Friday, 14 March 2008

Domestic abuse

Twelve emergency calls; one assisted-only, one no trace, one false alarm and nine by ambulance.
A 14 year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 17 year-old and was now bleeding heavily PV. I was called to attend and requested a female crew if possible, such is the delicacy of such incidents.

She was on a bed in the first aid room of a train station and had been helped by a female passenger when she suddenly collapsed on the train. Only then did the story of what happened to her come out.

She had allegedly met the man on the internet, arranged to rendezvous with him at a hotel and eventually had sex with him. This caused some damage to her and now she was lying there, shaking, crying and bleeding down below. It’s called statutory rape but it will probably come to nothing because of the perceived narrow age difference, but it’s the same crime, whether he is 16 or 60.

Then a 43 year-old male with muscular dystrophy and home oxygen that wasn’t working. I arrived at the small cramped flat to find his female friend of ten years trying to push what little air there was available into his nose via a small face mask. This clearly wasn’t helping because his sats were below 50% when I measured it. He was close to suspending but the woman seemed calm and not at all worried. She had become used to his ‘episodes’ but now he was in dire trouble. Her call had described him as having a very weak pulse and glazed eyes. That was accurate.

The crew arrived as I bagged him to support his meagre breaths and we rapidly moved him, albeit awkwardly, through the narrow, rubbish-filled rooms into the corridor and out to the waiting ambulance. He was stabilised with a bit of effort after five minutes but he needed to be blued in for sure.

A 74 year-old lady with severe DIB and a high temperature was lying in her bed, not communicating at all when I arrived and it took a lot of energy to carry her down the steep, narrow staircase of her home to the ambulance for yet another emergency run to hospital.

I met another ex-nurse tonight. She had collapsed in a theatre after the show and recovered quickly on oxygen. She had never had an episode like that before, she told me and it looked like she had simply fainted. Her BP was low but recovering, so she was allowed to go back to her hotel with her husband. She didn’t want to go to hospital; I think she understood the nature of her problem and realised that it might be a waste of time tying up NHS resources. Her ECG was normal and there were no medical issues of concern.

A no trace in the pouring rain next and the 17 year-old female who had allegedly collapsed was not on scene when I arrived with the police. An area search produced nothing but wet feet (my new boots are defective, so I am back to using my old, leaky pair while I wait for another delivery).

My next call was for a 29 year-old female who was having an allergic reaction. I found her sitting on the loo in a hotel with a couple of decent sized pools of vomit at her feet. Clearly, she had eaten something that didn’t agree with her. Her lips were swollen but her breathing was normal. She had a widespread rash but no itching. Her boyfriend had guided me in to where she was and the hotel staff seemed unconcerned that one of their guests had needed to call an ambulance. In fact, the receptionist was downright snooty with me when I went to get the crew, who were lost in another area.

‘I need to know what’s going on and who the person is that called you’, she demanded as I led the crew to where she was.

I didn’t have time to explain matters and I was put off by her attitude, so I told her she would have to wait. Politely, of course.

The poor woman on the loo was embarrassed and apologetic – tearful and scared. It was her boyfriend’s birthday and she thought she had ruined it but he was more worried about her condition.

As we took her into the ambulance I looked at her lips again and told her she would pay a fortune for the equivalent with Botox. This made her smile and I left with a contented grin and a kiss blown in my direction. All donations gratefully received.

Outside a noisy club, where the Paparazzi wait like vultures for their next photograph, a 25 year-old collapsed drunken girl vomited near my feet. Her friends were frantic because they believed she was choking to death, which didn’t explain her ability to speak clearly. She had ‘only a few’, according to her mates and I didn’t even try to put on a convinced face – I’m past that now.

On the way out of this job I witnessed an argument between a young man and his girlfriend (probably). It got heated and he began to throw her around like a rag doll. He was being extremely violent with her and I couldn’t morally roll by and ignore it, so I stopped and got out of the car, intent on saying something. Then common sense kicked in and I stayed back and called the police instead. At one point this guy had thrown the girl to the ground but nobody walking past tried to help or intervene and I can fully understand why these days.

