Thursday, 19 February 2009


Day shift: Eight calls; one false alarm; one assisted-only and six by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Vomiting; 1 Chest pain; 1 Faint; 1 Anaphylaxis; 1 Near-faint; 1 Assault; 1 eTOH.

A church hostel called us for a 65 year-old alcoholic man who was vomiting. He was very sweaty and demonstrated his illness by running to the toilet, vomiting violently and then crawling out onto the floor where the crew found him after I’d completed my history and obs. He was probably sick because of his habit but he went to hospital because nothing can ever be ruled out.

I arrived at the scene of a 30 year-old man with chest pain at yet another church hostel just in time to see the crew pull up, so I left them to it.

A 33 year-old woman met me in the lobby of her plush apartment building – she had fainted and was stressed out through lack of sleep and the fact that her neighbour was noisy and had done nothing despite her complaints. It was a domestic issue really and not one that warranted a 999 call. Even she admitted that an ambulance was too much fuss because she was fine now. That was all too late and the crew took her to hospital to be on the safe side.

The false alarm was a call to a private dental surgery. The surgeon had accidentally severed through a patient’s nerve, causing a lot of bleeding. I think they were finding it difficult to control, so they called us. By the time I arrived, however, they had no need of me and the female patient was out cold on the operating table with a dentist leaning over her. I hope she gets a decent discount for the scare.

A 15 year-old with a nut allergy reacted badly in the street while out with her family. Her mum injected her with an Epipen but her condition didn’t improve a lot, so I gave her some Chlorphenamine IV and that seemed to do the trick, although I wasn’t wholly convinced that her condition was life-threatening at the start and I think her mum may have over-reacted with the adrenaline.

Up north to an office block next for a 28 year-old female who said she had a fast heart beat and felt faint. Her heart rate was normal and she didn’t look like she was about to pass out either. She’d been in and out of hospital for weeks with these episodes but nothing had been diagnosed because all her vital signs were normal by the time she got there. She was awaiting the results of a blood test however and that may solve the mystery for her.

A loud rap on my window interrupted my writing as I completed my paperwork and I turned to see a distressed looking female there. She told me that her ex-boyfriend had assaulted her twice and was following her around, threatening her. She asked me to call the police, which I did and I waited on scene to make sure she was safe, although I had no real plan of action if the bloke decided to run at us. I’d be done for assault myself if I tried to bundle her into the car because I was using the Astra and there’s no room for another human being in there, so she’d have bruised herself on all the equipment in the back.

We waited for almost half an hour until two police officers wandered up on foot – their car hadn’t started at the station so they’d made their way ‘manually’. I left them to it as the woman gave them a description.

A call to a street in which an ‘unconscious’ man lay became immediately suspicious because the details included ‘opposite pub’. When I got there the crew was arriving and not surprisingly, we found ourselves waking up a drunken Polish man who’d gone for a sleep. It took a while to convince him to leave the area but as he walked off he rounded the back of the ambulance and stood at the door waiting to be shown inside. I thought that was a real cheek but the attending paramedic opened the doors and let him in - he is obviously a kinder soul than I.

We have definitely reached a point where abuse of the service is not only systematic among our drunken European friends – it’s predictable.

Be safe.

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