We all stared at the tiny package lying on the trolley bed. No words were spoken, only intense concentration as if by the very thought it would open and place itself on our patient.
We stared . . . then stared some more. I scratched my head whilst one of the crew scratched their chin. The other went to suggest something then stopped and furrowed their eyebrows.
It was a triangular bandage . . . arguably the most complicated piece of kit on an Ambulance.
Our patient – a small, old aged and unassuming man – sat on the chair holding a rather obviously distorted wrist up against his chest. As lots of frail old folk do, he’d had a fall in the street and broken an arm.
We continued to stare at the triangular bandage. None of us daring to be the first to have a go for fear that everyone else would move aside and let them do it – alone. So, the triangular bandage remained in its package. On the bed. In front of the patient. Who sat patiently. Holding his wrist.
Damn it! Where was the St John’s Ambulance Service when you needed them!
Eventually, one of the crew turned to the patient.
“um, how are things holding your wrist where it is sir? Is the pain bearable?”
“Aye, it’s not so bad thank you”
“Righto. We’ll leave it at that then. Come on then, let’s go.”
And thus it was. They went to Hospital and the triangular bandage, unsurprisingly, remained unused.