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Sudden Illness – What would you do?

Review these patient assessment findings and answer the questions in the comments area.

Patient Assessment Findings

Chief complaint – fever, chills, body aches, diarrhea

Onset – sudden

Provokes – nothing makes the patient’s symptoms better or worse

Quality – dull aches and pain throughout body; most severe in joints and neck

Severity – 5 of 10

Time – symptoms began at about 0300. Patient complains of symptoms to others at 0500

Vital signs – within normal limits except oral temperature of 102F

Allergies – ibuprofen, seasonal outdoor allergens

Medications – daily prescribed medications for allergies and asthma

Pertinent History – three days earlier patient ran into a metal bar at a playground. Large abrasion on top of his head and neck strain.

Last Ins/Outs – dinner evening before, repeated episodes of diarrhea

Events – sleeping. Woke up due to onset of chills, GI distress, and body aches. Fitful attempts at sleep since


What other questions do you have about this patient?

How would you treat this patient?

Is hospital transport indicated?

If no transport, what additional symptoms or condition changes would change the treatment and transport decision?

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.