Monday, 13 April 2009


When there are no consequences to a threat, people do as they please.

Day shift: Four calls; One declined, one treated on-scene, one conveyed and one by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Head injury; 1 Migraine; 1 Faint; 1 Panic attack

The new television programme 'The Hospital' is making waves with its hard-hitting, in-your-face look at our current social decline and the resulting pressure on the NHS. So far, it has covered teen binge-drinking and teen pregnancy - the next episode will look at obesity. The cost of caring for these frankly irresponsible individuals should shock you, so I highly recommend that you watch it.

One of the pregnant teens, an obese, chain-smoking, needle-phobic young girl with a bad attitude was asked if she was concerned about the cost of having her baby (at least £10,000) courtesy of the tax-payers who fund the NHS. 'I'm not bothered about it...I might have made the next Prime Minister', she replied. I don't think so love, what you have probably made is yet another addition to the future parasitic generation of work-shy, law-breaking, sponging and ignorant youth that not only shame young people who have had a decent up-bringing and are trying to get on in the world but drain society of its hard-earned cash, by direct or indirect theft.

And before you get all heated up about this, in her own words she admitted getting pregnant because it was the only way she would have someone to love her and stay with her. You can blame her parents for that...not me.

This shift started very slowly indeed and I was glad of it – it gave me a chance to re-charge my batteries a little. Nothing happened in the morning and then, as the weather improved and the tourists and Easter Bank Holiday families started to pour into town, things got more hectic. I still only got collared for four calls though.

The first was to a Hawaiian woman who’d fallen o the steps outside an Opera House. She and her daughter were both in the company of the CRU medic when I arrived and the fuss had died down – she had a bump to the front of her head. She declined further aid and didn’t want to go to hospital, so she was left with advice and a couple of smiles.

Then a 21 year-old with her worst ever migraine (which they all have to say by law) had me driving her to hospital when her husband could have taken her (he was on his way but her bosses wanted an ambulance). She wouldn’t have died I’m sure and I sympathise with the condition, I truly do but there’s not much can be done for it, in or out of A&E. Needless to say she was left waiting for hours before being seen.

Another 21 year-old female fainted or possibly had a fit, nobody seemed to know, but she had a history of seizures in childhood apparently, so I asked for an ambulance instead of risking the trip in the car – she was determined to pass out on me I think and was doing a swooning sway as she sat with her colleagues around her. The swoon stopped when she was no longer in their sight.

I went home after dealing with a 31 year-old woman who was having a panic attack at an underground station. She lay on the floor, shaking in short tremors with stiffened limbs, almost as if she was fitting. Her boyfriend looked on as underground staff attempted to comfort her. She wasn’t fitting and I managed to get her to calm down, slow her breathing and explain her problems. I won’t share them with you because they are nobody’s business but hers. She would have to face them herself and then she’d stop having such drastic emotional events in public places.

Panic attacks can provoke and promote other physical problems and can lead to illness, so I always try to get the patient to examine the root problem of their feelings so that they can analyse them instead of reacting to them. That said, not everyone will agree with me and that’s fine but it’s the way I see the world and we have very little time these days for emotional crises when people are in genuine need of urgent attention. Fair enough?

Be safe.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree about everything you wrote about The Hospital! shame fellow youngsters, still don't care even if they watched it.

MsCatCalls said...

Love your blog .... Ive twice used A and E for migraines , once for me, advised by GP ,once for my 15 yr old daughter , ( not using ambulances though ... ) and it was the best thing I could have done . We were both seen immediately , admitted and treated with drugs we didn't have at home . Generally though I agree though that the last thing You would want is to sit in the bright lights for three hours . But our local hospital seems to push you through if you really need anti sickness medication .

Sue said...

I agree re The Hospital too. The teen pregnancy episode was shocking, the A&E one less so having worked in one for nearly 3 years.

This obese person has cost the NHS a fortune, but nothing to do with being fat. Just happened to have an immune system that decided I didn't need a colon anymore, with a side helping of vasculitis and pancreatitis thrown in for good measure. I'd hate to add up the cost of the past 6 years; 22 admissions to hospital, 7 operations (3 major+)plus a myriad of tests, and enough prescriptions to stock a small pharmacy.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the hospital apart from the figures. A single mum like that will cost a lot more than 10,000 throughout her life.
I would be surprised if she costs less than £10k p.a.

Then again most of us voted for parties that support this.

Xf said...


I think they were talking about the cost of her having the baby - she opted to be put to sleep for a c-section. I'm sure the doctor said it would cost at least £10,000 but I've since heard that figure being disputed. Whatever the cost, its too much.

Mummy x said...

I have seen it all with my very own peepers

Thanks for the great reading.

Mummy x

Anonymous said...

I would not call a panic attack an emotional crisis. It is very frightening for the person involved.

Xf said...


Nobody said it wasn't frightening but please tell me in what way it is an emergency? Life and death issue?

Anonymous said...

"in her own words she admitted getting pregnant because it was the only way she would have someone to love her and stay with her."

And THAT is sad.

Bertie Humbug's Ranto-O-Matic said...

Believe me a full blown panic attack is one of the worst things you can experience without 1.your life nearly ending due to an incident, 2.someone you caring about dying.
I'm talking about the intensity of the moment here, its really awful. Had them for years.
Never called an Ambo though.
Cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotherapy (and perhaps some of the newer meridian therapies such as EFT/TAT) are the way forward IMO.
But bear in mind these things are v.complex and usually involved some kind of hardcore intractible issues especially to do with the person's family.

Sadie said...

I too have watched these programs and have been shocked by the attitude of the young people involved. We live in a society where children are being taught, by their parents example, media advertising and their peers, that anything they want they can have, now! I am also wondering how long it will be before being obese is as socially unacceptable as being a smoker. The figures don't lie and less people are smoking now, so maybe it's time to take the same stance with obesity.

Anonymous said...

Still loving the blog Stuart.

I too saw 'The Hospital' and got pretty much the same impression as you seem to have - this girl is either too young (or selfish) to understand her impact on society and she probably never will. I think the saddest thing about it all was the scene in which she was left alone with the baby and suddenly the reality of having a child seemed to hit her like a brick wall. I'd hate to make a judgement without proper evidence but I can't help but wonder how many years before the poor baby just becomes in inconvenience to this child, who is barely old enough to take care of herself, let alone a baby?


Louise Mills said...

Panic attacks can be horrific. Imagine having the breath squeezed out of you by some giant unseen hand. So I would argue that they are a subjective emergency. However, there is no such thing as a 'subjective' ambulance service or 'subjective resources'. Panic attacks are often symptomatic of certain kinds of psychiatric disorders but these should be dealt with by community mental health teams - which have endured devastating cuts so I guess these cases just get passed on to you.

I've noticed that it is usually women who are accused of attention seeking. Any reason for this?

Xf said...

Louise Mills

I don't disagree with your concept of panic attacks but I don't think they are attributed (the ones I am talking about) to mental health issues. Everyone can suffer hyperventilation BUT the level of panic that I am called out too (as are my colleagues) is simply too minor to believe sometimes.

As for the gender, I have been saying for over a decade that this problem is more common in women. It is a statistical anomaly and can easily be proven when you read this blog and the accounts of others. Why this is the case, I do not know.

My main bug-bear with this is that others should learn to recognise a panic attack and deal with it, especially first aiders in the workplace, after all they have been trained to do so. This would save a LOT of ambulance calls for more seriously ill or injured people. I think you'd agree that was logical.