Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Pass it on

Night shift: Seven calls; two by car; one assisted-only; one left on scene; one home by tax; one taken by police; one by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Chest pain; 1 Multiple casualty incident (D&V); 1 DOAB; 1 Fracture/dislocation; 2 eTOH; 1 Dislocation.

The cough’s a wee bit better and the throat isn’t burning me anymore, so hopefully that’s a good thing. However, I left my wallet, and that means my cash or any means of getting cash, at home as I mad-dashed out to work again tonight. Normally this would simply mean going without chocolate but I was running out of fuel and I knew that I needed to put more into my tank if I was to make the round trip to and from the station. So, after my shift I will attempt to get home on air.

I guess they were trying to make up for last night because I didn’t get a call until 10pm. A 75 year-old man on Chemotherapy and with an old history of MI had acute chest pain, especially on inspiration and I found diminished breath sounds in the left lower field. His ECG showed LBBB and RSR complexes with a Left side deviation in leads I and II. This all amounted to a possible PE (although I would have expected to see RBBB and right deviation) and that’s what the crew agreed on too, so off he went... on blues.

A minor (major) incident later on when I was asked to support a multi-casualty call over in the west, way out of my area. They needed another paramedic to give fluids to children who had taken ill suddenly at a cheap tourist hotel. Ten of them had diarrhoea and vomiting and this suggested a pathogen was being passed from one to the other. None of the patients was connected as a group and so it was suspected that food may have been the source... or the Norovirus, which I am just getting over myself after contracting it from a patient a few weeks ago.

The police were on scene to ensure nobody entered or left the premises until a thorough investigation had been carried out by HART and the LAS doctor. Inside, teenagers from France and Spain were taking photographs of the scene outside in the street, where four ambulances, as many FRUs, police and HART vehicles were parked up in readiness for something major but all the patients were eventually allowed to go back to the Hotel by the doctor. Those that had been taken to hospital were returned in case they spread the infection even further.

A DOAB next and this one came in as I left the west, so I was glad of it as it got me back to where I belonged. The man was, of course, just asleep on the bus after a heavy drinking session and it took a minute to get him off and walking away, although he did stagger into the road with his eyes shut and that caused a bit of a commotion. ‘I’m alright, bruv’, he said as I grabbed his collar and led him out of the way of traffic. Yeah, of course you are.

A nasty fracture dislocation of the small finger next when a 31 year-old amputee tripped while attempting to clean his stump and fell hard onto the floor, bending the finger back so hard that the bone sheared through the skin and the joint came apart. The poor man had already lost a leg as the result of a road traffic incident and now he was facing the prospect of losing a digit but I reassured him – as long as the phalanx has blood flowing through it (and it did), then it should be fairly easy to repair. I took him and his mum in the car to hospital.

I felt like no more than a servant to the well-off drunk on this next call. A 25 year-old woman slumped on the lap of her friend outside a posh club. She’d drunk a bottle of wine (or two) and had been sick once on the pavement but because she was making the place look bad, an ambulance was called on the basis that she was ‘very cold’. I got no response from her as she lay there with her vomit-stained hair and when I tried to take her temperature she behaved like a child at the dentist. Her friend was cooing and fawning over her without considering what else I might best be doing with my time and skills (like saving someone who is in cardiac arrest). Neither of them had any inclination of how serious their stupidity might be – the consequences hadn’t even crossed their minds.

I left her to a taxi home with her friend when she sat up and lucidly complained, while giggling, that she had cramp. Some things just drive you to consider saying something that would lose you a profession.

A 19 year-old girl with a dislocated knee and an over-amorous boyfriend sat in the back of my car on the way to hospital after I’d reduced the problem and wrapped it for x-ray. I had to tell her man to settle down because I wasn’t a taxi - he was all over her and at one point his head seemed to disappear from my rear view mirror. She dislocated it when she was dancing with him in a club. She had years of history with this knee and it wasn’t the first time she’d knocked it out of position.

The police took my next patient, with whom I had no contact, because she was drunk but capable. They arranged a taxi for her and I was cancelled on scene by them.

Be safe.


Anonymous said...

can i be cheeky and ask a question?
I don't know anyone in your job, and i want an honest answer from someone who does the job.
Medic alerts- do they generally get noticed?
And as a well contolled diabetic, not on insulin or hypo inducing drugs, i don't think i am at risk of ever becoming acutely unwell from diabetes. So, if i had an accident (i drive a lot for work, on my own) would it still be important information?
Hope you don't mind me asking, i just wanted an honest opinion from someone who really would know!

Xf said...


Yes, we do notice them and YES they do help but we will give you a BM test, regardless of any alert bracelet and treat accordingly. The public find these things more useful.