The seriousness of most illnesses can be determined by the global demeanour of those gathered round the patient. When you enter someone’s home and are greeted by a smiley happy chirpy face of a relative mid throws in the process of making a pot of tea, I think it’s a safe bet that the patient you’ve come to see will not be dead or dying.
I stood at the foot of a bed where my patient lay and unperturbed, repeated his proclamation.
“You can’t move”
The patient’s wife stood in the kitchen. A smiley happy chirpy face befit her as she made a pot of tea. Continue reading
When a young person trips over in the street half cut you really shouldn’t expect them to be calling an ambulance. When the said person is a medical student, well, it just seems to exacerbate the ridiculousness of the issue!
The call had come down as “22yom Falls. ?broken arm. ?intoxicated”. So, to give the person their dues, I was thinking they must have fallen from a height . . . say, from some scaffolding or something. Because that would warrant a broken arm surely. When I arrived I was presented with two drunk males, one lying on the pavement and one leaning over him.
There was no scaffolding to be seen. Continue reading
It was another busy night on the JRU (Joint Response Unit).
This is the evening where we have one FRU per Police borough and are just tasked to Police related calls. The logic goes partly and a little something like this . . .
Passerby calls 999 re something happening – eg drunk in street. Police take up call, attend if they believe it may be relevant, also pass call to London Ambulance Service due to possible injuries/illness . . .
When a job comes down as “pool of blood on the floor”, most of the time you can dismiss this as a slight over-exaggeration on the patient’s behalf . . . most of the time. However, when it comes down as “pool of blood on the floor – 80 year old, bleeding from leg,” then it’s a safe bet to add together the metaphorical two plus two and come to the conclusion of . . . a burst varicose vein.
When these bleed . . . they bleed!
I looked down at my patient who was sat against a wall. Poor man was clearly in pain – and understandably so, after all, he’d just had his elbow clipped by a moving vehicle at approximately 40mph.
I currently have a student with me so I set about getting them to do a thorough history and examination as well as sort the poor man out with some pain relief. And of course “package” the man ready for when our Ambulance arrives. For this last part – and with a cocky wry smile – I handed my student the infamously feared – triangular bandage!
“Away you go!”
My student looked up at me with a genuine puzzled look . . . “Um . . . I’ve not used one of these things yet”.
Ah . . . ! Continue reading
The job sprung to life on the MDT – “Red 2 – Male, Unresponsive”.
This could be anything! Could be someone in a cardiac arrest! Fallen from height! RTC! Overdose! Stabbed! Shot! The endless possibilities were mind bogglingly exciting!
I checked the address . . . “Route 245*, Such-and-such Road”.
Ah, I see. It’ll be a bloke asleep on a bus then . . .