-rebreather mask and tubing from the oxygen bag. “Hi, my name’s Dean,” he said as he worked. “We’re going to do what we can to help out, okay?”
        “She’s Lydia,” the man said. “Her asthma is acting up. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”
        Lydia gasped out one word at a time. “I. Tried. My. Nebu. Lyzer. Treatment. But. It. Did. Not. Work.”  
        “Here,” Dean said, holding the non-rebreather mask up to her face with oxygen set to fifteen liters per minute. He stretched the elastic band around her head to hold it in place. “That should help a little bit while we get some other things set up.”
        Brynne set the heart monitor down on the coffee table in front of Lydia and turned it on. She connected the blood pressure cuff to the machine, wrapped it around Lydia’s arm, pressing the button to start inflating the cuff for a reading. She also slid the pulse oximeter probe sensor over her index finger and plugged that into the monitor. Dean could see the 88 percent value. Not good. Brynne placed the earpieces of her stethoscope in her ears and held up the bell in one hand. “I’m going to listen to your lungs, okay?”
        Lydia nodded and Brynne reached around the woman’s back, lifting her shirt up and sliding her hand under. “Wheezes at the top, diminished breath sounds in the middle and nothing at the bottom.” Brynne looked up at Dean. “So, Dean, what’s next?”
        “Nebulized combination meds,” Dean said confidently. “Albuterol and Ipratropium, two point five milligrams of Albuterol and five hundred micrograms of Ipratropium via nebulizer mask.” He turned to the oxygen bag pulling out the neb mask and tubing. Then he unzipped the medication bag, reached in and pulled out two plastic ampules, which he put in the nebulizer mask. Taking the non-rebreather mask off Lydia, he replaced it with the nebulizer mask and attached that tubing to the oxygen cylinder, setting the flow to ten liters per minute. The chamber began bubbling, sending a cool mist of medication up into the mask for the woman to breathe in.
        “I need you to try to calm your breathing down,” Brynne said. “I know it’s hard but try. We need to get that medication in as deep into your lungs as we can. Listen to my voice and try to breathe in as I count to five, hold it for a second, and then breathe out.” Her calm voice started counting slowly holding Lydia’s eyes as she worked with the struggling woman. The technique started to work. The combination of Brynne’s tone and the medicine seemed to have the desired effect.
        “Dean,” Brynne said. “Start a line but just attach a saline lock at this point.”
        “Right,” Dean said. He unzipped the front pouch of the med bag and pulled out the IV pouch. He tied an elastic tourniquet off just below the elbow of Lydia’s left arm and selected a vein in the middle of her hand that looked good. He wiped the skin, then picked up a 20 gauge IV needle.  
        “Just a small pinch,” he said as he took her hand, pulled the skin tight with the thumb of his right hand and advanced the needle with his left. “There. Got it!” he said to himself. He picked up the saline lock and carefully screwed the hub nut on securing the end in place.  
        After applying the dressing on top of the insertion site and taping the rest of the tubing down securely to her wrist, Dean looked up at Lydia. Her color was already much better, and her breathing was less labored. Brynne was still helping her concentrate on her breathing, and Dean looked around, thinking about

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