I have my new permanent crew-mate. This makes me happy and I think that we will work well together. She says that she never gets a serious job, something that I think applies to me as well.
So of course – on our first two days together we end up with some really rather seriously ill patients.
It's been unseasonably hot and we had already been called to an elderly man who had collapsed – we ran our full barrage of tests and it looked like it was due to a few too many layers of clothing. We'd also been to a woman walking around in the middle of the day wearing a puffa jacket who was feeling dizzy. Probably something to do with the high temperature.
So we were called to another collapse, we arrived and thought that he was dead. His whole body was either white or purple and it was only because our first responder was talking to him that we knew he was alive. Gradually a bit of colour came back to him and he told us about the abdominal pain that he had been suffering with from earlier in the day.
As he was laying flat out in the kitchen and we needed to get him to the ambulance we gently sat him up in order to get him into our wheelchair. His eyes rolled back into his head and we quickly lowered him back down to the floor. Again he lost all his colour and I quickly checked that his heart was still beating.
This needed a rethink. A quick examination showed a pulsating lump in his abdomen. This is typically a sign of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (a 'triple-A')which, should it start leaking or burst, will kill you. The only treatment is surgery. Which means getting him to hospital very quickly. So we grabbed our scoop stretcher and carried him out flat. It's a lot more awkward and took more time, but if he was going to collapse every time that we sat him up it was the only way to get him out the house.
A few quick checks on the ambulance to make sure that he wasn't having a heart attack (and would therefore be going to the angioplasty lab) and we 'blued' him into hospital.
As I hopped out of the drivers seat and opened the door I noticed that his colour had improved greatly and he was a lot more talkative. As we wheeled him into the resuscitation bay I said to the doctor, “Well, on scene he looked like a triple-A”.
We left the hospital to it and did a few more jobs.
It was only later that we saw him being wheeled out for a transfer to another hospital – it seems that our initial suspicions were correct and he was indeed having a slow bleed from his triple-A. While he was currently stable (stable enough apparently to transfer him without a nurse or doctor escort), I would guess that he would still be needing surgery.
Once more, a 'good' job, one where we made a difference. I don't know what is going on – all these genuine jobs… Whatever happened to nice simple broken fingernails and watery eyes that walk on and off my ambulance and mean little work on my part.