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Sunday, July 16, 2006

And the Countdown Begins...

Move-in day at UVA is coming up (August 19th) so I now have that to be looking forward too. I've been saving my money to last me through the upcoming year. Orientation is now also done with and I've registered for my engineering classes. I've decided also that I'm going to take the EMT-Intermediate class, or at the very least, the EMT-Enhanced class at the first chance that I can safely do so.

I'll post more later, I just got off from work. Take care.

Bravomedic out.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

"Ditch Medicine"

I guess I'll start of this post with my usual apology for not having posted in a while. School for the past two months has been a nightmare with AP and IB exams going on (and the last minute preps for them that our teachers give us. I wouldn't necessarily just call it supplemental work, that word is too benign; it was more like a forced march). Now that these exams are over though there's nothing else to do (this hold especially true for seniors) and so we eagerly await the next two weeks in the hopes of suturing closed this part of our lives. In my case, I have mixed feelings- I'm going to miss the friends I've made in high school and my accomplishments, I have no regrets about anything I've done. On the other hand, I'm ready to move on and hopefully come one step closer to med school.

As far as college goes, I'm thinking I might decide to switch over to chemical engineering with a minor in BME at UVA. I bought a textbook on organic chemistry which I plan to read this summer (we'll see whether or not that happens- it probably won't).

Yesterday was our "senior trip," in which the senior class went to a large park. Some of us brought water guns. I formed a fire team which we will designate as "Bravo" consisting of Adam, Will, and myself. Bravo's mission was to locate and take out (well, soak) an enemy civilian which we will designate as "Echo" (hey there Emily!). On the first encounter, Echo was spotted taking the point and heading east-bound on one of the trails. This trail happened to intersect another trail where a large tree was found. As Echo rounded the trail we opened fire. She can slap pretty hard and thus we were forced tactically to fall back. We then lost contact with Echo and had to decide on which direction they went. Deciding that they were again heading east-bound, Bravo team took one of the higher trails which would cut off the east-bound trail and give us plenty of time to dig in. After about twenty minutes of marching we reached the engagement zone. An unarmed scout (Will) was then deployed to find the target. An enemy fire team found us first though and proceeded in our direction. We fired a few cover shots and then were forced yet again to make a tactical fall back (12 against 3 are not good odds). Thankfully the enemy fire team consisted of drama students and thus did not pose any real danger (as it could not exceed the speed of 2 mph and even with that would be forced to sit down and rest). Having again lost the target we moved to the base camp (where the buses were) as this is where the target would have to come eventually. Sure enough, the target arrived about 20 minutes later and the mission was completed (at the cost of my arm after being slapped repeatedly).

As for the title of this thread, Ditch Medicine is a book by Hugh Coffee which describes the role and procedures of the PHCP (pre-hospital care provider) in a combat zone, thus it kind of relates to the story above (though no casualties were sustained). It's actually a very good book and describes basic surgical procedures (including wound debridement) and small wound care/repair, needle thoracocenteses, chest tube thoracostomies, IV therapy, advanced airway procedures, amputations, burns, psychological support, nutrition, and anaphlyactic shock. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in combat medicine (or EMS).

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


They announced class ranks today and there was a ceremony for the top 20 in the class. I was announced as valedictorian for my senior class. Things are looking up for me now, I was also voted "most likely to succeed" for the senior superlatives.

My mom is also going to allow me to take my EMT-Intermediate class in college in addition to my regular engineering classes at UVA. I can't wait, I'm really excited about the EMT-I class.

I went out with my friends today for lunch. Apparently another friend had said, "You three are going to lunch together today? Are you insane?! If that restaurant blows up there goes the [insert high school name here] Brain Trust!" Okay, well I found it funny.

My AP Biology class (all eight of us) took a practice AP Bio exam. I thought it was pretty easy but we shall see what the results are.

I shall post more later tonight, but for now I'm going to sleep.

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!!

A man was blissfully driving along the highway, when he saw theEaster Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoidhitting the Bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his carand was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place. Candy, too. The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulledover to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become ofthe Bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colorful Bunny was dead. The driver felt guilty and began to cry.
A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the sideof the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked theman what was wrong. "I feel terrible," he explained, "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny and killed it. What should I do?" The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. Shewent to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over tothe limp, dead Bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the canonto the little furry animal. Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked upthe spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans andhopped on down the road. 50 yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turnedaround, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned, waved,hopped another 50 yards and waved again!!!! The man was astonished. He said to the woman, "What in heaven's nameis in your spray can?" The woman turned the can around so that the mancould read the label. It said:
"Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave."

