Saturday, 30 May 2009

Where's there's blame...

This statue on Sumner Street, SE1, moves and is quite freaky to watch - even the coat and scarf blow in the breeze!

Day shift: Five calls; two conveyed and three by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Burns; 1 Head injury; 1 EP Fit; 1 ? # Hip.

Summer may be here at last. It’s very warm in London and the place is packed with Europeans cashing in on the sterling/Euro parity that makes swimming across the channel more expensive than flying. Ironically, in these depressing economic times, the surge in visitor numbers may be propping the UK cashflow situation on the black side. Unfortunately, its not slowing the momentum for rip-off taxi fares in the Capital, as I found out when a two mile black cab ride from the Haymarket to Southwark cost me £16 because the driver, on hearing my accent no doubt, decided to take the absolute longest way to get there when I used his service to travel back to my hotel after a night out recently.

I have the utmost respect for these hard-working people but when I am literally taken for a ride, via St Paul’s when a roll over Waterloo Bridge would have done (at a fiver less I would guess), my admiration for them starts to erode. I’ll walk next time.

NPC for the first call of the day. The job was a few metres away from the station and the crew was with me, so the 82 year-old man who’d collapsed needed no more attention than that offered by them.

Then a 37 year-old Brazilian man who worked at a swank restaurant burned his paws on scalding water as he carried a large pot of it upstairs. His knuckles were a bit red and he’d already doused them in cold water for fifteen minutes, so dialling 999 was a bit over the top but I guess he either wanted a half-day or his employers thought they’d be covering themselves somehow if he was seen at hospital, even though every man, woman and child on Earth could have suffered the same minor injury and simply got on with their day. I took him in the car and he slumped across my bag in the back seat as his manager chatted to me about liability.

Another person who thought their call for an ambulance would enhance a claim for negligence was the 42 year-old woman who fell from a ‘treatment’ bed at a beauty salon. She swore that she was knocked unconscious but none of the staff confirmed this to be the case and the bed from which she allegedly tumbled and that she claimed was ‘shaky’, was solid as a rock when I checked it.

She had no bump, no bleeding and no chance of getting money out of the place and I felt a little annoyed that she would expect to get away with fleecing a little business that was probably dying on its feet economically. ‘Don’t worry’, said the concerned looking owner as she got into my car with her young daughter (a reliable witness), ‘when you get back from hospital, we will take care of you’. So, a free hair-do and skin care session was in the air.

At the top of the stairs on the third floor of a hot dance studio, a 35 year-old woman was having an epileptic seizure. She’d been fitting for about half an hour and was jerking on the floor as staff and a friend tried to keep her under control. I gave her IV Diazepam and she went from tonic to rubber in less than a minute. Her breathing rate slowed and her fast pulse declined to a more reasonable pace. Another life saved.

The crew struggled down the steps with her on the chair and I carried the bags as they went. On the way, I looked into one of the dance studio windows as a dozen fit young females gyrated the Rumba (or something similar) in summer-thin cotton dresses and skirts. It wasn’t off-putting in the least.

As the heat began to build during the late afternoon, I went to the rescue of a 92 year-old lady who’d fallen on gravel in a pedestrian area. She had been helped to a bench by a kind Irish girl, who waited with her and even went to hospital with her. The poor old lady complained about pain in her right hip. She had osteoporosis and a history of left side neck of Femur (NOF) fracture a few years earlier. Now, it seems, she had the same problem on the other side as a consequence of her unsure footing.

‘Do you have any medical problems?’ I asked routinely.

‘Yes, old age’, she replied.

Once on the ambulance and sucking merrily on Entonox, her shortened right leg confirmed what was almost a certainty – poor soul.

Be safe.

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