When the cops arrived (by the truck load) she decided not to take it any further. It was the old ‘but I love him’ syndrome. The police could do noting because he hadn’t actually marked her, so he was allowed to go…she went with him. I hope she’s alright. By her actions I can only assume her brain had been injured.

My second encounter with chocolate came soon after a short break. A 29 year-old man and his friends had purchased some earlier in the evening and were now sick. He was suffering from a racing heart, dizziness and swollen hands too (bizarrely), so I was asked to go and rescue him.

He sat in the now closed pub with a friend and the police and I had a look at the offending ‘wrap’. A small brown lump of chocolate-rolled magic mushroom lay in a small packet. He had eaten enough to cause him problems that would only be determined in hospital and his mates upstairs were lying around, throwing up and feeling miserable. The cops checked on them and told me none of them wanted to go to hospital.

Correct me if I’m wrong but if you take a hallucinogenic drug, you expect a good time, don’t you? You really don’t want to be ill as a result. I’m guessing the purchasers of this particular batch were stitched up. So, if you are offered chocolate in a pub, don’t expect a bar of Dairy Milk.

A call to a 30 year-old ‘fitting’ in a hotel room turned out to be nothing of the sort. She was unwell and had been shaking around to demonstrate her discomfort. There was an awful smell of burnt paper in the room and I had to draw it to the attention of the Manager, who was present, because, even though it was very strong, he didn’t seem to notice. The woman explained that, for reasons only she is privy to, a piece of paper had been placed over the very hot bedside lamp.

A fight outside a nightclub in the West End next and I was left on scene for a long time before the police became available. The doormen had pinned one assailant to the wall and the other to the ground and the alleged victim was brought to me with a cut to his eye. After he was taken to hospital, his friend, who had been hiding in the shadows came over to me and said that he too had been assaulted. He had bumps and bruises around his face and he had lost his glasses and now couldn’t see. Despite my high visibility jacket, he failed to recognise who I was and presumed I was the police. Now that he knew better, he got increasingly angry at the fact that no police were around and caused a lot of trouble by raising his voice and getting in people’s faces, including mine.

Eventually, after the police had arrived and he had calmed down, I took him to hospital myself in the car. He promised to behave and I had to believe him. It was that or a long wait for another ambulance and I figured my colleagues were busy enough.

When we got to hospital I tried to reunite him with his friend but the guy with the eye injury had disappeared – he couldn’t be bothered to wait.

A long run out to the east for a 30 year-old man who was drunk in a spa. It was the early hours of the morning and I couldn’t imagine a spa would be open at this time of day but I was surprised to discover that a private health club stayed open 24 hours and the man in question was relaxing in a beautifully heated environment, with a lot of other men I should add – no women at all. He had taken ecstasy and was clucking a bit but he refused to go to hospital and quite frankly, didn’t need to.

My last call of the night was to a 24-hour Internet café for a 30 year-old male who was unconscious. I figured he might be drunk but when I arrived, I saw him lying on the floor, not moving, with a small crowd of quietly interested people around him. It was like a library inside. A library with a big black man on the floor.

It took me ten minutes to rouse him because I knew he was faking as soon as I started working on my obs. He confirmed that he had taken heroin and I sat him up and we discussed the meaning of life. Well, we didn’t. He decided to inform me and everyone else that he was from Zimbabwe and that he was going to kill the president (of Zimbabwe I imagine) and furthermore he hated the UK, and all who lived in it, white people in particular. I reminded him that he too lived in the UK but that was water and he was a duck’s back.

I had been close to administering Narcan when I first came across him but I’m glad I didn’t because he was raucous enough without being fully awake. Every time he stood, he fell and I had to take the weight, so I sat him on a chair and he addressed everyone around him with insults and other comments that had nothing to do with reality.

It was still like a library in there. The customers just sat and stared. Maybe they weren’t real; maybe they were cyber people.

Anyway, the crew arrived and they weren’t too pleased with their new charge and it took us another twenty minutes to get him to comply and go to hospital. He went like a lamb. Maybe the free NHS care he’ll receive will soften his attitude to this country and it’s people. Maybe but possibly not.

Be safe.

1 comment:

NJ EMS said...

Wow!!!!!and I thought my city was busy