Friday, 1 May 2009

Decapitated car

Day shift: Six calls; three conveyed and three by ambulance.

Stats: 1 RTC; 1 Renal problems; 3 Falls; 1 PV bleed.

An early morning RTC involving a car and a HGV that rudely awakened the driver and passenger by slamming into its rear end on a busy main road had traffic stopped completely for a while. Another FRU was arriving as I pulled up and the paramedic on board dealt with the passenger, a male who’d taken the brunt of it and now complained of chest and back pains. His wife, the driver, was on her mobile phone, crying and talking at the same time. She appeared unhurt and I asked her to go over to the pavement while we dealt with her other half.

A crew arrived and the police followed shortly afterwards, closing the road off properly, much to the disgust of rush-hour drivers heading our way. The result was a tail-back for about a mile.

Inside the car, the man continued to complain about his pain and the slightest movement made him cry out, so there was nothing else to do but wait for the LFB (London Fire Brigade) to cut the roof off so that we could get him out. He didn’t object because it was a hired car.

It took a while for the LFB to arrive but when they did all hands were on deck, so to speak. I sat in the back holding the man’s neck steady as a collar was placed and then I was given a hard hat for the incoming glass that would fly my way when the car’s structure was torn apart by the ‘jaws of life’. The patient had a blanket over him to protect his eyes as the loud crunching began.

It took ten minutes to get the roof off and then, with the help of a few firemen, we slid the man out of the vehicle on a board. All of this was precautionary but the car wouldn’t survive the damage. Insurance companies must hate us all.


An 87 year-old Irishman with MS and blood pressure problems was also suffering from urinary retention and I took him to hospital in the car, confident that he wouldn’t lose bladder control on the way. He was fine when we arrived but more than a little uncomfortable – he hadn’t passed urine for a long time apparently.


‘Would you mind if I adopted you’, asked the 71 year-old lady that I’d managed to get up three sets of escalators when I was told, again and again, that there was no ambulance to send for her. She’d fallen – dragged down by the weight of her suitcase – onto the escalator at the bottom of a tube station and had a minor head injury. At first she couldn’t stand up without becoming dizzy but she recovered well enough after a sit down and chat, so I took her up stage by stage with the help of the underground staff on scene. A chair was placed at each level so that she could sit down to rest until I finally got her to the car. The adoption papers are being filed as I write...hope my mum's okay with that.


Then a 30 year-old woman who had just completed her General Medical exam began to bleed PV. She was having a miscarriage and I think the stress of those exams had made her pregnancy come to a premature end. I gave her a large dressing to use as a makeshift pad while she struggled to come to terms with what had happened. Her baby was gone; she knew it and I knew it but she remained as calm as possible throughout.


A crew on another call stopped to help me with a patient I had been sitting with in the street for almost an hour. A fire crew had stopped to render aid when they came across the incident and they waited to help me if I needed it. I think they were bored.

There was no ambulance for my patient and they offered to take him to hospital. Initially Control wouldn’t allow them to do this because they were on another call but as they’d been flagged down by one of the firemen they were told they could take over and the original call was cancelled (and then given to me!).

The man had a head injury after falling in the road. He’d missed a step and gone flying, according to his carers. He had Parkinson’s and was very vociferous, swearing a lot and shouting (no connection to his afflication I must add) when it was unnecessary. I was told it was his nature. Lovely.


When I got on scene at a train station to help a 93 year-old woman I discovered that she was only 26, so I wondered if I was at the wrong call. She was sitting on the concourse floor and complained of leg pain. She then went on to explain, in great technical detail, what was wrong with her knee. She had a long history of knee injury and operations and she was very fluent in medical jargon. I thought she’d just learned it because of the journey she’d taken with it all but I found out that she was a radiographer. She'd fallen on it and now it was damaged again.

The crew took her away after I’d given her entonox and offered her something more powerful if she needed it. She didn’t and a quick transfer onto the trolley bed with a splint in place went without a hitch. She was too far gone on the gas to care.

Be safe.

1 comment:

Ben Yatzbaz said...

well at least your patient with a knee problem really had one... beats my rtc with a lady who drove all the way home and then complained about an old bruise...