You may remember that I've mentioned before how working day shifts are different from night shifts, in the way that I meet less drunks, and more people who may actually be ill.
Yesterday I did three jobs. “only three jobs?” I hear you ask, well it's only because of much faffing around trying to find an ambulance that not only worked, but was also stocked with some of the essential kit that we need (you know, stuff like defibulators, blood pressure machines, bandages – essential stuff like that).
So the first job of the day was a woman suffering from morning sickness, her nausea prevented her from walking or talking, in fact all she suceeded in doing was to annoy my crewmate and myself… Her 'constant vomiting' consisted of her spitting into a bowl. I don't begrudge her an ambulance, but she just couldn't get her head around the idea that lying on the floor groaning wasn't helping us get her onto the ambulance.
Then we went to a drunk, who had 'collapsed' in the street. Damn those good Samaritans who call ambulances for drunks who are having a kip after a bit of a drinking session. No problem, although she was incontinent and so smelt a bit, and piddled on the floor of the ambulance. We had to return to the ambulance station to mop out the back of the ambulance, and enjoy a cup of tea.
Our third job of the day was something that we are seeing more and more of recently – an alcoholic had been kicked out of his hostel, so he had an 'epileptic fit' on the doorstep of the hostel. Police were called to remove him, but because the hostel thought they were taking too long, they also decided to call for an ambulance. We are being called to remove more and more people being thrown out of hostels, often the reason is given as “abdominal pain”, but when we turn up the 'patient' is making no such complaint.
This particular fellow was (surprise) drunk, and with my practiced eye I saw a kitchen knife sticking out of his back pocket – which using my finely tuned pickpocket skills, was soon in my possession and was handed to the police who were now on scene. There was a bit of a stand-off, but the police didn't want to arrest him because, well frankly, he smelt very bad. So we found ourselves removing the 'patient' to hospital, there was no reason for him to go to hospital, but where else could we have taken him? We aren't really allowed to take people to the homeless persons unit – but it is just a bit down the road from the hospital, so we managed to get him a bit closer to the help he needed (if only geographically).
A crew has just gone out to a job that was described on the mobile terminal in the ambulance as, “Patient confused, pulling out knives, 'going off her rocker', cannot get anymore sense from caller”. What an exciting life we lead…