When I'm at a 'job'. I don't panic, it's part of my job description to keep control of a situation and to stop other people from running around screaming like a headless chickens. Sometimes I will have to be forceful, or act quickly, but I never panic.
I got a job, '14 month child, floppy and lifeless'.
“Fuck”, I thought.
It was in a part of my patch I'm not very familiar with, new buildings on the isle of dogs. The address was given as 'Flat 1, Rose house, Starling road'.
This is obviously not the address I was given, I do respect patient confidentiality after all
I rushed to Starling road, a new estate, loads of buildings, none of which seemed to be marked.
“Fuck”, I thought.
If a child is floppy or lifeless, then the chances are it is either very ill, or is dead.
I sped up and down the road. I spotted some of the names of the flats in tiny writing, on little blue plaques many of them pointing away from the road. My pulse started to rise. It had taken me four minutes to reach the area, but how much longer would it take me to locate the potentially very sick child?
I found 'Lilac House', 'Lily House' and 'Tulip House', but I couldn't find 'Rose House'.
Now I was starting to panic. Was I being stupid? Had I driven past it? Was the baby dead, and if it was, was it because I couldn't find the fucking house?
I could feel the sweat soaking my back, without being able to get to the patient there was nothing I could do. I cursed the council, the builders, the architects, everyone who had thought that putting pretty, but bloody useless signs on the buildings was a good idea.
I got Control to ring the parents back, the mother came out to meet me. 'Rose House' was behind another block of flats, behind a road barrier. The name plaque had text around an inch high, pointing away from the road.
Luckily the baby only had a runny nose.
I hated it though, the utter feeling of helplessness that comes with being unable to find a patient, the sweating, the raised pulse and the vaguely sick feeling in the bottom of the stomach as you race up and down a street in the dark trying to find the right location.
Please. If any architects, builders, council planners or sign writers read this, make the signs bigger. Make them so I can read them at night. Make them so that if it is your relative that is critically ill, I can find them before it's too late.
Only 3,960 jobs today…