Thursday, 23 April 2009

Phantom pregnancy

Day shift: Eight calls; all by ambulance.

Stats: 1 PV bleed; 1 Knee injury; 1 Head injury; 1 eTOH; 1 Asthma; 1 Shoulder injury; 1 Sprain; 1 Headache with high temperature.

Ambulance work again and crewed with Allan on overtime. The first call turned out to be most strange. A 27 year-old woman with a PV bleed called us and, according to the description given, was eight months pregnant. This changed as we arrived to ‘not sure if she’s pregnant or not’, throwing a spanner our way.

She was in her hotel room waiting for us and when I asked her about the anomalous message she told me that she’d been raped eight months ago whilst on a business trip to London. ‘It was my fault for walking about so late at night’, she said.

Now she had a slight bleed and a noticeable bump on her abdomen – as far as I was concerned she was definitely pregnant but she still maintained that she didn’t know for sure and that she’d been treating her bouts of sickness and other signs throughout as general illness.

‘Haven’t you noticed anything moving inside there?’ I asked her as we made our way to hospital.

‘Yes but I thought it might be just wind’, she replied.

At no point did she display any emotion about this predicament and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in such depth of denial before. Still, I could be wrong.

At hospital, they confirmed what was so obvious. She was approximately eight months pregnant and now she’d have to face this alone. I felt so sorry for her - she actually believed it was her own fault. I hope she sorts it out in her head before the child becomes a victim of her terrible ordeal.

Nobody had been told this until she told me and now it was out I hope the police get involved and find the man who ruined her life.

Next, a female who fell while going up some nasty concrete stairs in a bank. The woman stumbled as she climbed them and damaged her knee. I found her sitting near the bottom of the steps with bank staff in attendance. Her pain was obvious but she put a brave face on it as she hopped out to the ambulance. Once inside, she was chatty enough with me but her knee was doing a ‘swell-while-u-watch’ and it became more uncomfortable for her as time passed during the journey.

She’s an ex-model, although she still dabbles, she told me, so I decided her knee was probably of some value to her.

A 27 year-old female fell from her bicycle, grazing her head, elbow and abdomen. She was still on the road with a helpful MOP when we arrived and began to fill up with tears after we’d left her at hospital. I guess the incident, albeit minor, had hit home.

A few people thought the man they found collapsed in a park full of sun-worshipping mid-morning snacksters was dying; there was a lot of red liquid around his body and he seemed to be unconscious. The police were on scene when we arrived and the ‘dead’ man was sitting on a bench trying to communicate with them. He was a Hungarian homeless alcoholic and the red liquid turned out to be red wine – the cause of his less than conscious state.

All the way to hospital he reminded me that he had two ‘broken shoulders’ but I made no sense of that and neither did anyone in A&E. I think his supposed injuries formed the basis of every 999 call, ensuring a bed and meal.

Oxford Street was closed off at one end as the LFB investigated a possible gas leak. An ambulance and a few other resources had been called but we were heading through the danger zone and into Regent Street to help a 20 year-old who had suffered an asthma attack. She was being treated by one of the crew from the incident ambulance and I freed him up and took over care of the patient.

She was a pleasant girl with a strange northern accent, which I tried to emulate when she was feeling better and smiling more. 'You're from Yaark?', I said when she gave me her address. I didn’t feel at all ‘racist’ because I’m from further north than her and have an even weirder accent. It helped her get through the worst of her asthma – which she said was more acute than ever before. I wondered if the gas leak, if there was one – had anything to do with it.

A minor RTC next and a 25 year-old man was knocked off his moped by a white van as he tried to pull an undertaking stunt near a main road. He suffered abrasions and a shoulder injury as a result. He also had a nasty puncture wound in his leg which had been caused by a small stone tunnelling into it when he fell. That’s what you get when you wear shorts on a moped.

Another dancer with an injury and we found ourselves in the company of a mad 18 year-old Norwegian girl who had dislocated her hip while warming up (or down). It had popped out and gone back in again, so she was in quite a bit of pain. I gave her entonox and she became a giggling maniac – highly amusing and entertaining I can tell you. She attempted to teach me Norwegian and I failed miserably until I got one simple phrase right – she’d said it to me and her friend translated ‘You are cool’. Well, I have to take that compliment because I don’t get many these days.

A late job, given to us within a few metres of the station and a few minutes from finishing had us travelling miles away for a 31 year-old woman with a headache and a high temperature.

She was at home with her husband and a FRU medic was on scene. I took the patient's temperature and it was 40.2c. She’d been ill since having a baby recently but had been told that her headache would ‘go away’ eventually. It didn’t and she was burning up. Her BP was also all over the place, so we blued her in and she went straight into Resus. It was one of those ‘should I, should I not’ calls but the doctor agreed that she needed to be seen immediately.

All in all, a good day and plenty of nice people to pass the time with.

Be safe.

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