Two consecutive days at work, both starting and finishing exactly the same.
Both days start with an early morning call to a 'maternataxi' which, while I moan, is a nice way to ease into the day. Especially at six-thirty in the morning.
Both days ended pretty much the same, but that's not the remarkable thing about it.
Both calls were to GP surgeries, both patients were men in their fifties and both were suffering from a chest pain that could have been cardiac in nature. Both had been feeling the pain for eleven hours.
Both men were also in high risk groups, one a slightly overweight Asian gent with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The other was also overweight and had previously had a heart attack and regularly suffered from angina.
But this coincidence of time and illness wasn't the surprising thing. I'll tell you about the GPs and regular readers will soon realise what is unusual.
The GP of the first patient still had the patient in his consulting room, he'd started treatment by giving the man an aspirin, which is really rather important. As we entered the room the GP apologised for not having an ECG. He had also phoned ahead to the hospital to prepare the medical team for the patient. I explained that we would do an ECG in the ambulance and if the patient was having a heart attack we would take him to the cath-lab for immediate angioplasty. The GP didn't know that we could do this and asked if he could see the patient's ECG once we'd done it.
When we showed him the normal ECG, the GP apologised for calling us out. I told him not to be silly, as he'd had a good suspicion of the patient having a heart attack and had started the appropriate treatment, and that this was remarkable.
The second patient was also lying in the GP's consulting room. In this case, not only had the GP given the patient an aspirin, but they had also done a ECG. Not only that, but there was a typed note with the patient's medical history on it, and were in the process of phoning the patient's wife to let her know what was happening.
Compare this to the usual GP situations I find myself in.
These separate GPs had made completely reasonable diagnoses and had started treatment. This, rather shamefully, shocked my crewmate and I. We are much more used to attending to 'heart attack' patients that are sitting out in the waiting room, haven't received any medical treatment and are clutching a roughly scribbled letter addressed to 'Dear Doctor'. That, and the GP will be hiding in their room.
Two days on the trot, two superb GPs. What with yesterdays post, I may well run out of things to moan about.
Well, I can have a slight moan, both GPs booked their patient into a hospital far away from our station, thus making us late off home – but you can't have everything. After all it was the closest hospital to the surgeries.
Can I mention, for no real reason, that Medgadget have opened the nominations for the best Medical blogs for this year. No reason at all… Nope. None.