Big Waves Can Mean Big Danger

It’s been a while but it’s good to be back. In this episode I explain why it’s been so long between my last vlog and this latest release. I also talk about a first hand experience I had watching dangerous undertows and sideways currents when I took my family to Lake Michigan on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The waves were 4-6 feet and they may have made a very dangerous situation. Be sure to watch in order to learn more about how to keep others safe at the beach.

For explanation of Rip Tides and Under Tow click here:

Does This Cut Need Stitches? No. Well…Maybe?

In this episode we talk about the subject regarding when a cut may need to have stitches or when it can be simply treated at home. So if this question has perplexed you in the past, you may not want to miss this episode where Roy sheds some light on this sometimes confusing situation.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!



Riding and Push Lawnmower Safety!

Have you ever been surprised by how fast a child can be in one place and the next time you turn around they are in another?  Have you ever been shocked by how fast an accident can happen?  In this episode, I address lawn mower safety as a result of a terrible tragedy where a 5 year old girl was hit and then run over by a riding lawn mower. It is unknown as to the exact details leading up to this horrific accident or what the abnormal conditions may have been that caused this to happen.  The little girl was pronounced dead on scene. There was nothing related to first aid that would have helped her but I have to think that being more sensitive to prevention may be able to save future lives.   I pray for a miraculous Grace and healing to be given to the surviving family members of this little girl and I hope to remind us all of some ways to ensure this doesn’t happen.

May God bless and heal this family.


Link To News Story:


My Baby Is Having A Seizure, What Do I Do?

Hello Everyone!

I received a question regarding infants having seizures and the proper treatment for them.  

The person asked if  it’s proper to handle the patient the same as an adult?  This is a great question and one I wanted to address a little more in depth than a simple reply by email.

First, it’s important to understand what a seizure is.  The following is a quote by  physician, Dr. Fawn Leigh from Duke Health who did a great job describing the two different categories of seizures and how they manifest themselves.

Click here to see the complete article located at:

“Seizures are divided into two major categories (based on 1981 international classification):

  • Generalized seizures affect the whole brain or both hemispheres of the brain
  • Partial seizures, also known as focal seizures, affect one part or one side of the brain

Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures are divided into convulsive and nonconvulsive. Convulsive means that there is muscle movement such as stiffening (also known as tonic) or jerking (clonic) activity. When these movements are combined it may be called “grand mal.”

Other types of convulsive seizure activity include myoclonic and atonic seizure activity. Myoclonus is usually characterized by sudden, single jerks. Atonic seizure activity is typically characterized by dropping quickly to the floor as if suddenly asleep or paralyzed. The child then quickly recovers.

These two latter convulsive seizure types can both be difficult to diagnose and treat because often they are the manifestation of a mixed seizure disorder. In infants these seizures may be called infantile spasms.

Nonconvulsive means that there is alteration of consciousness without muscle movement. This form of seizure activity was formerly called “petit mal,” and is now commonly referred to as “absence.”

Absence seizures are unique in that typically they are characterized by an abrupt onset of staring and end just as abruptly with no confused state following the events. Parents usually report that the child looks like they are “spacing out.” (Teenagers who look like this often are not having seizures — they are simply bored.)

Partial Seizures

Partial seizures can be simple or complex. Simple partial seizures are focal seizures that involve movement or sensation on one side of the body without altered consciousness. Simple partial seizures are commonly localized to areas in the brain called the motor or sensory strip.

Partial seizures may be with or without aura, which involves associated states such as fear, or changes in heart rate, flushing, or abdominal discomfort.

Complex partial seizures commonly originate from the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain where there are many complex interconnections, resulting in alteration of conscious. Typical complex partial seizures manifest as sudden change in level of alertness with or without aura, blank stare, confusional state, or aimless movements such as wandering around or repetitive behavior.” (


Second, it’s important to understand what the main cuases of seizures are:

  • Fever
  • Infection such as meningitis
  • Trauma
  • Hemorrhage
  • Brain malformations
  • Brain dysmaturity
  • Genetic disorder

Thirdly, when it comes to treating an infant compared to an adult, it’s a bit easier, though not any less intense especially if it’s your child.  It’s physically easier because baby is smaller and easier to manage.

