Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Fits and faints

Day shift: Four calls; one taken by car; one assisted-only and two by ambulance.

Stats: 1 EP fit; 1 Abdo pain; 1 Faint; 1 eTOH fit.

The whole of the morning disappeared in a flash as I ran around getting my comms sorted out and waiting for a patient. Then as lunch time crept in, I was sent to a 40 year-old man who was fitting in a cafe. He was post ictal and recovering slowly when I arrived; he made no sense yet but I managed to confirm with him that he was epileptic.

The lady running the cafe said he’d fitted for 15 minutes but I found that unlikely – two of the customers said that he’d only been down for 5 minutes. So, I spent another twenty minutes with him as he attempted, time and time again, to push me out of his way so that he could wander around. He was a good few inches taller than me so he became a handful at times and I was glad to see the ambulance pull up.

By the time he’d been checked out again by the crew, he was almost fully back to normal and he was given a lift round the corner to his workplace – he refused to go to hospital.

Immediately after this call, I made my way to an abdo pain in a restaurant, where my CRU colleague was attending a 33 year-old woman with a history of endometriosis, normally controlled by monthly injections of GnRH analogue. Her pain was so severe that entonox did nothing for it, so she was given a few mls of morphine and that did the trick. She was needle-phobic, so after persuading her to have the analgesic, I inserted the slowest cannula I’ve ever done into her arm – I had to talk her through every millimetre of what I was doing. She felt nothing and I may have convinced her that injections aren’t so bad after all, who knows?

A 45 year-old fainted at work and lay in the reception area with colleagues around her as she recovered. The woman is taking antibiotics and this may be a factor; not the drugs themselves but any stressors that affect her if she is currently suffering from depression. It’s a common enough problem. A crew arrived and took her away after my initial obs revealed no physical problems.

The last job of the shift took me to the Leicester Square area for a 33 year-old Polish alcoholic who had ‘fitted’ in a doorway. Several MOPs had called it in because they were concerned but I reassured them and spent twenty minutes with the man trying to translate his Polish into English, or as near as dammit, as his friend looked on. He didn’t want to go to hospital and his hands were very cold, so I wrote down the name and location of the nearest hostel and gave it to him. He won’t go there; he’ll hunt for alcohol instead because that’s what he does. I felt sorry for him but then dismissed it because there are many, many unfortunate people around me who don’t drink themselves into a stupor every day. I should feel sorry for them instead.

Be safe.

No comments: