Saturday, 5 April 2008

A quiet day except for the noise

Now, where did I leave that brush of mine?

Four calls - all by ambulance.

People don’t come out in foul weather, so things tend to quieten down on the frontline.

A 48 year-old man with chest pain at a police station complained bitterly about having been taken from his home in the early hours by the police after a complaint was made against him by his boyfriend from a remote callbox. He had high blood pressure and hadn’t been able to take his tablets when he was arrested, so now he had chest pain and a headache.

His blood pressure was a little high when I checked it and his discomfort may have been the result of this or the combination of a high BP and his current stressful situation. It didn’t help him at all to be so wound up and angry but it was one of those ‘put yourself in their position’ type things.

Later on a 70 year-old man who had just finished a 90-second fit and was slouched in his chair, breathing noisily, had my attention. His family told me that he had regular episodes like this ever since he suffered a stroke – no new bleed had been found since the last seizure but clinically, he looked as if he’d had some kind of brain attack, so he was taken to hospital as he recovered a little on oxygen.

A RTC in the West End and I was originally cancelled due to other resources being on scene and no patient requiring us, apparently. I was on top of it, however and parked up behind a vehicle with severe front-end damage, leaking petrol all over the road and smoke coming out of the engine. This was a dangerous scene and lots of people were far too close to the smoking car.

One MRU colleague and two CRU’s were there and I used my car to block the road on the side of the accident. We made things as safe as possible but we needed the LFB to attend.

I noticed my MRU friend was holding on to an obviously drunk man and I wondered why – there seemed to be no connection between him and the two vehicles involved in this crash. It was the middle of the afternoon, the roads were fairly dry now and visibility was good, so the lack of casualties meant that it had probably been one of those ‘not paying attention’ deals.

‘Who’s this guy?’ I asked my mate.

He pointed to him as he held his coat arm and said ‘He’s the driver of that car.’

I was gob-smacked and the crowd loved the look on my face I think because they giggled and smirked.

The man was so drunk he could barely stand and kept wobbling all over the place. If my colleague hadn’t been holding on to him, he would have fallen flat on his face. He’d allegedly been driving the badly damaged car that had rammed into some innocent woman’s vehicle in front. She had originally said she was fine but now she was complaining of neck pain and we decided to put a collar on her and carry out a ‘rapid take-down’ (a vertical to horizontal repositioning technique) onto a spinal board when the ambulance arrived.

The LFB had arrived as we made the scene safe and they got to work preventing the car from going up in flames. The police arrived later on and took the drunken driver away for questioning and I left when my paperwork was done and the way was clear for me to drive off.

I received a call to a 15-month baby who was ‘about to fit’ and had a ‘funny taste in the back of the throat’. I read this and wondered at the perception of the parents who had obviously worked that out themselves. We often get calls to babies with information added like ‘has a headache’. This is a symptom; how the hell do they know?

Anyway, she was a single mum in a council flat with a blaring television and three other kids and she had the little one sat on her knee. The little one was conscious, breathing and alert. Scared too, when I walked in and started prodding around.

Mum had also reported a ‘hard stomach’ and fidgeting and this is what made her think that the child was going to fit. The infant had a history of seizures but no cause had been identified, so I guess her fear was real enough but her logic was flawed.

She explained that she thought her daughter tasted something funny because she kept sticking her tongue out as if she had eaten something disagreeable. Then she added another important piece of information.

‘Oh, I forgot to say. She’s been farting a lot too.’

Well, there you go, I thought. A gassy kid, hard stomach, fidgety, funny taste in mouth (probably acid).

‘I think she’s got bad wind and that’s all’ I said.

‘Oh’, she said.

Her neighbour turned up to be concerned alongside her and the crew arrived to a cacophony of kids, the Glaswegian neighbour and an explanation/handover from a Glaswegian paramedic trying to compete with the noise. If the telly hadn’t been switched off at my request, there would have been nowhere to hide – I escaped to the car and went home.

Be safe.

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