We were finishing up our paperwork at the hospital when my crewmate's mobile phone rang. It was one of our fast car drivers and he was asking if we could hurry up our time at hospital because he had a nasty job that needed to get to hospital quickly. We were the only crew who weren't currently dealing with a patient and so we 'greened up' and, after getting the job from Control headed over to his location.
We arrived on scene to find the patient's elderly husband and her daughter already there – the FRU and patient were nowhere to be seen. We were directed to the top of the stairs where the FRU was trying to persuade the patient to go to hospital.
“She's stubborn”, the daughter said, “we fitted a stairlift for her, but she's too stubborn to use it”.
It would seem that this elderly woman was heading upstairs to bed and had tripped up the stairs – in part because she never used the stairlift.
She was arguing with the FRU, he was telling her that she needed to go to hospital, she was insisting that she just wanted to go to bed. If her injuries weren't too bad we might be able to leave her at home.
What she had done was far from a minor injury.
Both of her shins were essentially 'degloved', the skin on her shins had gone and there was little left except for bone. Surprisingly there was less blood than you would think, but this was a very serious injury, quite possibly one that she wouldn't recover from. To be honest it was one of the nastiest injuries that I'd ever seen.
Given how long leg wounds can take to heal in the elderly, it wouldn't surprise me if, coupled with her other medical problems, that this vast injury would lead to her death.
We managed to persuade her into our carry chair and then essentially browbeat her into going to hospital. We dressed the wounds as best we could and took her to hospital.
What sticks in my mind is that if she hadn't been so stubborn, if she had used the stairlift that her family had fitted for her, then we wouldn't have been needed and our patient wouldn't have suffered a potentially fatal injury.
The other reason why this job sticks in my head is because my mum is likewise stubborn, and I can see her killing herself falling off a chair while changing a lightbulb, or seriously injuring herself doing something daft rather than ask me or my brother for help.
For those that care about my suffering, since I started on the Ciprofloxacin I've not had a decent night sleep, mostly due to restless legs or just through waking up during the night. I have this for a month, so, y'know, please send sympathies and Diazepam.