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Category: CPD

What is the structure of the digestive system?

The Digestive System is the 'alimentary canal and its associated glands, the salivary glands, the liver and the pancreas.' (Boyle and Senior, 2008: 131). Pass your exams or refresh yourself by reading the extended answer here.

What does NICE say about head injuries?

NICE guidelines are great, but they're annoying sometimes. They're lengthy, and it can be hard to find only the content that is directly relevant to frontline ambulance clinicians. Here is a summary of their head injury guidelines, showing only the points and quotes that are relevant to us. Article 999: Simplifying, Presenting, Refreshing.

Cheat Sheets: Scene Overview

You may find varying suggestions for what to consider in what is usually referred to as your 'scene assessment' (Harris, 2016: 1; Pilbery & Lethbridge, 2016: 126) or 'end of bed [...] assessment' (Spurr, 2014). This is a cheat sheet to assist you in identifying these important factors.

What is the relief pressure dial on the ventilator?

The relief pressure dial on the ventilator ensures that the pressure of ventilation is not so high that it causes problems but allows it to be high enough to help ensure that the patient actually is ventilated. Read more...

What is positive pressure breathing?

Positive pressure refers to the way artificial ventilation ‘inflate[s] the lungs’ (Hess & Kacmarek, 2014). ‘Normal breathing depends on drawing in air to the lungs by creating a partial vacuum […]

Considering the Differential Diagnoses of Chest Pain? Consider This.

We tend to consider acid reflux as one of the differential diagnoses of chest pain. We, or the patient's GP might advise them to alter their acidic diet. We might even suggest they take their own gaviscon if it's available. But the patient might be suffering from too low acid, not too high. And gaviscon and omemprazole might worsen their symptoms. This is a guest post written by Paul Burgess of Athletic Nutrition (

What is Negative Pressure Breathing?

Negative pressure breathing is how we breathe normally, without the aid of bag-valve-masks or mechanical ventilators. This article describes the process and begins a series on breathing and ventilator mechanics.