Thursday, October 13, 2005

Strange days

As the title says, it's been a strange couple of days. Yesterday we had a new university student on the paramedic science degree course out observing with us.

Normally when we get an observer to take out, it ends up being a relatively quiet day with no really interesting jobs, so we tend to go out looking for work, because it's pointless and boring for the observer to sit on station waiting for the phone to ring, and that's the way it panned out yesterday.

We went to a couple of obnoxious regulars, a woman who thought she was dying because she had an infection in her gums, and the most potentially interesting job was given as a body under a tree, which turned out to be a very conscious, but very drunk man. We only did about 5 jobs in total in a 10 hour shift, which is a shame for the observer. Even staying out hoping to pick up some work proved relatively futile. This is known in the job as the "Observer's Curse".

Now today, because we didn't have an observer out with us, we started the day with a hanging (chap of asian appearance had tied a belt round his neck and a railing on the landing of a block of flats and just sat down and strangled himself more than hang). When we arrived he was still warm so we worked on him, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital. It turns out he was a known psychiatric patient and had gone missing. The police had been urgently trying to find him as he was known to be at high risk of committing suicide. Unfortunately, it seems he got his wish.

We then went to a gentleman who was in cardiac failure with central chest pain, and rather poorly. Another good working job. He turned out to be fine in the end and as far as I know was released from hospital a few hours later.

After that we went to a 4 car RTC, with all involved only suffering minor injuries and a couple of whiplash injuries.

Finally we went to a chap, possibly drunk, unconscious on a bus. He didn't particularly smell of drink - certainly only probably one or two drinks. His blood glucose level was fine, but he was very sweaty, vomiting and the pupils of his eyes were pinpoint, which is usually a sign of use of opioid drugs, such as heroin. He wouldn't/couldn't talk to us, but nodded when asked if he'd taken any drugs, and nodded again when I mentioned cocaine. Although cocaine isn't an opioid drug, we couldn't rule out the use of such drugs, so we gave him an injection of the antidote (narcan). It wouldn't do any harm if he hadn't taken any, and it could help to bring him round a bit more.

It didn't work, so we took him in to hospital. On the way, he decided to vomit all over the back of the ambulance. Fortunately I saw it coming, so managed to move out of the way rather sharpish. We ended up being an hour late off work cos we had to mop the floor, clean the trolley bed, and wash the trolley straps that he'd also managed to get vomit over.

Glamorous job working for the ambulance service isn't it?? hehe.

Only four jobs in 10 hours today - but all were long winded and awkward jobs. Glad today's over - I'm knackered. Still, back for more tomorrow!


Blogger Merys said...

HI, I know what you mean about observers. I was observing a paramedic crew this summer, as I have just applied to 3 paramedic practice degrees, and thought the experience would be interesting.
4 jobs across 2 12 hour shifts.
Needless to say, I didnt experience a lot.

6:58 pm  
Anonymous eso said...

Oh i love your blog!

It would be so helpful to me and to anyone else who would like to read your blog but who isn't on blogger if you would syndicate your blog.

Instructions are here.

11:54 pm  
Blogger Todd Thacker said...

Eso took the words out of my mouth. RSS please!

5:10 am  
Anonymous newbieatcac said...

Oh my god - I took the call about the random man under the tree!!! I wondered what had happened about him!

Apparently the caller had been walking his dog past there for 2 days and the body hadn't really moved!

Thanks also for the link to my blog!

2:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, guys, I am an ambo from New zealand. Aint it crazy to think that all the same funny stuff happens world wide?
I also have some crazy stories which I will have available soon on a web site.
Take care out there eh.
Keep laughing, it keeps us sane. (ish)

2:19 am  

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