July 4th on the Ambulance

6 Jul

I  got my world ROCKED.  My partner and I ran HARD.  We just kept getting sent from call to call to call  to call.

We had one – just one – quasi bullshit call.  A guy who has been feeling progressively shorter of breath over the course of the last week decided that after drinking 4 beers that he REALLY needed to go to the hospital.  And his ‘best friend’ accused me a couple of times of stealing or keeping the patient’s medical list.  Finally the patient tells his best friend that he had his own med list for her to believe that I didn’t have it.  Really made me wonder why this woman thought that I wanted the med list for ever and ever. 

Then I went for a 22 year old female who had jumped out of a boat into shallow water and jammed her knee and her ankle.  We had to take a stokes basket (see below)

stokes basket

stokes basket

all the way down to the waters edge, get her to help us move her into the basket after immobilizing the leg.  And then carry her all the way up the beach and over the dune to transfer her to the stretcher and then pick the stretcher up and put her into the back of the ambulance.  Now the girl wasn’t that heavy but still…my right lower back is killing me.  Had my sister rub Icy Hot on it last night thinking that that would take care of it. 

After we turned the patient over at the hospital, we were sent to an accident on a major road way where one of the vehicles was on it’s roof.  3 patients – one of which was transported on a Alpha Alert to the local Trauma-capable hospital.  My patient was the one who’s car was on the roof.  He was ‘fine’ except for the whole drunk-as-a-skunk and two sweet abrasions on his shoulder and elbow (probably from climbing out of his car).  He’d also tried to start a fight with the people in one of the cars that he hit.  Not the brightest guy.  The officer told me that he blew a .17 on the PBT and that it was still rising. 

We left there, went to another accident on another major roadway that was a 4 car chain reaction where our patient was in the rear vehicle.  We c-collared, boarded and strapped the patient and took him to the same hospital we’d just left but not without being cut off enroute by a vehicle who’d ‘crazy ivaned’ across 3 lanes of traffic just to get to Taco Bell.  I really hope that the emergent Taco Bell crisis was worth it because I put the front end of the ambulance on the ground trying not to get into an accident.  Which did not make my c-collared, boarded patient very happy.  Nor my two partners in the back either.  But damn, I didn’t have any other choice. 

We left the hospital and went to an accident on the Interstate.  Fun – it was actually 3 seperate accidents at the same location but nobody wanted our services…so we cleared off of that and went to an injury from an assault – specifically from a domestic.  Apparently the husband threw his wife into a bush.  So I cleaned her up and called out injuries (all but one were lacerations from the bush) for my partner to document.  The patient didn’t want to go to the hospital (surprise, surprise) so we got a refusal from that one.  We  were then sent to another accident but were cleared by police  – I guess nobody wanted an ambulance ride…

Then we went to an assault where the patient had sustained a sweet laceration on her right upper arm – looked a lot like this, just on her arm:

Nasty-but-cool, huh?

Nasty-but-cool, huh?

She was 18, drunk as could be and promising that she didn’t need to go to the hospital, she was fine and she couldn’t feel anything.  Mind you, she also didn’t want to look at her arm…or the blood that was all over her face, abdomen, legs, arms, or had soaked into her bikini top.  Oh, and she had an obsession with her boyfriend and was INSISTING that he ride in the back of the ambulance with us.  An idea I nixed quick-fast-and-in-a-hurry.  I didn’t know (and still don’t know for sure) how she sustained the injury and I didn’t know if it was a domestic abuse or what – so he wasn’t riding with us.  She was hysterical, drama queen which wasn’t helped by alcohol.  Honestly, she annoyed the ever-living out of me.  To get her to shut up and let me treat her, I had to show her all the gauze 4x4s that I used to clean all the blood off of her.  And then she didn’t believe that it was all her blood. And she didn’t want any needles and claimed to have a fear of them. 

Ok, normally I’d buy that but she had a tattoo that went from hip to hip across her lower abdomen.  I’m pretty sure that that wasn’t a rub on tattoo, you know? So we get her onto a bed in the hospital where the doctor is the one who took the turn-over report.  The doctor wanted to know how she was injured which was the same question I asked the patient…and because of all the alcohol that this girl had consumed, I couldn’t get a straight answer.  I told the doctor all I knew but the doctor had this face on her that said that that wasn’t good enough.  My thought was ‘good luck doc in getting anything more out of her than I did’.  The best I could figure based on case comments and injury was a beer bottle was broken and either used on my patient OR was thrown and caught her.  Because other than some minor, minor lascerations at her ankles, there wasn’t another injury. 

Either way, I was very very relieved that I was able to leave the patient at the hospital, in the care of the ED staff…who did come find us in the Rescue Room asking WTF did we just bring in as they were equally annoyed by her and her refusal to accept treatment in the Boyfriend arrived.  Overall moral  of the story – drunk 18 year olds, espcially females, should be issued with a mute button or duct tape. 

After that we headed back to the station where just as we laid down, the other ambulance crew  on shift that night got sent to a 50 year old male who was drunk and who’s 80-something year old mother was yelling at him so that set the tones off AND then at 5am, they got sent to something that I never figured out what it was because my partner had logged us off moments before hand so that he could go home, shower and come back for the day shift.  So after it was all added up, I think I got 30-40 minutes of sleep. 

I was SO tired by the time I got home,  I was slap happy…


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