Automated External Defibrillators as Gifts

Automated External Defibrillators as Gifts

This morning I felt the chill in the air which told me that summer is making way for Fall, then Winter, and then the Holidays! I should start working on a Christmas gift list, and just don’t have enough hours in the day (all that went through my head in about two seconds flat) …ARGHHH!!

Then I started thinking about making the case for AED’s as Holiday gifts!

No other gift has the potential to save a life during a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) like an AED.

No iPhone or Droid app, not a 60in 4XHD Display Flat Screen TV, iPad, XBox or Play Station or Kindle has the capability at this moment, but I would guess there will be an app that would be able to in the future.

800,000 people in the United States will suffer a heart attack this year, of those 800,000, 47,000 will have a second, almost half will have a shockable rhythm, and in any case most will need CPR.

So when you are making your list, and checking it twice think about it…

What is the best gift you can possibly give a person? (hint, every mother knows the answer to this one).

Put your answer below in comments.

Awake During CPR?? WHAT NOW?

Awake During CPR?? WHAT NOW?

This video is from my favorite Doc, ZUBIN DAMANIA, MD.  

UCSF/Stanford trained internal medicine physician and founder of Turntable Health, an innovative primary care clinic and model for Health 3.0 that was part of an ambitious urban revitalization movement in Las Vegas spearheaded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. During a decade-long career as a hospitalist at Stanford, Doctor Damania led a shadow life performing stand-up comedy for medical audiences worldwide as a way to address his own burnout. His videos and live shows have since gone epidemically viral with nearly a half a billion views on Facebook and YouTube, educating patients and providers while mercilessly satirizing our dysfunctional healthcare system. The goal of the movement is to rapidly catalyze transformation by leveraging the awesome power of our passionate, engaged tribe of healthcare professionals. Join the ZPac and help us reclaim our calling!

Hurricane Lessons for Washington State

Hurricane Lessons for Washington State

What can we learn from Hurricanes

Hurricanes are pretty devastating storms that rip through the eastern seaboard leaving lots of property damage, and human suffering. Here in the Pacific Northwest the likelihood of a “storm” on the scale like a Category 5 is pretty rare, but we do have high winds that can and have done as much damage as a hurricane. However, what we really need to prepare for is an Earthquake! is a great place to start to prepare your earthquake preparedness kit. Visit for a more compete list of preparedness topics. Business leaders should also visit

Before an Earthquake

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake.

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

After an Earthquake

  • When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly and people with access and functional needs. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home had been damaged and is no longer safe. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
  • Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
  • After it is determined that its’ safe to return, your safety should be your primary priority as you begin clean up and recovery.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting:
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
  • Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
  • Inspect utilities.
    • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
    • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
    • Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.
Heart Surgeon For a Day

Heart Surgeon For a Day

Thomas scrubbed in as a Doc For a Day!

The event was live-tweeted by @Swedish, using the hashtag #SwedishDoc4Day.

About the event:

Dr. Glenn Barnhart and the team at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute in Seattle invited 15 members of the public (including students) to become a “Heart Surgeons for a Day”!

Randomly selected individuals spent time learning about the heart and its key parts. These individuals got to see how Swedish surgeons are using the latest technology to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart disease.

As part of the event, participants:

  • Received their own Swedish medical scrubs, just like a surgeon
  • Examined a human heart and video footage from a live surgery
  • Participated in interactive demonstrations using surgical tools such as the da Vinci robot.
  • Received a behind-the-scenes tour of the Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute
  • At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Barnhart and other cardiologists and cardiac surgeons hosted a lunch session to answer questions and provide more hands-on time with surgical tools and technology.

“Heart Surgeon for a Day” Tentative Schedule of Events:

9:30 AM: Scrub up with your new pair of medical scrubs
9:45AM: Breakfast and meet and greet with other participants and physicians
10 AM: Welcome
10:10 AM: Watch part of a heart surgery and prepare for hands-on demonstrations and exercises
10:30: Take part in an interactive session with all the tools and technology of cardiac surgery, including the opportunity to see a human heart.
11:30 AM: Guided behind-the-scenes tour
12:15 PM: Lunch and Q&A session
12:45-1:00 PM: Event conclusion, with additional time for hands-on demonstrations

Needless to say it was an experience Thomas will never forget; incredible!

Seasickness or Motion Sickness? Whatever you call it; it sucks!

Seasickness or Motion Sickness? Whatever you call it; it sucks!

First Aid For Recreational Boaters

While researching content that is specifically designed for the Recreational Boater, I have come across some real gems in the description of aliments at sea. This is by far my favorite, and I’ll share it with you now.

The two stages of Seasickness:

  1. You are so sick you’re afraid you may die.
  2. You are so sick you’re afraid you may not die.

In his book “The Human Body”; Isaac Asimov related the anecdote about a seasick passenger.

It was a rough crossing and Mr. Jones was suffering the tortures of the damned. During one of the more unsettled periods, he was leaning over the rail, retching miserably, when a kindly steward patted him on the shoulder.

“I know, sir” said the steward, “that it seems awful. But remember, no man ever died of seasickness.”

Mr. Jones lifted his green countenance to the stewards concerned face and said, for heavens sake, man, don’t say that. It’s only the wonderful hope of dying that’s keeping me alive.”

Now some of us have been in Mr. Jones predicament before. Others who can endure the roughest seas without so much as the complaint, well… we hate you.

Now contrary to the stewards admonition that “no one ever died from seasickness,” well, we know that’s not true. Seasickness can cause severe dehydration that can lead to kidney damage and even renal failure. The person who remains seasick for an extended period of time without food without water is indeed suffering a medical emergency.

Ok that’s it, just a quick little story about a poor seasick man.

Take care…