It has been a crazy, crazy day. It started off badly when we turned up at 7am and got the 2283rd job of the day – yep, 2283 jobs between midnight and 7am. That's 326 jobs every hour, or one job every 11 seconds.
It also appears that there is something in the water of London at the moment. We have been dealing with nothing but mental health problems and assaults for most of the day. Our first job was to 16 year old female who was 'talking in tongues' (glossolalia). To me she looked a lot older than 16 years old, and she was apparently staying with her friends, while her family lives in another part of London. None of the friends were much help, and it all seemed a little too strange to me, so when I handed her over to the hospital staff, I drew their attention to the situation.
Towards the evening we had a known schizophrenic who was hearing the Devil tell her to kill other people, and herself. We also had an alcoholic who had stayed off the booze for the past 6 months but, because of Christmas, had spent the last three days drinking and had taken an overdose of his pain medication because he felt he had 'failed'.
Our second job, at 8am was to the first of our assaults, two men had been beaten while in their house, one had minor injuries, while the other had probably fractured both of his zygoma, his mandible and his nose. While we were doing these two jobs, all we could hear over the radio were tales of more and more assaults all across East London – unusual even for this part of London.
A little later in the day we went to another two men, who had been set upon by some feral children (you know the type if you live in a city, groups of children who run riot causing trouble and bullying people into buying them alcohol), one had his face stamped on, while the other had lesser injuries. Speaking to the police who attended this later job, it seemed that my impression was correct, and that they had also been exceptionally busy dealing with assaults, including a few 'nasty' assaults. Newham hospital was full of people who had been punched or kicked in seemingly random attacks – if this is how the year is going to continue then I think I'll need a new job…
If you are a 'real' journalist or researcher, it might be interesting to see how the number of assaults across London yesterday compare to other times of the year.
I am wondering if it is due to the extended drinking hours, apparently some places in Newham were only starting to close their doors at 8am, and if this is a taste of what 24 hour licensing will cause, it'll be one more bit of legislation that I'll be unhappy with.
Other jobs were fairly minor affairs – a normally fit male who decided to have a seizure on a floating hotel/restaurant. Another job where a GP visited an elderly woman in a nursing home and thought that it would be a good idea to lay her on her side in case she vomited, while ignoring the hideous rattle in her chest that signified a large chest infection. When we got to the patient, she was struggling for breath, but showed an immediate improvement when we sat her up. A quick ticking off to the nurses and we got her into hospital, where she started looking a lot better.
If someone has a chest infection, or other breathing problem, the worst thing that you can do for them is lay them down…It makes breathing a lot more difficult, and in some cases can lead to the patient 'drowning' in their own lung fluids…
When we got our last job at 6pm, there had been over 4000 calls in London – normally, from midnight to midnight, we have between 3,200-3,500 jobs a day. I'll give you a better estimate tomorrow of how many jobs there were, but I'm guessing that it'll beat 5,000.
In a slightly lighter mood – mainly because I had two cans of Stella last night (to see in the new year) I have been gassing my crewmate with my rancid flatulence. Luckily I haven't been farting while there has been a patient in the back of the ambulance, but if I did, I think I'd have to offer them an oxygen mask.
I may not post tomorrow, but on Monday expect a multimedia extravaganza…