Monday, 3 December 2007

Short and sweet

Four emergencies – one assist-only, two conveyed and only one taken by ambulance.

Early shifts with a full complement of ambulances means that I can have a fairly quiet day – like this one. None of the calls were particularly urgent, so I dealt with most of them myself. I considered not bothering to post this one but this is supposed to be a reflective diary, so every shift should be recorded I guess.

A 72 year-old male who had a near faint was my first patient. He lived in a small flat with just a cat for company (his wife was long dead). He hadn’t almost fainted at all - he had been having trouble sleeping and settled down on his sofa to tell me about his weird dreams – I think he was just lonely and needed a human conversation but I also suspected he was depressed so I advised him to see his GP.

He agreed to visit his doctor the next day and I left him alone again (except for the cat). He told me he made his own pickled onions and offered me a jar on the way out. I politely declined – I’m not a huge fan of them.

I took my next patient, a 54 year-old man with back and leg pain to hospital in the car. The call had come in as a ‘DIB’, which of course was nonsense – the man had sciatica. His symptoms were already known to his GP.

My next patient also went to hospital in the back of my car. She was a 25 year-old who had fainted because she was having her period. She had a history of passing out like this apparently. She took a long time to recover fully but she wasn't critical.

My last call of the shift was for a 17 year-old RAF cadet who was vomiting at a railway station. When I arrived he was being taken care of by the BTP and about ten of his friends, all carrying their heavy back packs after a weekend away on an air force base. The tap water on the base was being checked for contamination because a number of other young lads had fallen ill with diarrhoea and vomiting as a result of drinking it. I found it surprising that they were letting the others go home without checking their health or at least giving them a letter of warning to seek medical advice if symptoms started. This young man’s problems began on the train home and he still had a long way to go.

The crew arrived and I explained the situation. They took him and one of his friends, complete with full back packs, to hospital.

Be safe.

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