Sunday, 20 June 2010


Ghostbusters visits the town and everybody gets scared...
and calls for an ambulance.

Day shift: Four calls; one assisted-only; one by car; two by ambulance.

Stats: 1 fall; 1 head injury post ?EP fit; 1 ?miscarriage;1 fall with facial injury.

A quiet start to the morning until an assist-only call for a very, very large man who’d fallen and couldn’t get up. The combination of Ankylosing Spondylitis and sheer mass made the job of getting this man off the floor and back onto his bed impossible without a special piece of equipment called a Manger Elk.

Two police officers and a crew were also on scene and this was not the first, or second (or third) time we’d been called to get him up when he tumbled. He had no injury and insisted that all he wanted was to be put on his bed but that was easier said than done. He was naked, except for a towel around his waist and when he was finally raised on the Elk, he left a messy cargo on the device as he stood and balanced himself against his walking frame. I could see the police officers wincing at the sight but the three ladies with me; two paramedics and my student, cleaned the faeces from the Elk and sat the man back onto his bed without a word. The excrement had smeared his carpet and sheets. Clearly he couldn’t take care of himself and nobody else was looking after him.

I completed a form that lay near his bed; it was from the Council and it was requesting information on a any help he may need for disabilities. The patient didn’t seem to know it was there or had ignored it, so I explained what it was and filled it in. Then I got him to sign it once he’d read it and took it with me in the freepost envelope. I mailed it for him later in the shift so hopefully something will be done about this.

An investigative run to an up-market apartment block (pillars, marble, 24-hour concierge), for a 28 year-old epileptic who may or may not have had a fit but whose loved ones found him with a head injury in any case. The blood had crimsoned the inside of his baseball cap but there was little in the way of a significant wound to his head when inspected. It almost seemed as if someone else (a guest bleeder perhaps) had bled into his cap and left him on the floor afterwards. He had no memory of falling, fitting or bleeding.

A crew arrived and so, despite the intriguing nature of this call, we left them to get on with it rather than bumble around being useless. I did, however, manage a set of obs and a quick listen with my stethoscope... on the teddy bear belonging to the small boy of the family. He was not impressed, even though I told him that his bear would live. Some people, no matter how small, have no sense of humour.

Around the corner, in a hotel, a 22 year-old Lithuanian staff member complained of sharp abdominal pain and some PV bleeding. She is three months pregnant and clearly worried that she may have lost this, her second child. It sounded like no more than ‘spotting’ and this is normal during the early stages of pregnancy but we took her to hospital just in case – after I’d had to reverse down a winding ramp into the guts of the hotel that is.

An elderly man with suspected Alzheimer’s fell on the pavement and smashed his face. He was found by passers-by as he lay face down in a small pool of blood. His cuts were fairly insignificant but he’d managed to get here from somewhere, so the student para asked him a couple of standard questions.

‘What day is it today?’ she asked.

‘The day after yesterday’, he replied.

‘Do you know where you are?’

‘Yes, I’m right here’.

He was either playing with her mind or he was just a cleverly confused person. We opted for the latter and that’s where the suspicion of his wandering escape came from... he told us he’d come from ‘a home’ and we think he meant some kind of care home. He’d probably wandered away from his place of safety, shuffled along the pavement and eventually tripped over with no hope of stopping his descent.

His ECG was abnormal, showing a right bundle branch block (RBBB) so he was taken to hospital by the crew when they arrived – he’d have gone anyway.

Be safe.

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