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I had my Target interview today and I got the job. I am now a Pharmacy Technician/Cart Attendant/Cashier. I'm happy though that I now have a job. It pays off to be a valedictorian and going to UVA because it helps to distinguish you from the rest. My base pay rate begins now at $7.00 an hour. Yay for me! I think I shall go on a spending splurge and buy some more books. Yesterday I went book shopping and bought (let me get out the list):
-Weiten's Psychology: Themes and Variations
-Study Guide for Weiten's Psychology
-Single Variable Calculus (already had the class but couldn't resist buying it anyway)
-Mosby's Clinical Manual of Health Assessment
-Mosby's Health Assessment (different book from above)
-C++ Interactive Course

I have been augmenting my medical kit further by adding a 4" elastic wrap (ACE wrap type) and a roll of 3" Coban gauze (self adhering). The bag is getting fairly large now and I need to find a way to reinforce the bottom of it which leaves me one of two options: a) stick a piece of cardboard down into the bag (not very aesthetically pleasing) or b) sew a piece of foam into the bottom. I think I'll also spray the bag with a waterproofing compound. Again, I shall post pictures when I am done constructing the bag.

In Other News:

Antibiotic, Telithromycin, Can Help Some Asthma Patients
'According to an international study of 278 patients in 70 centres, an antibiotic called Telithromycin reduces asthma symptoms and enhances lung function. Researchers also found that the drug improved recovery times.'

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Fortune Cookie

Salvete omnes,

I went to a Chinese restaurant the other day and ordered my usual- beef fried rice. I don't even have to really order anymore, the waiter just walks over and asks, "The usual?" to which I give my nod and off they go to fix my food. I also get my egg drop soup featuring my favorite protein (and yours too) albumin and is a major protein component of your blood plasma. Albumin functions to maintain the osmotic transmural pressure differential which ensures proper mass exchange between the blood and the interstitial fluid when at the capillary level. It also serves as a transport molecule for certain hormones and some metal ions. But that has nothing to do with fortune cookies, so moving on to fortune cookies, I received mine and it said "You will reach the highest possible point in your business or profession." Sounds good to me, looks like I'm on my way to Chief of Trauma Surgery (one day anyway, hehe). I do like the sound of that. Heck, lets add Chief of Trauma Surgery/Associate Professor, that sounds even better.

In other news:

Stem Cell Research News- Stem Cell Transplants Improve Recovery In Animal Models For Stroke, Cerebral Palsy

'A single dose of adult donor stem cells given to animals that have neurological damage similar to that experienced by adults with a stroke or newborns with cerebral palsy can significantly enhance recovery from these types of injuries, researchers say. Using a commonly utilized animal model for stroke, researchers administered a dose of 200,000-400,000 human stem cells into the brain of animals that had experienced significant loss of mobility and other functions. The stem cells used in the study were a recently discovered stem cell type, referred to as multipotent adult progenitor cells, or MAPCs. '

Biology/Biochemistry - Don't Hold Your Breath: Carp Can Manage Without Oxygen For Months-

'Article Date: 12 Apr 2006 - 5:00am (PDT)How long can you hold your breath? Scientists at the University of Oslo have recently discovered how the Crucian Carp, a close relative of the goldfish, is able to live for months without oxygen. The researchers hope that understanding how some animals cope with a lack of oxygen might give clues as to how to solve this problem in humans. "Anoxia related diseases are the major causes of death in the industrialized world. We have here a situation where evolution has solved the problem of anoxic survival millions of years ago, something that medical science has struggled with for decades with limited success", says Professor Göran Nilsson who will be presenting his latest results at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Experimental Biology on Friday 7th April [session A9]. The researchers have found that this extraordinary fish can change the structure of its gills to avoid becoming anoxic. In addition its blood has a much higher affinity for oxygen than any other vertebrate, and it makes tranquilizers and produces alcohol when oxygen supplies are limited. These mechanisms allow the fish to survive for days or even months without oxygen depending on the temperature, whilst still maintaining physical activity. ### '

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sallying Forth

Salvete omnes,

I'm on spring break here and you know what that means (or at least you teens know what that means)- that's correct. It's that time of the year when we must emerge from our caves and sally forth into the great unknown that is the summer job search. I'm looking at Kroger and Target (but I don't think the local Target is hiring). We shall see though. If I don't get a job with either then I shall just have to find another job at one of the greenhouses. Volunteer jobs just don't provide the same level of income that being a grocery store clerk does. I had to abandon the idea of getting a job as an EMT because I'm under 18. I had to abandon the idea of becoming a medical assistant because I am capable of independent thought. Oh well, at least I shall be able to read my Principles of Anatomy and Physiology or Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology during the dead time. Wish me luck!

In other news, I gained a CME credit hour from the Department of Defense for sitting through one of the lectures for combat medics. I was very impressed and I did learn some things from it. It was well worth the hour spent and I'll go to more in the future.

Time to go to mentorship now.

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Plant Biology

Guess what I get to spend my Spring Break working on...That's right! An AP Biology packet! Sadly the packet is on plant structure and growth- easy stuff, but boring beyond all belief. I mean, memorizing the endodermis in a plant and its various functions is only but so much fun.

