Motion Sickness

WuLabsWuTecH

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I've been riding around only in the back captain's chair and side bench, while doing my ride alongs and after 9 hours or so a day i start to get dizzy sometimes or some minor headaches. Usually if I lie down on the bench while posting the headaches will go away.

Any tips?
 

Airwaygoddess

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Diet and fluids.....

I know I get a little "ambulance sick" from time to time, the question is are you drinking enough water? Sometimes we tend to forget to take care of ourselves, especially, when it gets busy. Also are you eating healthy? I know it's hard to eat 100% healthy but try bringing little snacks with you, a PB& J sandwich is always a good pick me up. Hope this helps! :)
 

mikeylikesit

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drammamine...or don't look through the back windows.
 

KEVD18

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its pretty common. facing the opposite direction your travelling in is rough on your equilibrium. there isnt a whole lot you can do about it. dramamine or meclazine are an option. being one of those unholy cretins that rarely wears my seat belt in the back, i usually just sit sort of side saddle in the jump seat(body facing out the side window and head facing out front) for a few minutes if i start to feel queasy.

of course its all dependant on the type of call im on. emergencies i usually never make it to the jump seat and my mind is occupied the whole time with the pt. long, boring, unnecessary interstate transfers, im usually in the jump seat, only heading over to the bench every so often to wake up my patient and grab some vitals.
 
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WuLabsWuTecH

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Yeah, that may be part of my problem, i'm not getting enough water (i find myself thirsty at times) and I'm turning around to look out the front window since i'm not sure of how to get to all the places we run to quite yet...
 

BossyCow

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Yeah, that may be part of my problem, i'm not getting enough water (i find myself thirsty at times) and I'm turning around to look out the front window since i'm not sure of how to get to all the places we run to quite yet...

They teach us in SAR that if you are feeling thirsty, you are already starting to dehydrate. You need to stay hydrated by drinking before you get thirsty.
 

Hastings

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I have severe motion sickness. I have to take Dramamine every day before my shift. That takes care of it well, thankfully. The one day I went to work without it, I ended up feeling like I was going to vomit during the first call and was miserable, no matter where I sat or how. I rode it out until we got to point, and unloaded in the grass behind the fire house.

So, there are people in EMS who get motion sick. It's not a big deal. Just bring plenty of anti-emetics. Will work fine. Otherwise, there is no position that will cure it.

I don't think the headaches are motion sickness though. I think that's what the other suggested. But for those who do get genuine motion sickness...
 

Buzz

Forum Captain
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I've never really had the problem in the back of an ambulance, but riding in the back of someone's car really messes me up. I found focusing on a fixed point in the vehicle without being able to see the outside helps me cope with any motion sickness.
 

BossyCow

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I'm blessed with the ability to read a book while riding backwards on a bus, smelling diesel fumes. I can ride below deck facing the stern, in gale force winds while eating fried foods.

I have a friend though who suffers terribly from motion sickness. She bought a set of those accupressure bands that she keeps in the ambulance. As long as she's concentrating on the pt, she's generally OK but we have had to hand her the emesis bag on more than one occasion during a transport.
 

Airwaygoddess

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I know this sounds like a funny home remedy, but also try eating a few saltine crackers. The bicarborbonate of soda in the crackers helps with the nauesa and upset stomach. hope this helps! :)
 

Jeremy89

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I've been riding around only in the back captain's chair and side bench, while doing my ride alongs and after 9 hours or so a day i start to get dizzy sometimes or some minor headaches. Usually if I lie down on the bench while posting the headaches will go away.

Any tips?

I was the exact same way when I rode along, but this was in the mountains of California. I found that staring out the window made it worse so I tried to focus on something inside the ambo and that worked, but yeah I definitely know what you mean! Going code 3 down the winding mountain roads is very nauseating!
 

student2008

Forum Probie
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Thank you for asking this question!

I am currently a student in a NYC EMTB program. I go on my first and only (thus far!) ambulance rotation in a little more than a week from today.

I've suffered from various stages of motion sickness in the past and it dawned on me that assuming I don't have a nervous stomach for anxiety reasons (a nervous newbie on a bus? LOL!), I need to consider motion sickness, too! I mean I literally get motion sickness (but not vomiting, just usually dizziness, sometimes headaches, sometimes nausea when it's bad) simply by riding the bus (I usually ride the subway and I don't have motion sickness on trains, ever). The one time I was on an ambulance years ago (I was accompanying the patient), I remember feeling *woozy* ... embarrassing, heh, but I survived the ride without becoming Pt. #2, heh.

Meanwhile I'm going to get some Dramamine and test it on myself during this week, with the hope that I don't motion sickness. I've taken it in the past and it makes me drowsy sometimes, but I'll see how it goes. If it doesn't work, I'll try those acupuncture bands and other techniques.

Again, thanks for asking this question and hope your motion sickness improves!
 

jazminestar

Forum Crew Member
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when i first started working, i was prone to motion sickness, my partners were like 'don't worry, you'll get over it' but i still can't sit in the back for any longer then 20 min or so, or i start to get sick, even if i'm doing pt care and trying to not pay attention to the sick feeling......... :( also when i don't stay hydrated enough i i'm prone to get a little nasuea and headaches....ugh i hate it, so i try to drink a 2-3qt of water even if i have to pee 50 million times :)
 

BossyCow

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I've also heard that it helps to sniff alcohol wipes which works for all kinds of nausea. Just open it up and wave it under your motion sick co-workers nose.
 

Markhk

Forum Lieutenant
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1. I take Dramamine Less Drowsy (Meclizine) during the days when I know I'll always be in the back (i.e. paramedic internship). It works but I still feel a little groggy.

2. I had a Life Flight nurse tell me she swears by saltines (as mentioned before) or other salty snacks. Makes me wonder if that's why airlines keep them in the cabin.
 

Airwaygoddess

Forum Deputy Chief
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Sometimes the simple things work the best!

What helps with saltine crackers is the bicarbobate of soda that they are made with. This helps with the upset stomach. :)
 

medicdan

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I vaguely recall in an EMS magazine about a year ago, an article about motion sickness in the back, arguing that the nausea/vomiting that we see in some patients may not be related to an acute condition, rather, the ambulance ride, and that medics should consider giving anti-emetics before any symptoms begin.

I cant seem to find the article-- does anyone else remember it?
 

MikeRi24

Forum Crew Member
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I get the same thing. If you're going to take dramamine, get the non-drowsey stuff, otherwise you will be out like a light! I'm not terrible in the mod ambulances, but the vans are the worst for me (sucks because thats all the service I work for runs). I find that when I start feeling motion sick, I tend to heat up and if I can open a window and get some fresh air or turn the A/C on that REALLY helps.
 

traumateam1

Forum Asst. Chief
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Hey great article about motion sickness in patients. Theres been a few times p/t's of mine have gotten sick because of the long trip during a transfer or a routine call. Thanks. :D
 
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