Same Sh*t, Different Scenery

Cleveland, USA.

Ambulances there seem to have the same problems as us in the UK. Like them we have a policy of “You call, we haul”.

This video could have been made on one of my shifts.



Unfortunately our hospitals have to see patients in under four hours, so they will get seen, even at the expense of other sick patients.

(Tip of the hat to Dr Grumble)

7 thoughts on “Same Sh*t, Different Scenery”

  1. They do seem to have the same problems, but also seem to have the balls to start doing something about it. Refusing people ambulances for boils and “wax in ma ear!” is absolutely the right way to go.Having said that they didn't show any drunks on that video, nor any people calling in who can't breathe, can't move and think they are dying, when all thats really happened is they have eaten one too many enchiladas and can't reach the remote control…

    It's a step in the right direction, but one which I think will take an awful long time in coming here.

  2. It saddens me to read stories like this. Makes me so cross that people are so thoughtless and selfish.Just to give you an idea of how others treat the LAS – whilst I was doing my nurse training, a friend and I were both on shift over christmas. I decided to pop by her flat in out students block after work to share some festive cheer with her (and to share the depressing fact that 3 children has died that day!) I knocked on her door and she took a lot longer than ususal to answer. When she eventually did, she was a bit of a funny blueish colour and breathing rather fast. I wanted to call her an ambulance immediatly, but she refused, saying she has been like this all day AT WORK and no one had worried (!?! in a hospital for petes sake!) I persuaded her to let me call NHS Direct. They called back flippin quick becuase I mentioned those golden words…'difficulty in breathing.' they asked to talk to her, so I put her on the phone. She said 3 words, 'no, I'm fine.' They then asked to be handed back to me and said an ambulance was on its way.I managed to ger her downstairs to the ambulance. They took her in the back, checked her sats (98%) and heart rate (120bpm, so a bit tachy then!) and looked at her. Then one suggested that maybe she was just a bit tired and needed a good nights sleep. I got a bit uppity then, played the 'nurse' ace, and went to St Thomas' with her, where, within an hour, she was in HDU, on back to back adrenalin and salbutamol nebs, with a double pneumonia and pleuresy! Goes to show – Tom mentions in his book he has a relatively low threshold for blueing someone – these paramedics obviously had a much higher one!

  3. Heh, I'm from Cleveland and I saw that program too. I think it's the same shit all around, but what gets me the most is that people are actually surprised to know what we all take for granted as EMS'rs!Eug

  4. Hey Tom!Take a look a few km's south – over to Germany. During my time on an ambulance in Frankfurt, we got called to a few of those silly calls too – but we don't transport them. This is why (and I don't see why this should not be adapted in other countries):

    Basically, the ambulance service gets funded by the health insurance, and if you call, they haul – for free. BUT: A doctor needs to approve of this. For non emergency patient transport a doctor will sign a transport certificate beforehand. In an emergency situation either there is a doctor on scene, or the paramedics must decide if the condition of the patient is bad enough to get that certificate after transporting the patient.

    The paramedics decide if a patient is an ambulance job or not. If the patient *really* wants to go to hospital, they pay for it themselves (costing roughly 400 Euros)

    Sure this puts more responsibility on the paramedics out there, but it does dampen down silly calls…sound appealing?

  5. Yes it does, but it brings up lots of liability issues… at least here in the states that wouldn't fly b/c of all the possible lawsuits. That's why we have to do all those silly procedures about head/neck restraints for sooo many more pt. then need it (old discussion on here…)My two pence

    Eug

  6. I watched the video you posted. Cleveland is about 2.5 hours' drive northeast of me.This is utterly abysmal. Did you notice by the interviews and recordings that most of the “patients” were black?

    Is it similar in London?

    It seems like the majority of these people are poor and morons (not trying to be racist, stupidity has no race) and just wanted ER care because they don't have health insurance.

  7. England has more equal opportunity stupidity.And I have no idea if the people interviewed are representative of the racial make-up of Cleveland.

    (e.g. in Newham, half the people you'd stop to talk to in the street would be from Bangladesh, so it'd be real easy to reduce the number of white idiots interviewed in order to make Bangladeshis look stupid – if that is what Fox news did…).

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