Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Dancing with buses (and JCB's)

Day shift: Five calls; two by car; one treated on scene; one refused; one assisted-only.

Stats: 1 Leg injury; 1 diabetic hypo; 1 abdo pain; 1 RTC; 1 head injury.

A slow start to the day but it was moved along by a 27 year-old scaffolder who suffered an injury at work. While dismantling a scaffold, one of the tubes dropped, bounced on the road and struck his leg, opening it up to the bone around his shin. It didn’t bleed at all, so there was no damage to large blood vessels and the bone looked intact when I inspected it, so he was going to need no more than a clean up and stitches to close it. His boss was unsympathetic on the phone when he called him up to explain what had happened and he banned his friend from travelling with him. Not only that, he told the patient he wasn’t getting paid for the day. I found this rather heartless, especially as the boss didn’t have a qualified first aider on site and the poor guy was left sitting on the pavement with his wound open to the elements.

A diabetic at work who experienced a hypo, with a BM of 2.7, was recovering after having eaten mints, courtesy of his work colleagues. The 37 year-old didn’t want or need to go to hospital, so I got him some chocolate and monitored the rise of his BM to a decent level before leaving him in the care of his friends, more chocolate and a sandwich. Now I was hungry...

But the next call doused my appetite. I was off to the tax office to help a 44 year-old civil servant (probably my tax inspector) with acute onset abdominal pain. She had no medical history but was on her period, although she told me it was a much more intense pain than normal. I took her and a work colleague in the car and, of course, they were both perfectly nice people. It’s the whole taxes thing that gets to us all, not necessarily the people doing the job.

A Red call that came to nothing was for a cyclist who was attempting to ride between a moving bus and a moving JCB when he got trapped and knocked off his bike. He was okay and so was his bike until, allegedly, the bus driver gave the ‘thumbs up’ for the JCB man to move his vehicle again. This resulted in a panicked shout from the cyclist, who was still jammed between them, and his bike’s front wheel was instantly crushed. The patient, a 34 year-old man, wasn’t – he was lucky.

Another FRU was just ahead of me and an ambulance arrived to check the man out but he wasn’t interested and tore off the BP cuff and Sats probe. He was incensed about his bike. Rightly so I think because it looked expensive. Which just goes to show that life is cheap... bicycles are not. Apparently.

Off to one of the better class of department stores in town for a 62 year-old Spanish lady who took a tumble down carpeted stairs and bumped her head when she landed. She also took her friend with her, which proves just how bonded friends can be. The other lady got herself a bruised elbow. All in all the injury on my patient’s head was extremely minor but she gave me something to be concerned about initially because she had red eyeballs. ‘It’s okay’, she told me. ‘I have an eye virus’. Thank goodness, I thought.

She didn’t want to go to hospital and I got her to sign my paperwork after doing the traditional zillion checks to ensure she’d be okay to leave on scene. She wanted to carry on shopping with her mates (one of whom was celebrating a birthday). I wished them luck and made my merry way back to base and on to home.

Be safe.


Jo said...

" the boss didn’t have a qualified first aider on site and the poor guy was left sitting on the pavement with his wound open to the elements."

Surely that is against Health and Safety, particularly for a building site? I thought they were required to have a F.A. on site at all (working) times?

Xf said...


It is against the law but neither the boss nor the HSE really care. Very few people get pulled up for it and the number of actual prosecutions is, well, almost zero.

Gordonjcp said...

Of course it will be the bus driver and the JCB driver's fault that his bike got mangled, not his for doing something so indescribably stupid as trying to nip through the gap between them.

Sewmouse said...

Over here on this side of the pond where Healthcare (snort) is not free, we do have "Workman's Compensation" laws which require that all companies have insurance to cover themselves and their workers in case of on-the-job accidents - like the poor scaffolder guy.

His boss's WC insurance would pay for his salary on any missed time.

As for not being paid for the day? I'd be on the phone to a solicitor - surely he should be paid for the time he put in before his accident?

medisin said...

Wow. Diabetics who don't carry anything in case of a hypo are stupid. And chocolate is a rubbish hypo treatment! Not nearly high enough GI. Type 1s should carry lucozade or mini cans of dr pepper. Works a treat and you don't have to waste paramedics' time!