Monday, 27 October 2008


Night shift: Eleven calls; one no-trace; one false alarm; one declined and the rest by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Faint; 1 Abdo pain; 3 eTOH (including assaults); 1 Assault with head injury; 1 DIB; 1 Unwell.

The weekend continues with an assortment of calls, including the usual suspects involved with alcohol.

The no-trace was for a collapsed 40 year-old male who didn’t exist when I got on scene. A witness had called us but declined to stick around – that always looks dodgy. The police arrived a few minutes behind me but the guy had either walked off after his sleep or he hadn’t taken up pavement space in the first place.

A first aider from a theatre ran out looking very worried and said ‘hurry up, she’s getting worse!’ and so I asked Control to speed up the process if possible, thinking that my 45 year-old female patient who’d fainted was having a cardiac event.

Once inside, however, it was clear she’d just passed out and was unwell with the heat of the place. She told me she’d been experiencing hot flushes and at times felt cold. Her hands were tingling (probably because she’d been hyperventilating) and she had abdo pain to start with. I asked her if she was menopausal and she confirmed that she’d just started it. This was probably the culprit but she was taken by ambulance just in case. Meanwhile her friends were digging her because they’d only just arrived to see the show and now they were going to miss it. There was good humour in their comments though.

Another abdo pain in a restaurant next. A 54 year-old woman passed out after complaining of stomach pains. I found the place after negotiating the terrible road closures around the Covent Garden area – the poor woman and her partner were left sitting in the basement for a long time before I got there and none of the staff even asked if she was alright. I had to find my own way down to her.

Her BP was low, so she was laid down for a bit until it recovered but once the crew arrived and her ECG was checked I found a couple of anomalies and thought it would be best if she went for a check-up.

A suspect vehicle was found in Mayfair, close to an Embassy, so I was asked to attend the RVP with a crew and a couple of other resources as the police explosives dogs sniffed around the cars in the little side street. There were at least ten vehicles on scene, including the specialist bomb team whose truck houses an explosives robot. The lorry had been seen parked there for hours and a couple of PC’s weren’t happy with it, so we were all unleashed to the area. Plenty of people in the local buildings found the scene entertaining but they must have been concerned about their proximity to all this activity.

We were stood down after 30 minutes when nothing was found. A lorry driver is going to get more than a ticket when he comes back.

A six foot plus Norwegian man was allegedly assaulted in the doorway of his hotel and he lay on the carpet completely confused. He had blood coming from his lip but no significant injury and I spent some time trying to persuade him that he should get checked out. A witness told me that he’d seen him ‘flying’ through the door and I reasoned that if he’d been punched it would have been by someone at least his own height. The possibility that he had just tripped awkwardly seemed more likely. He was very, very drunk.

In the end, after the police had arrived and a crew was on scene, he was taken away by a friend who said he’d look after him.

Two young girls were assaulted in a Soho night club by a man when he took offence to them. ‘I don’t care if you are a man or a woman’, he’d allegedly said to one of them just before he head-butted her. Then he smashed a glass over the head of her friend who tried to defend her.

When I arrived a couple of doormen were pinning the guy to a wall outside, waiting for the police. His girlfriend was with him…she must be very proud of her man.

Another young woman was left abandoned by her so-called friends when she became too drunk to stand. She vomited all over the toilet floor and passed out. I arrived to find her bent over a sink feeling sorry for herself and apologising to me for the trouble she was causing. I asked the ‘booze bus’, which is running every weekend, to come and collect her. She didn’t have enough money for a cab home, so she would spend the night on the good ship NHS until she was fit for the bus.

A fight broke out on the Embankment and two 28 year-old men were given head injuries. One of them, in an attempt to escape across the busy road, slammed into a car. Both had no memory of being hit and both needed to go to hospital, so I needed two ambulances for them. I was draining our resources single-handedly this weekend.

There was a bit of aggression between them and another man and I was caught in the middle of it. For a moment I thought I might get myself punched just for being there in the wrong colour, so I made my usual de-fusing speech and things calmed down as I treated the men’s injuries.

For an hour or so I bantered with the crew of the booze bus, which I love dearly, in Soho, where they park up and wait for calls. I had time to laugh and relax with coffee for a change.

I wasn’t required for the DIB outside a hostel because the crew arrived with me, so I left them to it.

An unwell 37 year-old woman who said her heart was ‘fading’ prompted an emergency call at her workplace but the more we spoke to her (crew on scene), the less I believed her. She had no medical problems at all and seemed to be tired. She wanted a night off work I think.

My last call was for a 19 year-old woman with sickle cell crisis but I didn’t see her because the crew arrived with me and I let them get on with it. Thus my Saturday night passed into the annals of history…until the next one.

Be safe.

1 comment:

Little Miss Ileostomy said...

It's amazing how many people go to the theatre when they don't feel well! I worked FoH at a theatre for three years and was forever being asked to give "first aid" to women who had fainted. We very rarely called 999 though!

In my first week we had someone taken ill just before the show started and they had to put out a "is there a dr in the house" call over the tanoy system. We only had one death though, which luckily happened in the bar area so it didn' disturb the show - and the local firemen came in to help with the CPR until the ambulance arrived.