Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The nightshifts were awful. Two and a half reasons: Weekends night with good weather equal many jobs. Secondly, fewer vans in service (colleagues booking of sick). Half a reason: Full moon.

Jobwise we did a couple of unusual bits. We  had a RFDS transfer for a patient with a Sick Sinus Syndrome (SSS), which I am lead to believe is relatively rare, so that was a good one to see (and hear the ECG beeps). I chatted with the patient en route, both because he was a nice chap to talk to and also just to monitor his conscious state. The heart monitor beeped a very alarming and annoying tone occasionally during the trip - a long beep like you hear on TV when a patients heart stops, then followed by a rather upsetting two tone alarm. I was expecting to see a patient who was in the process of sudden cardiac death in front of me, but no, the machine was playing up. Phew.

Later on we got a call via one of those emergency at home push it yourself buttons for seniors, a patient with chest pain. Remember, this is the middle of the night, 2am to be precise, and noone answers to our knocks. Or calls. But the front door is unlocked. So alarm bells start ringing, and I slowly walk in to see...nothing. A lamp is on in the corner. On the coffee table lies a band aid wrapper, which stick out like a sore thumb in an otherwise neat and tidy house. Nobody. The nearby hallway is dark, a slight glow from the end. Damn, my torch is in the van.
I put my equipment on the ground before I venture in to the hallway, in my mind that frees up my hands to combat intruders, it also sheds a good ten kilos from my weight, making a quick run in the opposite direction far easier (much more likely than option #1, combat). Closed door number one...not going in there if I don't have to. Closed door number two, not going in there either if I don't have to. Door number three is slightly ajar, and a faint light is coming from around it, beckoning me towards it like some kind of holy beacon. I make myself noticed by loud shouts of "HELLO, AMBULANCE", but to no avail. I walk towards the door, have a peak, can't see anything. Pushing the door open a little more, I now don't think about intruders, but have a suspicion that my partner and I may be the only two living souls in this place. I dearly hope not, and I progress forwards. I see...a body in bed, a frail old dear, not moving. I'm starting to dread the worst. "Hello, Ambulance!"
She looks up. Phew. Turns out she was just having a kip, plus being stone deaf didn't help my case.
Treatment and transport is initiated, and a good time is had by all en route.

Oh, yes. We did have a kid who fell off a roof from 6+ meters height and only hurt his arm. Maybe we should be giving out alcohol as an injury prevention management tool.

Any thoughts?