Saturday, 21 February 2009

Spring in the air

Day shift: Six calls; one assisted-only; the rest by ambulance.

Stats: 1 DIB; 1 Renal problem; 3 eTOH; 1 Unknown problem.

The DIB call was wasted on me and the crew was already on scene, so I made no patient contact. From now on I think I will just record those calls as NPCs to make things easier and less boring for you.

But the 73 year-old woman who had renal problems got some of my attention until a crew arrived. She was in her hotel room with two of her friends – all of whom had Ileostomies. Hers was constantly leaking into the collecting bag and this was worrying her; she was ultimately losing all her body’s water. She was taken to hospital to be checked out and I discovered that the coincidence of the room's multiple-Ileostomies existed because they were attending an annual Ileostomy conference.

A long trip out of area for an 85 year-old that had collapsed in a charity shop. The staff knew him well – he was a known drinker – thus the collapse. He seemed in good health otherwise but the crew took him away to be safe. His age and the public place in which he chose to slump were against him.

My next eTOH patient was a drunk on a bus (DOAB). He had been dragged to the floor by the passengers when he suddenly slumped forward on his seat. After that he made no commitment to consciousness and so when I got there I spent a long time trying to get him to wake up. The crew joined me and he was eventually man-handled into the ambulance for the very short trip to hospital. Ironically (or as planned I think), he had lost it just as the bus was pulling into the stop across the road from the A&E department. That’s the second time I’ve been called to this spot. I think its part of the game plan.

Up to the local police station next for another show of melodrama. This time a 28 year-old was feigning unconsciousness and he waited until the crew had officially arrived before he sat bolt upright on the cell floor declaring that he didn’t know what was going on. He declined to go to hospital at first and then changed his mind when he realised we were accepting his refusal. The sceptic in me thought ‘funny that…’

It was sunny today…almost spring-like and as I sat on stand-by for a while I watched the tourists go by (the weaker pound is reeling them in). Sitting on a chair across from me was a bleach-haired, leather-clad bearded man. He was chatting face-to-face with someone else who was also sitting in a chair. Above him, taped to the National Gallery lower wall, was a sign that read ‘Life advice’.

My last call of the day was amusing enough to send me home thinking I might have made a difference. A 54 year-old woman collapsed in a hostel, telling staff she felt dizzy. She was very drunk and I knew her from before, so she wanted to be friends. She was quite funny and I got frequent toothless grins and guffaws when I made what I reasoned were half-decent jokes (some of my colleagues would dispute this about my quipping but I stick to my guns).

In the end the only reason she’d been so dizzy was that she’d spent an hour in a hot room with a full length leather coat on. Even her booze-breath and strong Irish accent didn't make me feel like I'd wasted my time. I left her in the care of her friend and the hostel staff.

Be safe.

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