If this seizure is with a child who has never had a seizure before, 911 or Emergency Medical Services should be activated.  The rescuer is going to  follow National and International guidelines for treating a seizure patient.  Protect the baby from hurting itself while seizing.  If it’s in a bath tub, drain the bath tub of water so as to reduce the risk of drowning and then protect the child from hurting itself while seizing.  Nothing should be put into it’s mouth which is old school for seizure management in trying to prevent “swallowing the tongue” or biting the tongue off.  It is also important that we not try and prevent the baby’s body from convulsing by holding it still or wrapping them tightly.  Simply protect it’s head and other parts of it’s body from hitting anything during the convulsive stage of the seizure.  After the seizure is over, the baby will usually go into a post seizure phase called the “postictal” phase, and there may be some frothy sputum(spit) around the baby’s mouth or in its nose. A bulb syringe normally used for suctioning mucous or sinus congestion could be used to suction or clear the baby’s nasal passage but it is probably not as necessary as we’d like to think.  As a general rule, baby’s have a great gag reflex and if they have any mucous or sputum in their upper airway, it will probably be coughed clear.  If the baby begins to breath after the seizure, it could be irregular with some grunting for a short time and then increasingly get more normal.  Skin color if it has changed during the seizure to a dusky, purple or blue color should improve as the baby begins breathing more normal and it is perfectly acceptable to comfort the baby in a natural position while maintaining a neutral airway in order for it to recover from the seizure.

If it does not begin breathing, begin basic cardiac life support according to the latest ECC/ILCOR and American Heart Association guidelines. Courtesy of, a Free Online infant CPR training video is available by clicking here!

As many as 2-5% of all children will experience at least one seizure related to a fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  The seizure itself is usually harmless and does not cause brain damage nor lead to epilepsy.

Seizures in any age patient can be very scary, and the causes of a seizure are many.  Therefore, if it’s the first seizure the person has ever had, we should plan for the worst and hope for the best.  This can be done by calling the emergency medical services or 911 depending on your area.  Support the patient with basic first aid procedures while waiting for rescuers to arrive and then follow up with your pediatrician after the baby is stable.

If your baby is having a high fever and your afraid that it may cause a febrile seizure, there are some basic steps to help lower your baby’s temperature.  Click here to read an article about how to lower a body temperature from a fever.


Well,  I hope this helps and I appreciate the great questions so many of you have been asking.  Keep them coming and while your waiting for a response, keep on saving lives!


Best Wishes,



Professional Rescuers and Good Samaritan Act Part 2

Hello Everyone,

I had  a reader who had a concern that the post about the Good Samaritan Act might scare rescuers into not providing care while off duty.   I think this may have been a misunderstanding and I must clarify that I’m speaking to medical professionals that have training and expertise in the area of rescue, not those volunteers, family members, bystanders without any training who may want to try and get involved.  Below is the comment from this individual and my response back to them with references.  I hope this helps anyone else who may have had the same concern or question.

Question/Comment:  4-3-11

Dear Mr. Shaw,

I found your video, Professional Rescuers and The Good Samaritan Law, discouraging.  I agree with just about everything you advised, but I have one major complaint.  You said, “You can do care up to a specific level.  In fact, that of which you are trained to do proficiently.”  I think what you have said is misleading.

If you apply those restrictions to Good Samaritan laws, you defeat the intent of those laws*.  Here’s a quick example:  I would guess that 90% of civilians who have taken CRP classes (as I have) are not proficient in CPR.  They have a good idea what CPR is, but in an emergency with the adrenalin flowing, I can see them making numerous missteps, which may or may not affect the outcome.  According to your advice even a Red Cross card carrying volunteer should not attempt CPR because he/she is not proficient.  And what about the AEDs appearing in malls and schools?  According to your advice, the average passer-by who’s had no training should only call 9-1-1 and leave this new fangled equipment for the experts!  I’m sure that is not what you would advise.

Then, there is the example of your buddy, the snowmobiler, with the crushed & torn larynx.  It sounds like you let him die?  You knew what needed to be done, a surgical tracheotomy.  Of course your snowy scene was “an uncontrolled environment”.  Isn’t that’s why it’s an “emergency”.  You had the equipment and you had the training, but you chose not to do that which you could do.  Personally, I think you should have at tried. (Jas 4:17)  Sure, like you said, the scene was far from perfect but you had what you needed to perform the procedure.  And yes, you may be right, there’s a good chance you would not have been successful.  But if your friend could have, don’t you think he or his wife would have wanted you to at least try?

Instead of encouraging guys like me to do what they reasonable can, you’ve lead us to believe we need to be trained or we will be held liable for trying.  The best way to ensure that one follows your advice to “Do No Further Harm” is to look the other way.

FYI:  I carry Celox & QuikClot, which I know state protocols does not allow EMTs and medical professionals use.  I’ve never used it nor been trained, but if on the firing range someone gets shot and I have no other means to stop a bleed out, I intend to try it.  Hopefully, I will never be put to the test on the highway or the rifle range, but despite your warning about “level of training” and “proficiency” it is an option I may have to pick.

