We got called to a pub (which is always promising), to a 24 year old female who was having 'difficulty breathing'. When we turned up at the pub, we were met by a man who, after letting us know he was a 'first aider', told us that she was fitting, and that she had stopped breathing – but that mouth to mouth resuscitation had 'brought her back'.
Entering the pub we found the woman thrashing around on the floor. She wasn't having a fit, it was more like a temper tantrum. Throwing himself on top of her was her husband, who was reluctant to let us approach her. People in the pub told us that they had both been drinking heavily.
We near enough had to force the man off of his wife so we could examine her properly – and it soon became apparent that she was just very, very drunk. Out of the corner of my eye I saw sudden movement and ducked quickly as the husband threw his wife's shoe at a man standing behind me. We decided that loading her onto the ambulance would be the best thing to do. The husband demanded to be let in, but we told him that we needed room to properly examine his wife. He banged on our windows twice, but then left, apparently running up the road – possibly due to him throwing a pint glass at another of the pubs customers. (This was very unwise of him, because half of Newham police force were 200 yards up the road dealing with an armed incident).
By this time a second crew had turned up, as someone had called 999 and told our control that the woman had stopped breathing. We stood them down, although on reflection they could have been of help keeping the woman on the trolley because the woman was still throwing herself around, refusing to lay still, and generally making life difficult – we managed to get a blood sugar, pulse and blood pressure (all of which were normal) but she refused to stay on the trolley, wouldn't sit on a chair and so we let her lay on the floor.
At times like these, I think I'd give my eye-teeth to be able to put people like her in a four point restraint – but it's something we are not allowed do.
Then while I was driving to hospital, she made an attempt to leap out the back of the ambulance, and it was only the rugby skills of my crewmate that prevented her escaping under he wheels of a following car. The rugby tackle was all the more impressive given that my crewmate is five foot nothing tall.
We finally managed to get the patient to hospital, where she threw her vomit bowl (with vomit) over the floor and tried to hit a nurse – luckily I was standing behind her, and grabbed her before she could damage any of the staff, or even a patient.
To cut a long story short, the nurses let her phone her sister to come and pick her up, and then kicked her out the department.
Two things about this job that bring a smile to my face; one – one of her shoes is still laying in the gutter, where we picked her up from, and two – Her husband got out of prison today, and given his attitude and behaviour, he'll soon be back inside.
So, it's not just weekend nights we get the violent drunks, it's every damn night…