Monday, December 26, 2005

BBA - Catch!

I’m not at work today (which is probably a good thing after yesterday) so I’ll tell you about a job I did a few months ago while I was working with my last crewmate on an ambulance.

It was a night shift, and we were given a call to a BBA.  BBA means Born Before Arrival.  Not before the arrival of the ambulance, but before arrival at the hospital.
We arrived at the address, and we were met at the door by the dad-to-be.

“The head’s showing” he said as we entered the house.  “She’s upstairs on the bed.”
“Ok,” I said, and we made our way up the stairs. We often get told that the head’s showing, and when we arrive at the mum-to-be, there’s nothing of the sort.

I was attending, so I walked into the bedroom first, and there kneeling up on the edge of the bed with the “business end” hanging over the side was mum.  At a glance I saw that dad was correct.  The head was “crowning” which means it’s visible.  I turned to put the bags down that I was carrying, and as I did so, I just happened to glance back and saw that the head was out.  

I opened my mouth to tell mum to stop pushing, but before I could even say “Stop”, the rest of the baby was born with a rush.  It fell, head first onto the floor from the height of the bed, rupturing the umbilical cord in the process.  I keep looking back at that moment to see if there was any possibility that I could have caught the baby, but there wasn’t.  I had just been setting the bags down on the floor.  Had the baby popped out a few seconds later, then yes I would have caught it.

Fuck.  It was at this point that I really wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.

Instead, both me and my crewmate made a dive for the baby.  My crewmate got there first, and wrapped the end of the cord round his finger to stop the bleeding from it.  Babies don’t have much blood, so they really don’t want to lose any.  

Once he’d done that, I quickly checked baby to make sure it wasn’t injured from the fall, but it was fine and started to give a good cry.  We got mum to sit on the floor and I got hold of her end of the umbilical cord and got my crewmate to wrap it round a finger on his other hand.  He really looked quite funny sitting between mum and baby with the umbilical cord wrapped round a finger on each hand.  I opened the maternity pack, and got out three cord clamps.  Normally, we only need two – one for the baby, and one for mum, but because of the rupture, we decided to put two on baby’s side of the cord to make sure there wouldn’t be any further bleeding, then I put a clamp on mum’s cord.

We then gave mum her baby boy to cuddle, and we waited for the FRU to arrive after picking up a midwife from the local maternity unit.

She arrived shortly afterwards, and examined baby.  She was satisfied that there hadn’t been any adverse effects from baby’s first flying lesson, and went on to deliver the placenta, weigh the baby, and stitch mum where the baby had torn her as it made it’s dive for freedom.

After she’d finished, mum didn’t want to go to hospital unless it was necessary, and the midwife was happy for mum to stay at home, so we left the new family together and we took the midwife back to the hospital.

It’s a job I will never forget, and my then crewmate still laughs about it, saying the look on my face as the baby shot out was the funniest thing he’d seen for ages.  He threatened to buy me a baseball glove for Christmas (cheeky git) but he didn’t.  Anyway, I still think seeing him sitting on the floor with the umbilical cord wrapped around a finger on each hand was the funniest.

I’ll catch the next one!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone will tell the baby how lucky they where one day (wedding day speech? 18 birthday party...)

Brings a whole new meaning to the term Bouncying Baby...!


3:51 pm  

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