It was the usual type of busy last night – we heard rumours that there is such a thing as an “ambulance station”, a mythical building where one might use the toilet or partake of the life-giving “cup of tea”. It must be a myth, as we never saw it at all.
As I have mentioned, we get our calls sent down to a computer screen in the ambulance cab, sometimes you wonder how the Control crew have entered it, while keeping from laughing down the phone at the patient. A case in point was one of our calls last night which was given as “53 year old male, taken 3xCrack cocaine, cold and lonely, needs to be put back together”.
Avoiding the rather obvious “Humpty Dumpty” jokes, we soon realised that the complaint, and the location he was calling from fitted one of our semi-regular callers. By the time we got there he had left the phone box and neither us, nor the police could find him after a search of the area. Obviously I was distraught…
Our other stand out job of the night was a 57 year old male fitting. We quickly made our way to the location, to be met by a block of low-rise flats that often sneak up on you in our area. These are three or four floors high, and have no lifts. Also there was one of our first responders. We entered the block, and immediately made our way to the stairs (it is a little known law of physics that in flats with no lifts, people on the ground floor are never ill – only those on the top floor).
Entering the flat, the general state of disrepair, mess and the 3 litre bottle of strong cider I tripped over tended to give the impression that it was owned by an alcoholic. We got into the living room to find a large man laying senseless on the floor, while his daughter was sat over him stroking his hand, trying to reassure him. A quick check over, some oxygen and a chat with his daughter revealed a history of alcoholism (surprise!) and the occasional alcoholic fit. He was a big man, so we packaged him up in our carry chair and carried him down three flights of stairs. All the time his daughter was saying how strong the nice ambulance men were – which only goes to show that she wasn't paying attention to my reddening face and struggles for breath…
We got the patient into the back of the ambulance where, he started to fit again – this time lasting about 2 minutes, he also decided to bite his tongue and vomit – which meant that the back of the ambulance (and myself in some part) was covered in bloody, cider-smelling vomit. I think I've mentioned before how I can't smell alcohol, yet I can smell cider…and it turns my stomach. We packaged him up and 'blued' him into Newham, where he had another two fits (despite some rather strong sedation) and by the end of our shift he was still in resus having infusions of Phenytoin and Pabrinex.
So a busy night without the chance to see our station, with at least one mopping out of the ambulance… pretty standard really.