Despite my disapproval of this video, I have check out some of your other stuff and I think you do a pretty good job, esp. your written responses (unlike mine).

Thanks for sharing

My Response:


Hello  “Name Not Disclosed” ,

I appreciate you taking the time to respond to the blog entry,  “Professional Rescuers and The Good Samaritan Law”.
I wanted to clarify  the “providing care up to ones  level of trained proficiency”.

The Good Samaritan Act in the State of Michigan states;
“691.1501 Physicians, physician’s assistant, or nurses rendering emergency care or determining fitness to engage in competitive sports; liability for acts or omissions; definitions.

(1)    A physician, physician’s assistant, registered professional nurse, or licensed practical nurse who in good faith renders emergency care without compensation at the scene of an emergency, if a physician-patient relationship, physician’s assistant-patient relationship, registered professional nurse-patient relationship, or licensed practical nurse-patient relationship did not exist before the emergency, is not liable for civil damages as a result of acts or omissions by the physician, physician’s assistant, registered professional nurse, or licensed practical nurse in rendering the emergency care, except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.

(2)    A physician or physician’s assistant who in good faith performs a physical examination without compensation upon an individual to determine the individual’s fitness to engage in competitive sports and who has obtained a form described in this subsection signed by the individual or, if the individual is a minor, by the parent or guardian of the minor, is not liable for civil damages as a result of acts or omissions by the physician or physician’s assistant in performing the physical examination, except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct or which are outside the scope of the license held by the physician or physician’s assistant. The form required by this subsection shall contain a statement indicating that the person signing the form knows that the physician or physician’s assistant is not necessarily performing a complete physical examination and is not liable under this section for civil damages as a result of acts or omissions by the physician or physician’s assistant in performing the physical examination, except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct or which are outside the scope of the license held by the physician or physician’s assistant.

(3)    A physician, physician’s assistant, registered professional nurse, or licensed practical nurse who in good faith renders emergency care without compensation to an individual requiring emergency care as a result of having engaged in competitive sports is not liable for civil damages as a result of acts or omissions by the physician, physician’s assistant, registered professional nurse, or licensed practical nurse in rendering the emergency care, except acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct and except acts or omissions that are outside the scope of the license held by the physician, physician’s assistant, registered professional nurse, or licensed practical nurse. This subsection applies to the rendering of emergency care to a minor even if the physician, physician’s assistant, registered professional nurse, or licensed practical nurse does not obtain the consent of the parent or guardian of the minor before the emergency care is rendered”.
And in  one other source  I found an explanation that goes on to describe the Good Samaritan Act this way;  “While Good Samaritan laws vary from state to state, these laws typically apply when you take purely voluntary, good-faith action to help another person at the scene of an emergency, and the person does not object to your help. If you provide help to another person under a Good Samaritan law, keep in mind that you must exercise the same standard of care and/or treatment that you normally help to in your profession. In other words, if you’re a trained medical professional, then you must act according to medical professional standards. However, if you are not trained in a medical professional, then your duty may be only to call for help or other forms of help, but not to render medical care or first aid. So long as you act reasonably in light of the circumstance, and in keeping with professional standards, you probably will not be liable in a jurisdiction that has enacted a Good Samaritan law”.

So you see, this is why no matter how much I would like to re-assure professionals that they are completely safe when rendering aid and especially “creative solutions medicine” to a person without repayment as a Good Samaritan, the professional still needs to understand that because of their training, they do have a duty to perform to a “standard of care” appropriate for their profession even if it’s frustrating and they may think that they can do more.

Individuals who offer Good Samaritan aid and have never been trained in any medical area may not be held to the same standards if they are sued, but the original blog was directed toward those with training and professional expertise in the area of rescue which is a different scenario.

I hope this helps to clear up any misunderstanding or confusion and please don’t hesitate to contact me for more clarification or for any future subjects down the road.

Best Wishes,

Roy Shaw,

How To Survive a Flash Flood

Ahhh…Spring is in the air. What a lovely time of year. The air becomes warmer, birds begin singing and the snow begins to melt. Now, just add some strong spring rains and…you’ve got floods! Right now, the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the North Central U.S. In this episode of RoyOnRescue, we take a look at flash floods, how to be on guard and how to survive one if you are ever caught off guard.
Don’t miss this episode of RoyOnRescue and get ready to be safe and help others be safe that might be at risk for flash flood emergencies.

Best Wishes,
Roy, RoyOnRescue

Staying Safe In the Winter Storm of 2011!

