Day shift: Four calls; four by ambulance.
Stats: 2 head injuries; 1 ? fracture; 1 unhappy alcoholic.
Nothing for me to do until the afternoon and, ironically I got a break before my first call for a 76 year-old woman who tripped up and fell, landing on her head in Oxford Street. A crew had just arrived and, after a cursory check of her condition and obs, I left them to it. Still, it gets me out, doesn’t it?
So, I trundled off to Trafalgar Square and found myself parked up during a political rally being held by the LibDems. It wasn’t until a few minutes had elapsed that I realised I was actually acting as more of a promotional device for the party than any of the flags and banners. I was sitting inside a bright yellow car. Until, that is, I got my next call for yet another fallen lady in Oxford Street – this time a 90-odd year-old woman fell and broke her head open at a bus stop. It was a nasty, large bruised bump but she was conscious, alert and moving about. Her daughter was crying and understandably worried but a crew joined me within seconds and we had her in the ambulance and in safe, capable hands. She’ll be fine – she hadn’t lived that length of time just to be beaten by a pavement.
Another fall and this time the patient, a 45 year-old woman, fell down half the flight of stairs on a double-decker bus. She told me the bus had suddenly moved as she came down with her daughter and she’d lost her balance as a result. I found her lying on the floor with a sprained ankle that may have been broken – sprains can disguise more serious structural damage to that part of the leg. A crew turned up because there was no way she’d be going in the car and we splinted the limb, moved her awkwardly to the trolley bed (thank goodness for ramps) and into the ambulance. That was the extent of my job and I left it to the crew.
Finally, and with a mere ten minutes to spare before I was due home, I received an apology and a late job. Luckily it was just up the road from the station. Unluckily, it was one of the local East European alcoholics who was lying outside a motel for no good reason, so an ambulance was called.
I spent ten minutes with him and got nowhere. I knew him and I knew he spoke and understood English but he just wasn’t playing ball. He wanted to go to hospital, that’s all, and when the crew arrived he was still silent until he got inside the ambulance (where I knew he would find his voice). Then he told us that he was lying there because of trouble in Bosnia. He was a Serbian who’d fought in that conflict. We had to remind him that the war was over and that, even if it wasn’t, there was no medical emergency associated with it in the UK. I left the crew to listen to his story because I already knew it.