Thursday, 15 January 2009

The tipple cure

Beats an injection I guess...

Day shift: Four calls; all by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Chest pain; 1 Faint; 1 Frequent flyer; 1 ? TIA

Remember when (please refer to any old black and white movie) it was considered useful to drink brandy for ailments? Even doctors used to recommend ‘a tipple’ and, of course, there is something beneficial in it for some conditions…but not for chest pain indicating angina. I was on the street with a 67 year-old man whose two sons had insisted an ambulance was needed when he developed chest pain. He had a history of heart attacks and they were taking no risks with him.

‘I’m okay now’, he told me, ‘I’ve had a drop of brandy’.

‘That’s a very old-fashioned remedy’ I suggested.

‘I’m an old man’ he said, ending the debate.

His pain was all but gone by the time the ambulance arrived but he was taken to hospital for good measure (excuse the pun).


When I finished with the brandy-drinking man, I wandered towards Oxford Street and got a call for a 30 year-old female who’d fainted. I was only a minute from the location and was on top of it when I got cancelled for ‘a nearer vehicle’. This nearer vehicle was, in fact, half a mile down the road from me. I called Control to suggest that maybe I was nearer but by the time I’d explained everything, the crew was on scene and I became a third leg.


A call for a 42 year-old man who was ‘about to fit’ rang a bell. I’ve posted several times about this frequent flyer – this is his M.O. but we always run on the calls because we can’t be sure. Maybe simply asking for his name would help…but nobody ever seems to do that before we are despatched and even then I’m sure we wouldn’t take the risk in case he genuinely fits – something none of us have ever seen, despite the claim that he is epileptic. Every call is the same – ‘feels he is about to fit’.

I wasn’t sure it was him but when I got on scene I found the ambulance crew already dealing with the patient on an underground platform. It was indeed the frequent flyer I had suspected from the call description and he was resplendent in a suit and clean shoes for a change. He was also much brighter than normal and I’m sure the presence of three females (underground staff) had a lot to do with that.

He always goes to hospital because if he didn’t, another call would be generated later on. As far as I’m aware nothing is being done about his frequent calls.


The shift ends with a call to a 75 year-old man who was discovered by two shoppers slumped over his walking stick in the street. He was confused and vague when I asked him questions and he insisted that he was fine but his behaviour was consistent with a possible TIA, so he was taken to hospital for his own good, after some gentle persuasion.



Be safe.

1 comment:

Drip Stand said...

We cops deal with Frequent Flyers by giving them a stern warning and then slapping them with an £80 penalty ticket for wasting our time (if they're really persistent). Maybe you could collaborate with the local feds and work something out with them so that they could issue the tickets to time wasters.

I am similarly minded to yourself about time wasting fools, we could work together to hit them where it hurts....the wallet!