I tried to avoid it, it wasn’t the patient’s fault but last week I managed to get splash back in my eye.
The pitiable patient was suffering from an intense chronic stomach pain and his agony was being exhibited through what appeared to be manic yoga techniques mixed with swimming strokes. All the while he would compliment this majestic display with a barrage of screams, groans and multi directional explosive episodes of cough-vomit. I think we will abbreviate this wondrous substance to ‘cough-vom’.
And it was from one of these random explosions that the single droplet of cough-vom dispersed itself from the contents of the patient’s stomach and arched its flight through our ambulance air space to land perfectly in my eyeball.
After dropping off the patient at the hospital I started the long and politically painful process of checking whether I would be at risk or not. The junior doctors were all liberal with their dismissive advice.
“You should be fine” said one. “The risk is really low” said another. A thoughtful looking one with a trendy beard offered his wisdom, “Yeh, there’s not been any recorded incidents of anyone contracting something from splash back”
Everyone nodded slowly as if the doctor had just said something worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.
“That’s nice,” I smiled, “however, I’d like that risk to be ‘no risk’ and in response to you . . .” I looked at trendy beard doctor, “as far as I’m aware there’s no recorded incidents of someone suffering a heart attack whilst doing a parachute jump – but you know what, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen!”
I was eventually forwarded on to Occupational Health who, after a few hours worth of bureaucratic procedures and phone calls were able to conclude with the following results:
- That my Hep B was up to date
- That the risk is indeed low
- That they would try and find out “whether or not the patient was a high risk and see if they were able to give a sample blood check”
- That they would “let me know”
A sample of my blood was also taken . . . they never said why and I can only imagine it was to mix as a drink afterwards! Who knows . . . but, needless to say, I haven’t heard anything since – so maybe I should be getting in touch again . . .