Broken Finger

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…

17 thoughts on “Broken Finger”

  1. This is why my husband never wore a wedding ring at work. As a cop, all it took was a story about “some guy” degloving his ring finger going over a chain link fence. Guess it's more common than I thought 🙂

  2. I don't wear jewellery roughly the same reason. Except mine is with electricity.Have you ever seen an electrician short out the battery terminals on a sealed lead acid battery with his ring? It's pretty quick and cauterises the wound at the same time! Smells not too good either.

    This is why I only wear a watch with a leather strap!

  3. There are some injuries that just give you that 'OUCH, eeeuuu' feeling when you look at pictures in a book. Any kind of avulsion is one such injury. I'm sure it's pretty quick when it happens, but boy – that has to hurt. I have seen a picture in a text book of a penile avulsion (not sure I want to know what it got caught in).

  4. What does make me go 'ouch' and 'eewgh' isn't degloving or sights such as that, but the insult of Agenda 4 Change bandings for us Technicians and Paramedics.Actually thinking about it there is another thing that makes me wanna heave and make embarssing noises, and that's the smells that come during and after birth – no not from me or my crewmate. I think I'd much rather be sniffing male public toilets at that particular time!

    Nice to hear from you again – it's been a while

  5. before doing my FAW, i saw a degloved hand. the first aider fainted, and i decided that a bit of first aid training maybe useful. the rest is history.

  6. Cripes! Nasty injury…however 28 miles on blue lights does sound like fun.Or am I just the only one in here who is congenitally imature???

  7. This is the kind of thing that makes schools and various gyms so paranoid (probably not quite the right word) about ANY jewellery. Sounds nasty, hope she gets as good a recovery as possible.

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