Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Viagra man

Day shift: Six calls; one assisted-only; one taken in the car and the rest by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Abdo pain; 1 Asleep; 1 Ankle sprain; 1 cardiac problems; 1 ?food poisoning; 1 non-cardiac chest pain.

An alcoholic staggered towards my car when I arrived on scene. He’d called us from a phone box and waited for my arrival at 7am. He had right-side upper abdominal pain and a history of liver problems – surprise, surprise. The 38 year-old seemed in genuine pain but the fact that he’d been drinking all night kind of put the brakes on my usual outpouring of sympathy, although he still got the same treatment everyone gets – pain relief and an ambulance to hospital.


An unconscious man on a bus got a rude awakening from the crew as they stepped on board just ahead of me. Before I’d reached the bottom of the stairs leading to the top deck, he was making his sleepy-headed way down with my colleagues behind him. Prior to this thirty-second action the bus driver and his mates at the terminus had stood and watched in what I can only describe as awe, as if this had all been an LAS magic trick. Once removed we felt it was our duty to remind the bus staff that it’s quite easy and not very dangerous to shout at someone and wake them up – ‘Kindly exit the vehicle because it has now terminated’ or ‘Oi! Get off the bus' will do.



A sunny weekend meant a lot of visitors to the centre and my next call was to an Italian man who’d stumbled down a few steps but had been clumsy enough to sprain his ankle in doing so. Only one member of his family spoke English, so she became my interpreter, although she wasn’t always accurate. When I suggested taking the patient to hospital in the car, she looked dumbfounded and asked me why I thought her father should be driving at all with a dodgy ankle, never mind in an emergency vehicle he’d never been trained to use!

I managed to untangle the conversation and took the hopping man and his daughter in the car. The rest of the family had to walk across the bridge to get to the hospital. I really need a special ‘patient’s friends and relatives roof rack’.


On a number of occasions I have bored you with the fact that I receive calls to the National Gallery or the vicinity of Trafalgar Square when I am sitting on it on stand-by. Once again, I proved to be in the right place…blah, blah, when I got a call for a 60 year-old man ‘not alert’ in the Gallery’s restaurant. It took me all of ten seconds to respond…I did a U-turn and parked up basically.

The man was with his wife and he’d passed out before proceeding to vomit a number of times. Other diners carried on eating and drinking, as they do but they donned their ‘not really looking’ faces and you only get that in places where food is being consumed at the same time as vomit is being expelled.

The crew arrived soon after I’d started my obs and the man never really showed any signs of improvement; he was very pale, very unwell looking and still unstable in terms of his level of consciousness. I could see a possible cardiac connection here and when his ECG was done in the ambulance (he had to exit on the bed because he needed to lie down) it showed a possible heart block, which had the effect of slowing his heart rate down and causing his blood pressure to drop. There was no doubt about him going to hospital of course.


Panicking neighbours flagged me down as I arrived at the address of the next patient. She had a history of CVA, so because she’d collapsed in the toilet and was suddenly weak and doubly incontinent, the assumption was that she’d had another. When I got to her she was lying on the toiler floor with a pool of fresh vomit around her head. She was well aware of what was going on and there was no weakness or lack of function as far as her limbs were concerned. In fact, her story, related to myself and the crew when they arrived, indicated a possible food link and food poisoning seemed likely, although a CVA can never be ruled out pre-hospital.


My shift ended with a 75 year-old man for whom an ambulance had been called because he was complaining of chest pain. I found him sitting in the doorway of a pub, surrounded by young women, all of whom seemed concerned about him. He was smiling, chatting and giving a tourist directions when I approached him. I had to wait until he’d finished before I could introduce myself, although the uniform and recent blue lights and sirens should have been the heaviest of hints. He was properly distracted, however. Well, he was until he was aware of me, then he clutched his chest and an agony crossed his face for my benefit.

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.

‘It’s me chest. I fell onto a table three days ago and now it hurts’ he informed me.

‘Three days ago?’

‘Well, I thought it would get better if I just popped some paracetamol’.

At least I knew it wasn’t a cardiac complaint. He didn’t have any heart problems and he discussed his sex life at length to the crew when they joined me, proving that he still had life in him yet.

‘Yeah, she lets me have Viagra three times a week. I’ve got to perform twice tonight’, he tells us as we wince and smile at the same time.

Be safe.

3 comments:

Emily T said...

A fair mix of jobs there! Refreshing that they weren't all alcohol related too! Sometimes you do wonder whether any genuine people manage to get through to the emergency services.

petrolhead said...

Patients' friends and relatives roof rack - I am SO going to invent that!! RRVs everywhere will have grannies on the roof! ;)

Viagra online said...

Wow I wish they had something like that down here in California! I mean there are a lot of people down here and it would most definitely be a memorable day in a kodak moment type of history!
It really does look like a fun event and I wonder what other events like it they have planned! :)
With events like this Im sure with its positivity it will only enhance smiles all around the world!