The Paramedic is the first responder to medical emergencies outside the sanctity of the Medbay. With your ambulance and hardsuit, you can reach personnel in extremely hazardous conditions. If you pay attention to the tracking computer, a portable monitor, keep an eye on the radio, and otherwise be vigilant, you will be a lifesaver just as much, if not more so, than your doctorate wielding coworkers.
Just as the Medical Doctor, you should know what most chemicals do. They will be your arsenal for saving lives. Your job, more often than not, is bringing patients to the doctors so that they can treat the patient. Once you get the patient in the hands of a practitioner, you should be off to respond to the next call, and not hovering over cryogenics.
The Other Man in Blue
As the Paramedic, it is your duty to be on call for whenever anyone, anywhere on the station, requires emergency medical aid. While the rest of the Medical staff stays inside Medbay to do what needs to be done, your job is to be on the lookout for anyone that requires medical attention, but either cannot drag themselves to Medbay in time, simply cannot waste time doing so, or is dead. As the Paramedic, your job is to find these people, administer first aid, and drag them back to Medbay if necessary.
For this job, you have several tools at your disposal:
Also known as the "Fiddly Trolley" for its complete inability not to be a buggy mess.
The Ambulance is, at least nominally, your main method of transporting wounded individuals to Medbay. It travels at standard speed (ie, the speed of anyone who is unemcumbered), even when loaded with personnel. It has two components, the Trolley and the Tug.
- The Tug is the part that you, as the Paramedic, use. Simply click on it, or drag your sprite onto it, in order to get on it. After that, turn the engine on via the Object menu in order to move around. Keep in mind, you need to have the key inserted into the tug for this to work. The tug starts with one key in it by default, and there's a spare in your closet.
- The Trolley is the part that you use to pull wounded personnel along with you. Simply drag someone onto the trolley and they will be placed on it. Attaching the Trolley to the Tug means that it'll automatically be dragged along at the same speed. Needless to say, this is inordinately useful for when your patient is emcumbered; simply plop them on the Trolley, and speed off.
In order to attach the Trolley to the Tug, they must be adjacent to one another. Simply drag and drag the Tug onto the Trolley in order for the hook to occur. Keep in mind, this is often very buggy, so if you end up in a situation where it simply doesn't work, contact an Administrator.
Inside one of your closets, you will find a spaceworthy suit and helmet, with Extended-Capacity Emergency Oxygen Tanks in the other closet. This allows you to rescue anyone that happens to be in space, in addition to providing an excellent safety measure in case of a Viral Biohazard or massive station damage.
Crew Monitoring Computer
Your garage has one of these by default. This Computer can track the Suit Sensors of everyone on the station, and has two modes:
- List: Simply provides a full, written-out list of everyone that has their Suit Sensors active, in addition to any relevant information depending on Suit Sensors level, such as damage to their person, location, or even life/death status.
- Tracker Map: Allows you to locate all personnel with their Suit Sensors set to maximum on a map of the station. Incredibly useful if you don't want to cross-check coordinates.
Always remember to remind the crew to set their suit sensors to maximum. Even without any Antagonists on the station, accidents happen, and knowing where someone is can spell the difference between life, death and a horrible cloning monstrosity.
In addition to this computer, it is also a very good idea to carry around a Handheld Crew Monitor, available from NanoMED vendor machines, as it functions as a portable Crew Monitoring Computer, and fits in your pocket! Another good addition is the Crew Pinpointer that shows the selected crew's position relative to your location.
In addition to basic access to NanoMED vendor machines, you also have access to the Medical Fridge, and the small storage room below Chemistry. Make those kits count, as you never know how competent your Chemist is!
It's always good practice to carry around some medication for the major Damage Types. Most of this is already covered in the Guide to Medicine, but here are the most basic chemicals you'll be wanting to carry around:
- Brute Damage: Styptic Powder or Synthflesh
- Burn Damage: Silver Sulfadiazine or Synthflesh
- Toxin Damage: Charcoal or Pentetic Acid
- Respiratory Damage: Salbutamol or Perfluorodecalin (keep in mind the latter is addictive, so use with care!). Emergency Autoinjectors are also a great choice, especially for patients in Critical Condition.
- Brain Damage: Mannitol
Remember, you're not supposed to do Medbay's job for them, so don't carry around half of their medical supplies when responding to injuries. Having a couple of pills/patches for each damage type is usually acceptable for most situations, and in case of major emergencies, focus on getting people to Medbay instead of tending to them on the field.
As mentioned before, your job is to locate injured personnel, tend to their wounds, and bring them to Medbay if they're in bad enough shape. This means that you should not, under regular circumstances, be performing field surgery or fixing someone who's in Hard Critical Condition. That's Medbay's job, not yours. You're just meant to drag them back to the sparkly white halls of Medbay.
However, this does not mean you cannot practice medicine on the go. Most of the time, you'll be tending to minor injuries that can be fixed with a simple first aid kit, such as minor bruising or burns, or even the occasional toxins buildup. If the person in question isn't severely hurt, consider simply giving them some medication and sending them on their way. This saves your time, their time, and Medbay's time. If the patient requires surgery, be it from broken bones or internal bleeding, get them to Medbay as soon as possible.
However, when a patient is in such a bad shape that you can almost see their spirit leaving their body, it's time to haul ass. Put them on the Trolley, or drag them around on a roller bed, and make for home base. Here are a few simple ways of stabilizing a patient if they happen to be in rough enough shape:
- Emergency Autoinjectors: These instantly administer 10 units of Epinephrine, which functions as a fantastic medication for Respiratory Damage and, if the patient is severely injured, treats Brute and Burn Damage quite well too. If your patient is approaching death's door, jab them with an Injector and hope they're not too injured for it to work.
- CPR: If you and the patient both have no mask on, you can perform basic CPR to slightly reduce Respiratory Damage. This works mostly when the person is very nearly dead and the last vestiges of life are draining away in the form of respiratory arrest. Keep performing CPR every couple of seconds to keep the person alive as long as possible.
- Defibrillation: If all else fails and the patient has just died on the way, consider using a Defibrillator to bring them back just long enough to try another emergency method. If nothing else, it'll keep their body fresh enough that they won't be unsalvageable by the time they get help in Medbay.
When it comes to legitimate Triage, you most likely will not have to apply it unless everything has gone wrong. Most of the time, you'll be handling one dead person at a time, but if multiple people have just died, then ask yourself the following questions:
- Severity: "How hurt is this person?" (The more injured someone is, the more priority they should be given)
- Rank: "What is this person's rank? Are they an important element of Command structure, or just a regular worker?" (If the person is a member of Command, they should probably take some priority over a regular Engineer or Chef)
- Safety: "Is this person a member of Security, and do we need more Security elements active?" (If there's a major Security concern aboard the station, getting Security elements up and running ASAP becomes top priority)
- Resources: "Do we have the capacity to handle this person?" (It's not worth prioritizing someone if they need a massive surgical intervention you have no way of providing due to a lack of Surgeons)
- Recoverability: "Is this person non-clonable?" (Certain species cannot be cloned, and should be handled quickly in order to allow for Defibrillation
- Time of Death: "How long ago did this person die?" (After 3 minutes, Defibrillation ceases to be an option)
Remember, your job is to get everyone back alive. Reading up on real world triage methods may ver well improve your ability to respond in-game.