Hello Everyone,

Most of us know what to do to prepare for a bad winter storm, but because we all can use reminders from time to time, I thought I’d post a video blog that just highlights some of the things to think about.  From generators to alternative heat sources, driving safety measures to foods that are easy to store, to ways to safely remove snow from our roofs, this video blog tries to highlight some important things to remember while weathering a winter storm.

Hope it helps in time.

Best Wishes,


Blast That Thrush!

I just recently had a question that isn’t really within my expertise as a paramedic, but ironically ranks high with me because it’s so common with people who use inhaled steroids or take antibiotics. You guessed it Thrush.   Thrush is the more common name for a more technical problem called Candida or Yeast infection on the tongue. It’s painful, it’s unsightly and it’s a pain in the neck. Oh sure, you can get medicine from the physician for it, but it was probably a visit to the physician and their prescription for antibiotics or an inhaled steroid that go this nice little complication. Not because you wouldn’t want to go back to the doctor for their help, it’s just that you may not want a piggyback bill. So, one of the readers emailed in a question regarding their 82 year old relative that has inhalers and developed “Thrush”. They asked if there were any home remedies that might help heal this without a prescription. I gave my advice below.


Oral Thrush

Thrush has got to rank as one of the most aggravating and painful side effects I’ve encountered when dealing with something as sensitive as the tongue. It’s unfortunate that some of the life saving medications like inhaled steroids can cause this frustrating and painful complication. I agree with you regarding the spacer. I think it’s wise not only for getting more of the medication off the back of the patients tongue but also getting more of the medication into the patients lungs where we really want it to go anyway. I’ve found that spacers become one of those important items that are not used due to the terrible cost. I’ve encountered prices close to $100 just for the spacer. Crazy!

Anyway…regarding natural remedies for thrush(Candida). There is a lot of natural ideas but of course none of them have been tested in a non-bias lab or do they carry the FDA approval. I also want to re-instate that I’m a licensed paramedic and not a licensed homeopathic expert. That being said, there’s at least three of my own family members that struggle with thrush or yeast complications from time to time and I’ve found a couple of ideas pretty useful.

The first would be liquid Acidophilus with Bulgaricus and Bifidus. This is usually located in health food stores and would be located in the refrigerator section. I personally believe that this keeps the cultures alive longer and therefore more effective. The flavors are nothing to report to the press about but it tastes a little better than good old fashioned organic plain yogurt. We like strawberry or blueberry. I have the kids take a tablespoon or two several times per day and then again just before bed time. I make sure that they do it after they brush and drink so that they will leave the film coating in their mouth. This usually heals the condition within a couple of days and begins showing relief sometimes as early as 24 hours just from my experience.

Secondly, though I’ve known about the benefits of virgin, non processed coconut oil for health purposes, I’ve only recently heard about it’s ability to promote a healthy immune system and it’s natural properties(caprylic acid) for anti fungal assistance. This tropical oil can be melted over vegetables, spread on toast instead of butter or mixed into smoothies where you really don’t notice much of it at all. Because coconut oil melts at around room temperature, a 98.6 degree mouth melts the oil quite quickly. Just a quarter or half a teaspoon melted in the mouth might be an aid to help get rid of the thrush/yeast and give some soothing relief to your sweet relative. Again, I’m no expert in this area and nothing I’ve said is meant to be a prescription or a diagnosis, but I have used the Acidophilus before with great results.
Regarding the Tea Tree Oil, I’ve read several sources that voice some health concerns when using tea tree oil in or outside the body. I would take a look at this website ( and then do your own study. Then if you are still planning on using it, I would consult your relatives physician prior to administering any of the oil.

Best wishes in your quest to find a home remedy that’s effective and safe. I hope that what I’ve shared with you will help in some way.

Roy Shaw,

How Can A Child Do CPR?

In this episode of RoyOnRescue, Roy get’s asked the best way to have a child do CPR on a person who is larger then them.  Other than a bit of bad videography while Roy’s on the fly…I think it will help answer a question many people have about the best way that a small person can help someone in cardiac arrest.
Best Wishes,
The RoyOnRescue Team

Knitting Needles and Puncture Wounds?

Knitting Needles can be the source of warm mittens, cozy scarves and comforting winter sweaters.  They can also become sharp pointed weapons or injury causing spikes when fallen upon or when they are thrust into the face, neck, chest or abdomen due to a car accident or accidentally falling onto them.  In this RoyOnRescue episode, we take a look at the hidden danger of sharp pointed objects that usually remain harmless but when not respected and carried safely, they could cause great harm.  Learn about the dangers of pointed objects and how to keep knitting needles a source of pleasure not pain.