Night shift: Six calls; two by car; four by ambulance.
Stats: 1 Drug o/d; 1 Stabbing; 1 EP fit; 3 Assaults.
Happy Easter! Well, for normal people that is. Not so for the 20-odd year-old male who was reportedly lying in the street shouting out and misbehaving. The police couldn’t find him when they arrived but he’d moved on to an underground station where we found him on the floor, thrashing around and being an idiot while families walked around going to and from wherever. He was surrounded by British Transport Police who were bemused to say the least. But he was quite ferocious when I tried to get information from him and he grabbed my arm and pulled it until I felt the shoulder click. He also had a nasty thick bracelet on and this was sharp enough to slice one of the officers on the hand when he tried to handle him.
With the crew’s help we managed to get him to the ambulance and into hospital where he became less belligerent. He’d been clubbing all weekend and was out of it on GHB. In my world, he’d go to hospital, ‘sober up’ and then receive a heavy fine for his troubles. If he didn’t pay the fine, or repeated the offence, he’d go to jail for a while. In this world, he’ll do it again and again at our expense.
A stabbing in Regent Street sent us to a sea of blue lights for what turned out to be a hand injury. The guy had been stabbed and he was lucky his wound was relatively minor. It would probably need stitches and a crew was already on scene and dealing with him, so we left and got our next call immediately.
In one of the less luxurious tourist hostels (still calling itself ‘Hotel’) a 17 year-old epileptic may have had a fit and a crew was on scene but I was asked to assist in case she had another and drugs were required. It’s likely she had an ‘absence’ because she has no memory of a few minutes of time and was only aware of voices in the room as she lay on her bed, tired after an exhausting day out.
She remained stable and alert and I left the crew to it but not before having a word with the Manager of the hostel about the fact that the only elevator available was being used to transport rubbish around floors when the young girl, strapped to an ambulance chair, waited on the fourth floor with the crew and her teacher. If she’d had a seizure her treatment would have had to be given there and then. Most Hotels give the ambulance service some priority when they make their 999 calls.
An hour or so past before our next call and we were off to the West End for a Big Issue seller who was allegedly assaulted by some young men as they walked by. The poor guy was left on the pavement with his newspapers strewn around him. He was tearful and understandably angry about what had happened to him, and the police, who were on scene when we arrived, were very kind and sympathetic. They had caught the assailants nearby and at least two men were arrested.
The man didn’t want to go to hospital (against advice) and he was adamant about this, so we offered to take him home to his Hostel instead but as we arrived on the street where he lived another call came through for an assault on that street. The police flagged us down and the poor Big Issue seller got out and walked the rest of the way home. We wanted to take him to his door but he knew we had another patient to deal with now and insisted on leaving us to it.
This assault victim was inside a Salsa club - he had been chased down by another man after dancing with a girl the alleged assailant was with. He objected and started a fight (allegedly) which ended with our patient lying on the floor, receiving a bottle to his head, which shattered on impact, leaving him with a cut to his forehead and hand, which I assume he held out to defend himself.
There were no ambulances nearby so, given that the wounds were fairly minor but would need closing, and the patient was stable, we took him in the car to hospital with a police officer on board. This meant he got to where he could receive treatment before his condition deteriorated, if it was going to at all. The man was so obsessed about his appearance that he tore off the first dressing to look at his scalp wound and he fiddled incessantly with the dressing wrapped around his hand. He had to be told time and time again to stop touching his wounds with his filthy paws. Please note the word ‘paws’ was not actually used in the making of that conversation.
The next assault took place on Oxford Street. A 20 year-old Chinese man got himself into an argument which turned into a fist fight. He received a punch to the cheek, which probably broke it and that should have been that but two other men decided to get involved and they punched him to the ground. He hit the pavement so hard that the back of his head split and I could feel a large bump forming there. It left him unconscious for a few minutes and concussed when he came round. Police were already on scene and the hopeless task of finding the alleged assailants began. According to witnesses, it sounded like the men had taken a bus after the attack. I’ve been on plenty of calls where thugs have beaten someone up and then, with the bus driver knowing what had happened (or even witnessing it), they have still been able to hop on a bus and go home with no questions asked and no report being given after the fact. The fear created by these maniacs has driven people to silence, even when they can make a difference.
A crew arrived as the obs were completed and we left him in the back of the ambulance with a rising BP, which could be significant, and rambling repeatedly about what he remembered of the fight – although he couldn’t remember the number of his house.