Monday, October 31, 2005

Busy FRU day

My shift on the FRU was at a different ambulance station to where I normally work, so the first thing I needed to do was to go to my normal station to pick up my reflective coat and my stab vest.

I'd just arranged this with the FRU desk in control, and set off to my normal station when I received a call to a lady in a care home who was unconscious. It turned out she wasn't quite unconscious - she responded to me at least. She was diabetic, and her blood sugar was 3.1. Now our clinical guidelines state that you should only give an injection of Glucagon (which, put simply, stimulates the liver to release stored glucose) if the blood sugar level is less than 3.0, but there is a get out that allows for clinical judgement.

It would have been dangerous to try to give her some glucose gel or a drink, so I decided to give her the glucagon (a skill which EMTs aren't recognised for doing under Agenda for Change - see here for a post Tom Reynolds wrote about it one year on from its supposed implementation. I'll be posting an update regarding this farce.)

There. First job, and already I've cracked open a drugs pack.

Next a chest pain - which turned out to be belly ache, but to be fair it was a genuine call so I wasn't annoyed.

The next one annoyed me though. Very much so. A gentleman rang 999 because he wanted a lift to his local hospital so he could make an appointment with the physiotherapy department. It became a Category A (immediately life-threatening) because he said he was having severe difficulty in breathing. He was most upset when I turned up on the car - "What have they sent you in that for - I can't get in a car!" If I tell you any more, then I'm afraid I'll start swearing, so I won't.

Instead, I'll finish on a call that came in to control while I was standing at our sector desk on my last shift before I went on holiday. One of the questions that's asked is "Are you/the patient breathing normally". Well when I read the answer on the job ticket as it came out of the printer up on the dispatch desk, I nearly wet myself laughing. The answer had been:

"It's not as normal as it normally is, but apart from that it's normal!"

I'm pleased I wasn't on the crew that went to that patient - I think I'd have still been giggling when we walked in.

Ahh well - at least I can rest assured nothing's changed while I've been away.

By the way - Happy Halloween. Watch out for those witches and ghosties!


Anonymous Matt said...

Since I've started reading blogs by EMT's and EMD's, I'm still getting used to how so many people abuse the 999 system. A decent education programme needs to be started, to teach people in the UK when to call an ambulance and when not to.

I've just started the Paramedic Science degree course at Herts uni, so I may see you on the road for placements. Looking forward to gaining practical on the road experience, as I know this is what counts the most once qualified. Some observing I did in my home county was extremely interesting and beneficial, so I can't wait to start observational placements, and then clinical operational training next year.

LOL, and that person's response to the breathing question - classic!

Good blog, keep up the posts. Glad you had a good holiday. And Happy Halloween!

11:16 pm  
Anonymous Newbie said...

Steve - I think we've met!! Did you go over to the SW desk and tell the people there that comment about the breathing normaly??? I've also put the comment in my random things are said!

1:34 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

Hi Newbie - no, we were at the SW desk when we found out about it. Was it you that took the call?

6:30 pm  
Anonymous Newbie said...

No I was standing at the SW desk when you were talking about it!! I think I even shook your hand and introduced myself! How random!!

6:43 pm  
Anonymous Stan said...

Ah, so it was you! We took the physio guy to A & E at 533 and the nurse gave him a right bo**ocking. Easy job, though!

5:35 pm  

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