Monday, 16 November 2009

Head cases

Night shift: Three calls; one treated on scene; two by ambulance.

Stats: 1 CVA; 2 Head injuries.

The last night shift and I’m glad of it. This is a quiet one, which makes up for the three nights before.

A call to an elderly man with a previous history of CVA first; he’s losing power in one arm but otherwise he’s stable, so I left the crew with it and made my way back across the river to a West End that had settled down somewhat compared to the previous nights. The revellers had clearly had enough.

It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that I received my next call for a 28 year-old female who’d been assaulted during a fight at a club. She was being helped by the security people but it was clear from a distance that she wasn’t a happy person.

She had minor cuts to her mouth and scalp, some of which needed to be cleaned and dressed and I made a valiant effort to do just that when she went a bit mad, screaming at everyone and generally being abusive. ‘Where the f**k is that bitch!’ she yelled. I assumed she meant the person who’d done this damage to her. And try as the security did to calm her down, she wasn’t interested and stood up, pushing her way through him and me, almost knocking me off balance. She didn’t care and made that clear as she tore the perfectly bound dressing from her head, throwing it to the floor.

I accepted her refusal because that's what it amounted to and I wasn’t in the mood to baby-sit a drunken outraged woman, so I told her I was leaving and made my way back out into the street, passing the two police officers who’d been brought in to interview her. She followed with a male friend and stormed past us all. Neither the cops or anyone else who’d been sent to help her were given any courtesy, so it all ended there. Sad and stupid.

A little more stupid was the passenger who allegedly threw a man from a bus because he didn’t have the patience to wait for him to produce his travel pass. The call was for a 25 year-old man who’d dialled 999 as he lay on the ground at the bus stop with blood pouring from his head after making hard contact with concrete as a result of this assault. The well-spoken patient was being attended to by police when I pulled up and he lay where he’d landed until I’d deemed it safe enough to move him into an upright position so that I could apply my second head dressing of the night. This time it wasn’t torn off but the man was very reluctant to go to hospital and the reason for this became clear as I progressed through my clinical interview with him.

More and more young Muslims are drinking alcohol these days and, with the strict upbringing they receive, when they get into trouble and the police and ambulance services are involved, the last thing they want advertised is the fact that they were drunk; if their parents find out, they risk more than a ticking off I understand. So, he didn’t want to be treated at hospital unless we promised him that it would all be confidential. And for the benefit of my readers I should let you know that treatment is entirely confidential unless you are unconscious or seriously injured and a next of kin has to be notified.

With this assurance, he went with the crew to A&E, where his wound could be cleaned and properly assessed.

As for the bus driver, I think he will find himself in trouble for driving off after one of his passengers carried out such an unprovoked and violent attack. The poor man was only having trouble getting to his pass but the delay was obviously too much for one person on board. The driver should have stopped the bus and contacted the police, unless there is a rule I know nothing about which states that they can leave the scene of a crime. The cops have the bus number and they know where it was headed; it will be stopped and if the assailant isn’t on board, the CCTV footage will be examined. The driver will have questions to answer I should think.

Be safe.

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