If, in moving through your life, you find yourself lost...go back to the last place where you knew who you were, and what you were doing, and start from there. Bernice Johnson Reagon.

10 December 2011

There is more than one way to skin a cat, so they say...

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a very nice older lady who was complaining of chest pain. In my EMS system, that gets you 324mg of aspirin pretty darn quick. Usually, the firefighters have given before I get there, but on this occasion they had not.


I asked the nice lady about her allergies and she told me that she was allergic to Benadryl and aspirin. She said Benadryl made her sleepy and that aspirin upset her stomach sometimes.

Just about that time my partner handed me the 12-lead ECG that displayed ST elevation in V1, V2, and V3, with reciprocal changes in II, III, and aVF. Add to that her being pale, diaphoretic, and more than a little restless….

So, I told her that it was really important that she take the aspirin for her heart, and she quickly told me she could not take it because she was allergic to aspirin.

OK… plan ‘B’.

Me: “OK, tell you what. Let’s try this newer drug that works just like aspirin.”

She: “OK. Because I am allergic to aspirin. What’s this new drug called?”

Me: “It’s called acetylsalicylic acid. It’s abbreviated ASA.”

She: “OK.” (chews them up)

She: “These sure do taste like aspirin.”

Me: “They do taste like aspirin. But they are acetylsalicylic acid.”

She: “That’s fine. You know what’s best, young man.”

1 comment:

Scott said...

I am so glad other paramedics do the same shit I do. Had a pt last night who was so full of fluid that she sounded like a grafix bong. He husband flat told me she was allergic to NTG. "It makes her pressure drop" Ya I know sparky. "It wont be so bad with the lasix, morphine! LOL! Oh well. Once we got to the ED he asked if I had given her NTG. YUP I did! Thats why she's able to breath now partner (well ok along with the rest of the crap I gave her and the CPAP). Oh well I guess they just don't know the difference between being hyper sensitive and allergic. Love the blog partner!