20 November 2007


Apparently, sometimes you can bring a bat to a gun fight and win.

Last night ZM and I went for an assault call. On arrival, we see our patient lying face first in the grass, handcuffed and not moving. This is not good. Normally, even if they've been arrested, patients are still moving their legs or heads and more frequently, they are still hollering and putting up a fuss. Relief washed over me when a few steps out of the ambulance I see the patient move his legs and generally look a little more alive.

When we get over to the patient, PD informs us that he had been attacked with a baseball bat after trying to break into an apartment near by. This was not a couple of timid swings to the body either. Looking over the patient, you could see multiple impacts to his head. He's still conscious and talking, being reasonably cooperative, but not really aware of what happened or what is going on now. As we are getting him secured to the backboard and moved to the truck, we hear a few more details of what the cops think happened.

Patient broke into the apartment carrying a shotgun and a pistol. Pair of brothers are home in the apartment, one downstairs, one upstairs. Brother downstairs gets a hold of the shotgun and is trying to wrestle it from the patient when brother upstairs comes down with the bat and gets a good crack at patient's head while both hands are wrestling for the gun. Patient continues to struggle, more hits with bat, brothers end up with both guns and patient runs for it. PD called in the midst of all this chaos while patient still in the apartment. Patient makes it about 5 feet out the door before collapsing and being met by PD.

Ultimately, patient gets two large IVs, O2 and assessment from us, then a quick trip to the hospital. Less than 3 minutes after arriving, patient has a seizure. Seizures after head trauma are generally a sign of a pretty severe brain injury. Patient gets medicated, intubated, and has his head scanned. Results were a depressed skull fracture, subarachnoid bleed, multiple brain contusions and a broken jaw. Too bad he'll never remember the helicopter flight to a bigger trauma center, it was a nice night for a flight.

p.s. Not relevant to the story, but we've got snow on the ground today...winter finally made it. Kitchen cabinets to be delivered the week of Dec 10th. Electrical panel to be replaced this week. I have way too much shopping to be done on Black Friday.

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