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Brought to you by Washington University and NAEMSP, our mission is to provide education to the EMS practitioner who is always asking “but why?” using physician-level expert commentary, queries from paramedics, and some good old fashioned humor.

May 31, 2021

For paramedics, click here for CE credits!

We all know the standard phrase in EMS

But did you know that, in this episode, the But Why team added, "squirt mustard on the chest" to the EMS mantra?  

Find out how the mustard phrase arose in this hilarious episode that covers cardiac arrest treatment history and myths with

Dr. Adam Heilman

Click here to check it out today!

Thank you for listening!

Hawnwan Philip Moy MD 

Gina Pellerito EMT-P

John Reagan EMT-P


Works Cited

1. American Heart Association. (n.d.). History of CPR.

2. Bonnes JL, Brouwer MA, Navarese EP, Verhaert DV, Verheugt FW, Smeets JL, de Boer MJ. Manual Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Versus CPR Including a Mechanical Chest Compression Device in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Comprehensive Meta-analysis From Randomized and Observational Studies. Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Mar;67(3):349-360.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2015.09.023. Epub 2015 Nov 19. PMID: 26607332.

3. Cheskes S, Dorian P, Feldman M, McLeod S, Scales DC, Pinto R, Turner L, Morrison LJ, Drennan IR, Verbeek PR. Double sequential external defibrillation for refractory ventricular fibrillation: The DOSE VF pilot randomized controlled trial. Resuscitation. 2020 May;150:178-184. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2020.02.010. Epub 2020 Feb 19. PMID: 32084567.

4. Delorenzo A, Nehme Z, Yates J, Bernard S, Smith K. Double sequential external defibrillation for refractory ventricular fibrillation out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Resuscitation. 2019 Feb;135:124-129. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2018.10.025. Epub 2018 Oct 26. PMID: 30612966.

5. Fig Leaf Times Two by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.



6.  Kette F, Ghuman J, Parr M. Calcium administration during cardiac arrest: a systematic review. Eur J Emerg Med. 2013 Apr;20(2):72-8. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e328358e336. PMID: 22990036.

7.  Landry A, Foran M, Koyfman A. Does calcium administration during cardiopulmonary resuscitation improve survival for patients in cardiac arrest? Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Aug;64(2):187-9. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.07.510. Epub 2013 Aug 30. PMID: 23992943.

8. Mapp JG, Hans AJ, Darrington AM, Ross EM, Ho CC, Miramontes DA, Harper SA, Wampler DA; Prehospital Research and Innovation in Military and Expeditionary Environments (PRIME) Research Group. Prehospital Double Sequential Defibrillation: A Matched Case-Control Study. Acad Emerg Med. 2019 Sep;26(9):994-1001. doi: 10.1111/acem.13672. Epub 2019 Jan 6. PMID: 30537337.

9.  Mount DB (2020).  Treatment and Prevention of Hyperkalemia in Adults. In T.W. Post Sterns RH, Forman JP (Eds.). UpToDate. Available from:

10. Poole K, Couper K, Smyth MA, Yeung J, Perkins GD. Mechanical CPR: Who? When? How? Crit Care. 2018 May 29;22(1):140. doi: 10.1186/s13054-018-2059-0. PMID: 29843753; PMCID: PMC5975402.

11.  Pozner CN, Link MS (2020). Supportive data for advanced cardiac life support in adults with sudden cardiac arrest. In T.W. Page RL, Walls RM, Dardas TF (Eds.).  UpToDate.  Available from:

12. Vallentin MF, Granfeldt A, Holmberg MJ, Andersen LW. Drugs during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Curr Opin Crit Care. 2020 Jun;26(3):242-250. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000718. PMID: 32348092.

13. Velissaris D, Karamouzos V, Pierrakos C, Koniari I, Apostolopoulou C, Karanikolas M. Use of Sodium Bicarbonate in Cardiac Arrest: Current Guidelines and Literature Review. J Clin Med Res. 2016 Apr;8(4):277-83. doi: 10.14740/jocmr2456w. Epub 2016 Feb 27. PMID: 26985247; PMCID: PMC4780490.