This was one of my pool shifts and a shorter day for me. I was assigned the ‘spare’ car but only in theory because an actual spare FRU doesn’t exist – not one that runs anyway. So I spent a few hours wandering around trying to find a suitably fit-for-purpose vehicle until I negotiated ‘borrowing’ one from management.
The shift was routine and I only needed an ambulance for one call – the first one – when a woman had a near-faint at a tube station. I left her crying with the crew after I’d chatted to her and managed to root out the stress she was suffering, thus her panicky-fainty condition. I have that effect and it was good for her to get it out of her system with people she trusted.
Next was a fit in the street. The 35 year-old man was a diabetic and had probably had a hypoglycaemic seizure but I couldn’t be sure because the cops with him had given him orange juice when he recovered and his BM was normal when I checked it. He got a carbohydrate anyway and I drove him to hospital in the car. We crawled for ages in heavy traffic and passed the lovely Spitfire that currently sits on Whitehall – it’s only little. Small but deadly. Like me :-)
A bee sting to the ear after that. The 40 year-old bus driver thought it was a wasp but I looked inside his lug-hole and a nasty looking stinger (see pic) was lodged in the cartilage. I removed it carefully and he got the fright of his life when he saw it. I sometimes wish the bees that leave these things could see the faces of their victims when they are taken out – they might reform. Again, small but deadly – literally.
Luckily for him he has no allergies but I cautioned him and advised him to get some antihistamine and go to see his GP if his throbbing ear and face got worse. He was happy to do that and I left him with his colleagues. Then I drove back to station so that I could deliver the car to someone who needed it more than me. This and yet another warning light on the dashboard, ended my shift.
I am a Registered Paramedic, with a degree in Paramedic Science. I work for Central London. I have been involved in pre-hospital care at every level (including the army)since 1992. This diary reflects my daily routine in my own words, as accurately and honestly as possible. It does not purport to reflect the views of my employer.
I cannot identify patients or locations and may change certain facts in order to protect patient confidentiality and I hope you understand why that needs to be done.
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