Six Emergencies – all taken by ambulance.
How much rain do we need? Storm flashes and sunshine all day today; the weather just couldn’t make its mind up.
My first call was to a frequent flyer that travels out of his hostel to town and calls ambulances when he gets bored or lonely. The 23 year-old was ‘fitting on a bus’ this time, although he tends to have ‘near-fits’ in the street. He is inoffensive and always apologetic. He didn’t have a fit – he never does but he is known to be epileptic and so he was taken to hospital as usual. I spent ten minutes with him and then chatted with my friend and MRU colleague before heading south west, where another person was fitting.
The 80 year-old had actually just fainted in a hairdressing salon but the customers thought she had been shaking a bit on the floor, so assumed epilepsy – an easy mistake to make. She was a little dizzy and pale when I got to her and the crew, who arrived soon after me, took over, leaving me to my paperwork and the next call.
The rain brings RTCs out in numbers and my first of the tour was to a 20 year-old female who’d been knocked down by a bicycle on a busy main road. She was a tourist and only had a grazed elbow but she cried out in pain every time she was touched, making a proper examination difficult and noisy. Even the crew had a hard time trying to console her; she had a very, very low pain threshold I think.
Then a man with a history of allergies but no definitive diagnosis of anaphylaxis, even though his tongue was as fat as a cow’s. His breathing was normal and he had no problems speaking to me but it was clear he was uncomfortable and needed proper attention to deflate his swollen muscle.
If you get chest pain, don’t ignore it. My next patient - a 28 year-old - did when he experienced it a few days earlier and now he was suffering again but it wasn’t going away. He had been exerting himself, so the angina may be a warning that something isn’t right. The GTN I gave him seemed to reduce the pain considerably and by the time he was in the ambulance having his ECG done, his score had dropped from eight to three. The ECG itself looked normal, apart from deep Q waves on one lead but we never underestimate the body’s ability to regain control during a crisis, so off he went to hospital.
Epilepsy can be triggered by the most mundane things and my last patient was on the floor of a restaurant, with her worried family around her, after having a short seizure as a result of banging her elbow on the wall accidentally. She was vomiting when I arrived and very pale. Even though she was recovering well, she didn’t look fit enough to get up and continue her night out in town, so the crew carried out a complete MOT after my obs and she was taken to hospital to rest until she was safe enough to travel again.
A routine shift with no dramas, thankfully – except for the periodic torrential rain.