I have a bit of luck, a brand new shiny relief has drawn the short straw of working with me for four days. This means that I know who I'm working with for this period of time which makes me a more relaxed ambulance person.
She asks that she be described here as 'sexy, smart, kind-hearted and with a nice bum', or something like that. I was too busy laughing at her after the first few words.
She is actually a very nice person and I think she'll fit in well with the rest of our complex. I'm enjoying working with her.
Last night, with one exception, all our patient's were so ill we had to 'blue' them into the resuscitation room at the hospital. 'Bluing' in a ptient means that we find ourselves racing to hospital on blue lights and sirens because we are concerned about the well-being of our patients.
Our first call was a 'classic'. A frail, demented 90+ year old female in a nursing home who had become 'semi-conscious'. We arrived at the home to find that the FRU had arrived before us. He shouted out the window at us that the patient 'wasn't well'.
Breathing at sixty times a minute, she barely flinched as we lifted her across onto our trolley bed. She looked so unwell I connected her to our defib machine 'just in case'.
As is usual with these cases the nurses at the nursing home couldn't give us too many details on the patient, they had no idea how long that she had been ill for and had to be persuaded to call for the next of kin.
Our next job was for a man who had collapsed and was having a seizure in the street. He had a cycle of coming out of a seizure then having another one. This continued in the ambulance so once more we found ourselves 'blueing' into the hospital. The patient continued to fit until some rather strong drugs were given.
Our next patient was another 'fitter', this one however was a two year old girl. As we arrived she was still fitting. Prolonged fits can result in a lack of oxygen to the brain, so this justified another 'blue' into hospital. As we arrived at the hospital the child woke up and seemed fine.
I hate children – when they are ill they really put the wind up me.
Our last 'blue call' of the shift was to another child, this one was five years old who had fallen four feet out of bed. He had a painful shoulder and neck, had a huge bump on his head and was very drowsy.
I didn't like how drowsy he was – it's normal for a child to be sleepy after an accident, but this seemed a more profound drowsy than is to be expected.
As the child was a 'funny shape' I couldn't fit a hard collar to his neck (to protect against the possibility of neck injury), trying to put a collar on a child normally has them squirming and crying, but this child just lay there wanting to go to sleep. I had to make do with wrapping his head in a blanket roll, and old fashioned way of immobilising the head, but one that I think is more effective than the specifically designed equipment that we have.
So once more we found ourselves heading into hospital under blue lights and sirens and I'd like to thank my shiny new relief for a nice smooth ride. It's easy to get fired up in the moment, to start driving hard, all the while forgetting that your crewmate is getting bounced around in the back of the truck. this didn't happen – which made me grateful as I would have been the one bouncing around in the back…
Once we got to hospital the child seemed to make a full recovery, I suspect that the hospital will observe him overnight before sending him home.
I'm thankful that there was a nice doctor receiving the patient, she understood that I had my concerns even though the child now seemed fine. It's the curse of the ambulance service that in the nice controlled atmosphere of a resus room things rarely seem as bad as they are out on the road.
Still – no one ever lost their job by bluing in a patient that didn't need it. I'd rather be a bit of a worrier than have someone drop dead as I calmly wheel them through the doors after convincing myself that, 'they aren't that sick'.
So a busy night – but one in which we both felt we'd done some good work above and beyond the normal 'pick up drunk, take to hsopital, mop out vomit' that I often find myself doing.