04 May 2009

Redeeming night

So many ambulance shifts consist of nonsense after idiocy after dumb-assery, every now and then one comes along which make me feel a little better about the job. Not that the individuals involved are any different than the usual suspects, just that they actually needed an ambulance.

This particular night started with a lift assist for an older gentleman who was stuck between his rocking chair and dining table. His family had been unable to help him up, but we were able to get him situated and on with his evening. Next call was for an unresponsive person on the sidewalk, turned out to be someone we've picked up before, alcohol and unknown medication overdose. He woke up a little on the way and we liberated two fifths of vodka from him. Always good fun when the crowd is catcalling both us and the patient as we're trying to get him off the street. Next call was pure stupidity, the eventual solution was that the woman needed more instruction with her crutches and a more explicit explanation that a "fractured" foot meant it was probably going to develop bruises in a couple of days.

Then the fun starts, dispatch for a roll-over accident on the highway. Car is on it's driver's side, patient halfway out the window with her neck and shoulder supporting her weight and screaming loudly about her neck pain. After more than 25 minutes of playing with their toys, the fire department was able to get her out of the car and onto a backboard. (All I'm going to say is that to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail!) She had some periods of unconsciousness and when she was awake she was screaming and complaining. At the hospital, she got a quick dose of "be quiet" involving Haldol, Morphine and Ativan. She turned out to have a cervical spine fracture, a skull fracture and a lung contusion and got shipped out to a higher level facility pretty quickly.

Next dispatch is for a car in the median on the highway. The car was found by another group driving by, no information on how fast it was going, or even which way it had been going on the highway. When we get there, the patient is laying outside the car on the ground, unresponsive, each eye twitching a different direction. A quick transport to the hospital and she earns a helicopter trip to a trauma center in the big city. All in all, a night where 80% of the calls were legitimate and I feel like did something useful.

1 comment:

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Wow - you've got a tough job. At least it seems like there's a lot of variety to keep boredom at bay.