Brett Patterson

Brett Patterson

Blast From The Past
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From my travels I've observed EMDs around the world have two things in common: 1) they perceive their particular patients and callers as unique; 2) they all exhibit surprisingly similar concerns about their patients and callers! The accompanying article by [the late] Malcolm Woollard and Karen Pitt explores a particular aspect of these commonalities: The often-frightened caller when the patient is experiencing a febrile seizure, and the well-intentioned dispatcher's desire to treat such a patient.

Surely the parent or caregiver of such a patient poses an unusual challenge. There are few things as predictable as a parent's reaction to a child in obvious distress. No matter where on earth the crisis occurs, it's a safe bet that the caller will be very upset, perhaps hysterical, and very demanding of the EMD. Just as predictable is the desire of the concerned EMD to treat the febrile seizure patient by lowering the patient's body temperature. No matter where I go, EMDs give me the same rationale: treating the patient in the pre-arrival phase will positively impact the patient's outcome while calming hysterical callers by "giving them something to do." Makes sense, right? Or does it?

Malcolm and Karen have a particular interest in pre-hospital research and bring to us an important "evidence-based" perspective regarding the MPDS.