Monday, 29 September 2008

Man hits bus - bus hits back; bus wins

Day shift: Six calls; all by ambulance.

Stats: 1 RTC with minor injury; 1 Hyperglycaemic; 1 Dizzy person; 2 Chest pains 1 RTC with potentially serious injuries.

I had to take myself off to Moorfield Eye Hospital before I started my shift. This chronic conjunctivitis, stye or whatever I have been suffering for the past five months had finally got the better of me and a colleague suggested I do something about it. I’m lazy like that – I don’t go to see my doctor unless I think something will kill me or it gets so annoying that I’m left with no choice. I’m not the best ad for medical compliance.

So, I went and I got it diagnosed, after worrying that it may be cancer or something ugly and permanent. I have Blepharitis. It’s not dirty and it’s not infectious. I didn’t get it from a patient (which was one of my theories) and I have been walking around with the world’s reddest (and at times most swollen) eyelids for ages…for nothing. All I need to do is bathe them twice a day every day for as long as it takes. Silly me.

I was cancelled for the 6 year-old who’d fallen from a third floor window and given a bus vs. pedestrian call instead. I arrived to find her sitting on the bus, nursing a bruised leg, which she earned by crossing the vehicle’s path while it was still moving. Tsk!

A 33 year-old diabetic lady allowed her blood sugar to reach a level where my monitor (and hers) read ‘HI’, indicating that it was too high to be given a number, so she was given fluids and taken away from work and off to hospital. She’d been vomiting and feeling very unwell for days. That, I suggested, was the best hint she’d get.

My next job was a running call. I was flagged down by someone as I drove back from re-feuling my car. I thought he wanted a taxi and was just about to explain that I was an ambulance when he asked if I had been called to his office. I told him that I hadn’t but I checked with Control and they confirmed that an ambulance was on its way to this address. I stopped to help out and was directed to a very large builder who was sitting outside a construction site, looking quite pale. He’d suddenly become very dizzy and unsteady on his feet. He had to hold on to me when I moved him from the wall he was perched on to a nearby chair.

The ambulance turned up within a minute of my obs and I handed him over. I don’t think he was in danger but his dizzy spell would have to be investigated. Cardiac problems manifest in many ways.

My first of two chest pain calls led me to a van parked in the street, inside which a man sat, pale and sweaty, clutching his chest. His first words were ‘I’m HiV positive’ and I thanked him for telling me. I have no fear of this but it’s nice to be informed; it shows respect for another person’s safety.

The man had a history of MI and this looked real enough to be another, so he was taken to hospital without delay as soon as the ambulance arrived.

The second chest pain I was called to wasn’t my patient. An ambulance had been despatched but I was asked to take a piece of equipment to the crew because theirs had failed. I ended up following an ambulance, which I assumed was the one I was tasked to accompany, to the wrong call, half a mile away. Once I’d realised my mistake, I got back on track and found the crew and their patient at a private medical centre in the city.

It sounded more like a PE than cardiac-related and once I’d handed over the equipment required, I left them to it. I am the humble servant of those who need me. I would draw the line at delivering tea though.

On the way back, I came across a RTC in which a bus had hit a pedestrian. Three solos were on scene and I stopped to assist (I am basically nosey and like to keep busy). The man was on the ground and complained of shoulder and hip pain. The large crack (photo) on the windscreen of the bus indicated mechanisms for potentially serious injuries, especially if his head had made contact, so he was collared, boarded and taken away to hospital. I assisted by being yet another emergency vehicle obstructing the free-flow of traffic in the area. Still, it’s nice to know that I’m useful.

Be safe.


stuart said...

Can you just take pictures of accident scenes or something? Is it partly related to "this is what the accident was like" or something?

Anonymous said...

I can understand the desire to help but it can be counter productive as it means we have no other cars for other calls. Especially when there are solo's already on scene...

Anonymous said...

"I’m not the best ad for medical compliance."

I'm yet to come across a medical professional who is!!

Anonymous said...

Stuart - we take photos in order to show the A&E team what they are dealing with. In some cases, it is a lot easier to produce some photographs to explain the mechanisms of the accident rather than faff about attemping to explain using only words. Each ambulance is equipped with a polaroid camera in order for this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (02/10/08 10:27) - I get the jist of what your saying, but if it was a serious medical trauma (which the picture and description suggests it was), then the more hands on deck the better.

If it was you lying on the ground with a busted shoulder I'm sure you'd feel the same.

A better question would be why there were 4 solo responders on scene and no ambulance - ultimately one for Mr Brown but symptomatic of the fact that its better to get to a scene quick to stop the clock than it is to get an ambulance there quick?