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Complacency kills: A critical look at EMS incidents and policy in 2023

Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson tackle paramedics behaving badly, violence, medical errors and the premature end of the ET3 model

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In this year’s Inside EMS year-in-review episode, our cohosts, Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson, take a critical look at the major incidents that defined EMS in 2023. Together, they tackle:

Paramedics behaving badly

The episode begins with a focus on the troubling trend of subpar patient care and missteps. The hosts emphasize the importance of delivering compassionate and professional care on every call. They discuss the case in which EMS providers faced charges of first-degree murder after a patient died due to positional asphyxia, underscoring the need for accountability in the profession.

Violence against providers

Next, the hosts address the increasing incidents of violence against EMTs, including stabbings and assaults. They highlight the need for better safety measures and policies to protect EMS personnel.

Criminalization of medical errors

Shifting gears, the hosts delve into instances of medical errors, such as administering the wrong drug. They stress the critical importance of delivering high-quality patient care on every call, regardless of the nature of the complaint.

Focus on CPR

The discussion then turns to a dramatic moment in the NFL when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a hit during a game. The hosts commend the quick response of athletic staff and paramedics, emphasizing the significance of well-executed resuscitation efforts.

The demise of ET3

Finally, Chris and Kelly address the unexpected premature end of the ET3 model, a pilot program aimed at improving EMS care and reimbursement. The hosts express disappointment in CMS’s decision and question the rationale behind it.

In conclusion, this year-in-review podcast provides valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of the EMS field in the past year. It highlights the need for accountability, safety measures and ongoing efforts to improve patient care and EMS policies.

Memorable quote:

“Every single call that we run has to be done with the utmost dedication, commitment, professionalism, as if it was the last or maybe even the first EMS call we’ve ever run. Complacency is what kills there.”

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The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs