Oklahoma EMT Faces Homicide Charges in Fatal Crash

From JEMS:

Prosecutors have lodged a negligent homicide charge against an EMSA ambulance driver for a traffic crash that killed a man.

The ambulance’s lights and sirens were activated during the Dec. 10 crash in which 43-year-old Fidel Mesa-Solis was killed. The emergency medical technician who was driving the ambulance, 36-year-old Benjamin Ward Samples, was charged Monday.

The Oklahoman reports (http://is.gd/j92Ypd ) Samples was going 83 mph in the wrong direction on Northwest 10 when he hit Mesa-Solis’ vehicle on the driver side.

Study: PE rule-out criteria could eliminate CT for some patients

From HealthImaging:

Pulmonary embolisms (PE) could be excluded as a possibility in patients meeting all eight of the pulmonary embolism rule-out criteria (PERC) in low-risk scenarios, allowing physicians to bypass tests such as CT exams typically ordered after a positive D-dimer test, according to a literature review published online Dec. 15 in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“Just another formaldehyde spill: Scare and downtown emergency room evacuation not that unusual”

From (Houston) CultureMap:

Half a gallon of formaldehyde spilled at St. Joseph Medical Center around 8 a.m. Monday morning, closing the hospital’s emergency room for nearly two hours.

The spill was discovered in a storage closet adjacent to the ER, according to hospital spokesperson Fritz Guthrie. Nearby patients were removed, the area was evacuated within a 150-foot radius and the Houston Fire Department was contacted immediately.

“Formaldehyde spills are pretty common,” HFD assistant fire chief Danny Snell told CultureMap, “especially at hospitals and universities.

From ERs to pharmacies, drug policies changing

From the Star News:

Dr. Bryan Durham described one of the biggest public health threats currently confronting the United States with one statistical comparison: The country, with 4.6 percent of the world’s population, consumes more than 80 percent of the world’s opium, the acting ingredient in prescription painkillers.

Durham, medical director of New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s emergency department, proclaimed those figures as evidence of the nation’s prescription drug abuse problem while he and two of his colleagues fielded questions from hospital trustees about a proposed policy to bar doctors from refilling certain types of medications in the emergency room.

His statement raised eyebrows. And without a word of dissent, the trustees gave the emergency room the green light.