Saturday, 24 July 2010

Assault and battery

Day shift: Five calls; one false alarm; one left at home; three by car.

Stats: 1 cut hand; 1 elderly fall; 1 ‘accident’; 1 sprained ankle; 1 assault with ?# nose.

The slow-start morning set its pace with a call to a Spa in which a cleaner cut her hand on a shower door that shattered when she pushed it back too hard. I walked in and crunched my way through hundreds of fragments of green glass that had fallen onto the tiled floor; where there used to be a door, two hinges were left.

The 23 year-old woman’s injury was very minor but she still had little slivers of glass in her skin, so I took her to A&E after removing the more obvious pieces, all of which were loose, and dressing her most significant laceration.

Much later on I was given the task of ‘signing off’ an Urgent Care crew that had been sitting with a 95 year-old patient who’d fallen earlier. They’d been on scene with two District Nurses for almost three hours and when I arrived the patient was asleep in bed – fly-catching while resources were tied up – all for the sake of a re-check and signature to confirm the crew had done their job properly. It’s a bit silly because the Urgent Care crews are generally very good at what they do and are more than capable of helping an elderly man into his bed and then leaving him at home with other healthcare professionals on scene. Why I was needed at all (apart from policy) is a mystery.

On my way back along Whitehall I noticed a lone woman sitting in a doorway watching a column of tourist school children walk by. She sat there, cool as you like, all adult and respectable, with her middle finger in the air. She directed this insult to all of the kids as they past her by. She had nothing to do with them and she wasn’t being amusing with it – she just didn’t like them... obviously.

A call to an underground station for a 28 year-old man ‘abdo pain – unwell, soiled himself’ was a false alarm because the staff members that brought him up the escalator explained that only the last part of the call was true – he had soiled himself whilst on the train. Diarrhoea can be a sneaky assassin.

He was covered with a foil sheet and rapidly taken to the toilets for cleaning and changing. I thanked the staff and left before I was drawn into the saga.

You get good at spotting common injuries when you do this job; sprains, for example. I can grade them and make an accurate assumption about whether a fracture is present or not (Ottowa rules). I learned that stuff way before joining LAS but it has come in very handy, especially when I decide to convey in the car.

There was no reason to call an ambulance for the 46 year-old Israeli man who tripped on a step and twisted his ankle as he landed. He was with his family when I arrived and I could see immediately that he had a sprain, so I hopped him to the car and off we went. His wife stayed behind with their two daughters – she didn’t want to upset them with the drama of hospital, which was just as well because the A&E department was packed.

A police call to a theatre in the West End next, where a young security guard was allegedly assaulted by one of the patrons. I walked in to find him nursing a possible broken nose as police interviewed him and other staff members about the incident.

Allegedly the man and his family; wife and two very young children, were a bit rowdy during the performance and were asked to quieten down for the second part. Most of us, I assume, would have acknowledged that request and behaved ourselves accordingly but not this lot. The man threatened the 34 year-old man, using racist language and head-butting him so hard that his nasal bone was forced over to the right. The wife allegedly hit another member of staff as this was happening. It was clearly a family thing; a day out for the kids and a chance to show them what great human beings their parents were.

The poor man was shaken up about this unprovoked attack, even though security is his job. I’ve seen a lot of this now – emotionally upset people who can’t fathom why they’d be hit by a complete stranger for no good reason. I felt sorry for him.

Be safe.

1 comment:

Another Fatso said...

I was pleased to learn that there's a way to assess ankle injuries without an x-ray. Too bad the student nurse who was responsible for providing medical care at a summer program I attended as a teenager (not too long ago) didn't know that. Maybe I wouldn't have had to spend the better part of my week there hopping around on too-big borrowed crutches (no other treatment) with a "sprained" ankle. When I got home, my parents took one look at it and drove me to the hospital.

By the way, I linked to your blog.