When I’m Right…

Go and read yesterdays article in order to make sense of this post's title.
It seems I forgot one thing in the list of nasty coincidences that I mentioned yesterday – that it was also the last day of the Notting Hill Carnival. The Police are calling this years carnival a success, with little reported crime, but I would tend to disagree – just that the crimes all happened to people as they travelled home.

Our second call of the night started worryingly when control told us that a male had been stabbed in Stratford shopping centre, and that he could still hear shouting in the background of the call. As I predicted yesterady, the stab vest went on and we made our way down there, meeting up with a lot of police officers trying to control a rather large crowd of post-carnival spectators.

We found a 15 year old male laying on the floor, with a policeman holding some paper tissues over an upper abdominal stab wound, there was no external bleeding, and the patient was alert, calm and talking. He also had a small wound to his right leg, which again wasn't bleeding significantly. I ran through a primary survey (a very quick examination of the patient to rule out anything that is going to kill him in the next five minutes) and then concentrated on making sure his chest and lungs weren't damaged, and on clearing them turned my concentration to the belly wound.

We don't like stab wounds, they can do a lot of damage leaving only a tiny entry wound. One stab wound can easily kill you, whether it is in the leg, the arm the chest of the belly. After my examination I decided that, although he needed exploratory surgery, he wasn't critically ill. There was a bit of 'something' poking out of the wound, I had no idea what it was (I initially thought it was part of the policeman's dressing) so I soaked one of our dressings in saline and applied it to the wound. We then got a phone call from what I took to be the HEMS road team (a doctor and paramedic) letting us know that they would be on scene in twelve minutes and that the patient should go to the Royal London Hospital. The problem with this is that the Royal London is some way further away than Newham, and that I knew that if the HEMS crew got on scene they would want to 'stay and play' securing IV lines, considering intubation and running a full examination on the roadside. In my opinion, having assessed the patient, his best option would be to go immediately to the nearest hospital and let the surgeons there deal with him.

So we loaded the patient onto the ambulance and made a run to Newham Hospital which took us less than five minutes.

The result of which was the patient got to theatre, was 'packed' as he had a lacerated liver and gall bladder and is now in ITU for recovery.

I wonder if the HEMS crew will moan, I suspect they won't because around the corner was another young lad who had been stabbed in what later turned out to be a connected series of battles between two schools. The HEMS crew played around on scene with that patient before taking him to the Royal London Hospital (who do love their trauma jobs). There were then reports throughout the night of other crews picking up more teenagers injured during the fight. The patients were spread fairly evenly between the two hospitals, so no one department became overloaded.

A couple of things struck me as amusing, the first was that when we were about to leave for hospital the patient's girlfriend and cousin were fighting among themselves, essentially over who loved him more and should go to hospital with him. The patient's brother was also there and was fighting with police to get to the patient. He then vanished, and my prior experience would suggest that he was planning revenge and a counterattack.

While going to hospital, the patients girlfriend was talking about the other lad who had been stabbed (apparently his name is 'Biggy G') and how it seemed that the fight had been planned at the Carnival.

As always when I got to the hospital it seemed that the doctors weren't interested in my handover – on which I will post/moan more later.

As we were going to hospital another crew, this time in North London, were putting in a priority call to their local hospital – they had two young men (19 and 20) who had been stabbed, luckily in a non-serious manner.

I'm sorry if this posting is a bit more disjointed than normal, but I am completely knackered and a twelve hour night-shift can have you hallucinating by the end of it if you have been busy enough. I'm off to bed now – goodnight.

7 thoughts on “When I’m Right…”

  1. Well exactly…Which is why I didn't fancy waiting around for the HEMS team to come and play when what this lad needed was a nice big operating theatre.

    As mentioned, his chest was fine, but I didn't want him bleeding to death into his belly while playing around on scene.

  2. How can I say this without it being a complete downer? Your worst days make my worst days look like cakewalks. You do good work. Stiff upper chin up. patricia in texas

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