Bringing The Hospital To The Patient.

Last post I mentioned how we seem to be throwing resources at the 'non-emergency' side of our work, sometimes though it does work out in the patient's best interest.

Take Mavis for example, she gets a bit wobbly on her feet sometimes and had a fall – she picked herself up and got back into bed. When the first carer of the day arrived she found blood everywhere and Mavis with an inch long cut to the back of her head.

The carer called us and as soon as we arrived disappeared out the door.

Chatting with Mavis it was obvious that she didn't want to go to hospital, she'd lived in this flat all her life and didn't trust hospitals, or doctors. Fair enough really, they aren't my favourite places either.

So we called out our ECP, 'Emergency Care Practitioner' – a Paramedic who has been taught a few more things like how to close wounds or how to diagnose urinary infections. He turned up and after chatting with Mavis for a while started to clean the wound and glue it shut.

As Mavis is fairly mobile there was blood all over her flat, and when the cleaning carer arrived she sucked her teeth, said, “I don't do blood”, and disappeared sharpish.

So while our ECP friend was washing Mavis' hair, I went around the flat with a damp cloth cleaning the blood while my crewmate pointed out the bits that I missed (we work well together like that).

With the wound cleaned and treated we left Mavis a very happy customer in her own home. Our ECP returned a few hours later to check up on Mavis, and she was still healthy and still happy with the treatment we gave her.

It is nice when we can avoid taking vulnerable people into hospital – it's a place full of nasty communicable diseases. And yes, I am fully aware that I may be contradicting what I wrote about in my last post – that we perhaps shouldn't be this overly accommodating to patients. But I just think that it highlights just how much this job, and healthcare in particular isn't so black and white sometimes.

The difference of course is that Mavis would have normally needed treatment in an A&E department, while the sore throat or verruca patient can normally survive without a trip to the hospital.

6 thoughts on “Bringing The Hospital To The Patient.”

  1. The more I see of the elderly, the more I'm astounded by their resilience. Not surprised though, as anyone who is old enough to recall spending weeks in an air-raid shelter, is going to be much more capable and independent than others a third their age.Do you ever wonder what sort of citizens the nanny state will have created in 30 years time? Probably the type who call for an ambulance for a broken nail. Wait a mo. Doesn't that happen now?

  2. Firstly, I have to defend the carer, if its social services. I looked after my mum till she died 2 yrs ago and for the last 3 yrs of her life it got a bit much so I needed social service support, yes there were good and bad carer's but, they had rules too.Blood is a no no, they are not covered for it, and its against the rules, at least here in leeds, yes some will ignore that rule, but they are risking their jobs doing so.

    As to what you did Tom, I agree, a little bit of help goes a long way and u acted in the best interests of the patient, and if u look at it another way u saved money by treating in the home.

  3. It has always struck me as strange that rule… I mean, I didn't get special training on how to clean blood when I was a nurse, I was given a mop or a cloth and told to wipe it up.The fear with have over blood is a strange one given how quickly it becomes pretty much harmless, and that people wear gloves anyway.

    In which case, who's job is it to clean it?

    Oh right – me.

    I can just see it, being called on 999 to mop up a spill of blood.

  4. We've been called out for less!!!!!!!!!! Seriously though, you're lucky your ECP's will do this sorth of thing at home. I think maybe three of ours would. The rest treat the job as a band 6 RRV job. Control use them as an 8 minute response so it's not that easy to get one anyway

  5. Tom, Just read your book.It was riviting, I could hardly put it down.

    Interesting to see what EMS is like across the big blue pond.

    Keep up the good work!

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