I hope everyone is having a good break (for those of you who are out now) and I hope that everyone has a happy Easter! I asked the Easter Bunny for medical supplies! I do hope I get them, the kit can always use more supplies. What I really need is an oxygen tank and regulator, but I don't think that is going to happen (I didn't even ask bother asking for one). I also asked for some classical music CDs.

Right now I'm practicing for world domination by playing the classic game, Colonization. One can never start too early these days. I have also signed up for my orientation day at UVA to meet with my advisor on course registration. I might take 18 credits for the semester in an attempt to get some of my medical school prerequisites out of the way.

I shall post more later tonight.

Valete omnes,

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Funny Joke

So a friend IMed me about UVA:

Mufasa: Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is your campus. A student's time here at UVa rises and falls like the sun. One day, the sun will set on your time here.
Simba: What about that dark, shadowy place?
Mufasa: That is e-school, Simba. It is forbidden; You must never go there.

That's funny! I'm in the forbidden place! Woohoo!

Just wanted to post that. Now back to bio...

Bravomedic out.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What Happened to America's Pattons?

Today I'm going to deviate from my normal course of topics. Normally I go on about medical topics but tonight I'm going to make the rare exception.

I'm tired of the liberal press crying over the deaths of five Iraqi civilians by insurgents. That part would not normally bother me, it's just the way the press tries to turn the blame around and does not place it on the insurgents, but instead tries to pin it on American troops. I don't know how, but they always do. I don't know how the "reporters" (if that's what you can call them) can sleep with themselves at night. Now lets look at the contrast, when American troops are killed, it barely makes two sentences in the news and when it does, it's to go on about how all of Iraq hates us. Disgusting, when in fact very few of the people in Iraq actually hate us, they love us, we just have the occasional insurgent who wants to ruin the people of Iraq's one chance at democracy. But using the liberal way of thinking we go from 10% of the population disliking us somehow equals 90%. I guess that's why they're reporters, they couldn't do math so that shut off every other field.

Now this brings me to my question...what ever happened to the Pattons of America? Has our wealth really made us this spineless and weak? Since when did it become cool to be a pansy? What is wrong with today's society? Teens are squirting out kids faster than rabbits. I blame the parents. Why can't they raise more Pattons? If World War II were to occur today I'm pretty certain that we would eventually be speaking German because the press would be attempting to undermine the American defense. Half of America (especially the adolescent population) would still be thinking that we have no right to defend ourselves because war is "never justified". What a joke. What happened to the Pattons of America?!

Why don't we have people that say things like:

  • "May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."

  • "Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won with men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads, that gains the victory."

And my personal favorite:
  • "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

May there be better days ahead for all of humanity. At the risk of using another cliche, keep fighting America, anything worth having is worth dying for.

Good luck people,

Bravomedic out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Howdy everyone,

Duty is coming up this Friday. Last week I had a syncope (fainting) patient. Blood sugar was 121 (normal). No history of hypertension. Blood pressure confirmed this...in fact he was hypotensive with a BP of 94/68 (if that). Pulse rate was slightly elevated at 94 and a decreased SPO2 at 89% on the pulse ox. Respirations were 12 and normal. No further information available. No medical history at all actually except for arthritis (and he's 84 years old!!!). Astounding. I placed him on a NRB (non-rebreather mask) at 10 liters per minute (lpm) and kept him on the monitor. The transport was uneventful and the SPO2 rapidly rose to 95% and pulse decreased to 82. Currently the reason for the syncope is unknown as we have not received any feedback from the ER. It could've been a cardiac related problem which he was probably monitored for a recurring event. Blood labs would've been interesting to see too. I'll try to find out from the ER. By the way, the patient reported no numbness or chest pain/discomfort. Anyone else have any possible ideas? Cardiac origin seems to be the most likely.

In other news, a stroke magnet is available for free as well as information to educate the general public. I would recommend that you sign up for one here and stay informed. Time = brain. WebMD also has some basic guidelines for detecting a stroke which can be found here. We actually use some of the same tests in order to help us make the diagnosis (or prehospital provider diagnosis). Read up, it might come in handy some day.

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Free CPR Classes

The AHA (American Heart Association) will be offering FREE CPR classes throughout "CPR Week" which is on April 1st-8th. I encourage you all that aren't already certified to sign up at your nearest location and participate. It's well worth it and will put your mind at ease (at least somewhat). If you enjoy the class then consider taking a first aid class or even a first responder class. You might even consider going into an EMT class someday (make an informed decision though and do a ride along first before you invest the time in it).

For more information on the free CPR class go here or call 1-877-AHA-4CPR .

In other news, I have duty today at the squad. Maybe we'll get something tonight (not that I am hoping for it, because that comes at the expense of others) since the last few duties have been really quiet.

Stay safe everyone,
Bravomedic out.