First off – Go buy this book, huge amounts of the money you spend will go to Comic Relief.
Although Comic Relief on telly gets me trying to hibernate for a whole week to escape it; I suspect that this book is actually a good thing, and funny as well.
We found ourselves going to a woman who had a 'broken finger, bone sticking out'. This looked like it was going to be a pretty simple job, finger injuries are normally pretty simple.
Not this one.
As we entered the room we could tell that it wasn't a 'standard' broken finger. The workmen in the room had wrapped her hand as best they could and then held it above her head.
The patient had completely degloved the finger – her ring had got caught on a fence and had torn the skin off the finger. The skin of her finger was bunched up around the top joint of the finger, held in place by her ring. There was no way that we were going to be able to remove the ring and the skin was white and chalky – what this needed was immediate medical treatment before the tissue completely died.
So we 'blued' her into the local hospital where they cut her ring off and started to arrange transfer to a plastic surgery centre. Unfortunately the first choice was unavailable as they had no beds. So the next nearest facility is actually outside of London; my crewmate and I volunteered to take the patient there and Control agreed. It's nice if you can keep up this 'continuity of care' and I soon found myself driving 28 miles on blue lights to the hospital.
Of course, when I got there I didn't have any idea where the ward we were transferring the patient was – so I asked one of the local ambulance crew directions and he jumped into the ambulance to direct us. The patient was soon safely on the ward, slightly dazed on morphine, and with the best chance that she has (however slim) to save her finger.
The paramedic who helped me emailed me the day after to apologise for not taking us straight up to the ward, but his Control were already on his back. I still find it a bit weird to be 'recognised' if only because people talk to me after I've left them…