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Comment In his memory - Teaching (Score 3, Informative) 43

I'm a CPR instructor and I will mention this to the class of 16 that I'm teaching in 2 hours. Out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates are still an abysmally low 8% because bystanders are often paralyzed, fearful, unwilling to get involved, and timidly participate when they do. The American Heart Association's new goal is to double survival rates by 2020. In his memory, you should find a class, bring a friend, learn how to react and be willing to do so.

Comment Generally known but incorrect... (Score 1) 211

If you call 911 from a cellphone in southeastern MA, your call is sent to state police headquarters, then it is transferred to the nearest state police barracks, THEN it is transferred to the primary PSAP. So I guess it is more correct to say that you will be connected to the PSAP *eventually*.

  Source, I'm an EMT, my paramedic partner is also a MA state cop.

Comment Re:Marathoner (Score 1) 169

Don't just assume your rate is low because you're in peak physical condition. I run and mine is often below 40. I took notice when it was 34, then 32, and got worried when it was 30. I've got a benign (asymptomatic) bradydysrhythmia. Do your heart a favor and at least get a baseline ECG

Comment I know two victims (Score 1) 251

I know two elderly people, both bilked out of $300. I see dozens of stories in this thread about how so many of us have been called and how you like to string them along and frustrate them. I've been called at least a dozen times. We need something other than just frustration to battle them. How can we prepare tools and tactics to respond and try to stop this?

Comment Prehospital Paramedicine (Score 1) 97

This is going to be commonplace in the next few years in the field of Community Paramedicine. I'm an EMT and work on a 911 ambulance. A very large percent of our calls are for patients that can easily be treated in place, but our scope of practice does not allow us to "treat and release". So we use the most expensive method of transportation (an ambulance) to take a non critical patient (with a problem not an emergency) to the most expensive destination, an emergency room.

A very common example (like DAILY): Mr. Smith is a 72 year old male with congestive heart failure. He was admitted a week ago for treatment and was discharged yesterday morning. He does not have adequate family support, may not have understood his discharge instructions, may not have the ability to obtain or manage his medications, and may not recognize changes in his signs/symptoms that indicate recurrence. Yes, he can obtain SOME in home care, like a visiting nurse, but they are not typically available 24/7 and cannot typically do things like a 12 lead EKG in the field. Any one of the gaps I listed could cause Mr. Smith to be readmitted for the same problem.

Under the Affordable Care Act, if Mr. Smith is readmitted within 30 days, the hospital will not be reimbursed by Medicare. This is HUGE. There is a tremendous financial incentive for hospitals to invest in telemedicine like facetime and Skype to manage these chronic patients (CHF, pneumonia, elder falls, etc) to avoid readmission penalties.

Comment Communication is Always a Problem (Score 2) 121

I hate to say it but 4G for an emergency network is just a money sink. I hate to have a defeatist attitude but at least in my small new england town this would be a complete waste of time and money and effort. We have no unified dispatch system. All land line 911 calls go to police. If you want Fire or Ambulance it's transferred to the Fire department, who then transfers medical calls to the ambulance. If you call from a cell phone it goes to the state police regional office first, then to the local state police barracks, then to town police, etc. Police and fire are on separate frequencies. ICS is a joke and never implemented. EMA is run with all donated equipment and goodwill of Ham operators. Better than nothing? certainly but not by much. I put an IP camera onto their EMA vehicle, punched a hole in their firewall and the chiefs were able to view the scene and control the camera from the EOC. It took me 10 minutes but it was like the natives seeing an airplane. The average Police/fire/EMA chief is 50+ years old and typically holds a grease pencil, not an iPad.

Example, there was a mill fire in the neighboring city. Multiple towns responded. No ICS, no communication plan, everyone on one channel walking all over each other. There is no way any of these communities could implement, monitor or effectively use a 4G solution.

Comment Bioinformatics Bubble? (Score 2) 38

I've been casually trying to learn some basic bioinformatics skills and have played with biopython for about a year. My son is a a senior in HS and has been thinking about a BS in Microbiology and a minor in CompSci. We've been to a couple of University open houses lately and they all are pushing bioinformatics programs. I see chatter about it online and even on TV. I even discovered that one of my cousins just got his PhD in bioinformatics. It's everywhere!

Is there a risk that 4 years from now there will be WAY too many bioinformatics grads? I'd hate to reccommend a field to my son where the employment bubble will burst soon. Any thoughts about job prospects down the road? [ mitigating factor - We're near Boston which appears to be the hub of the industry on the east coast ]

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer