Saturday’s calls…aka “Are You Kidding Me?”

17 Aug

My first “day shift” (6am-6pm) was this past Saturday, 15 August 2009.  It’s been a couple of months since a ran a day shift (April 3rd to be exact).  So it took a little bit to realize I would be awake for the entire shift…

First, let me put this out there, we were at minimum manning.  We are required to have 8 ambulances on at all times.  Usually on the weekends we are upwards of 13-14 ambulances.  So to be at minimum manning was stunning.  But here’ s how the day went:

Call 1: 53yo male, who tripped and fell 12hrs earlier.  Cause of this injury from a fall?  Alcohol.  Raise your hand if you were surprised….anyone?  Anyone?  No?  me neither.  What made this call somewhat interesting was the fact that this patient had had a stroke 18 months earlier, he didn’t have mobility on his left side.  So the fact that he was walking with his walker/cane AND he was drunk when this occurred made me go ‘duh but why’d you wait 12hrs?’.  So anyways, because of his injury (ankle and knee on his paralyzed side), I had to call for an engine for manpower.  After that, it was a pretty ordinary call until the very end, when I’m pulling him out of the back of the ambulance when he says ‘while your down there, suck on my toes’.  WTF? Who says that?  He’s damn lucky I didn’t drop him.

Call 2:  80yo female, fell from a standing position YESTERDAY (as in Friday, 14 August) but today her daughter and son-in-law want her checked out.  (aside: what’s with people falling 12+hrs earlier and only calling rescue now???).  Because neither she nor her family knew if she lost conciousness, we c-collared, backboarded, straps  – the whole nine yards…which is when we noticed the fecal matter on the sheets.  And then the family said that she’d recently been in the hospital for cleanliness issues.  Say it with me people…’ewww’.  So take her the hospital and away we go.

Call 3:   Dispatched for a woman who drove into a bar.  Literally.  Cancelled by the engine when the patient signed a refusal and she had no injuries.

Call 4: Dispatched immediately TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TOWN for a 90+ year old male who fell.  Cancelled by the crew in that area as they were leaving the hospital and would be closed.

Call 5:  ‘Diabetic’ with no history of diabetes, who was really an alcoholic going through the DTs.  The monitor showed him in SVT and he was sweating and twitching like crazy.  Patient also weighed in at 320lbs.  When the medic on the engine said ‘we need to go and we need to go now!’ I took the head of the stretcher, the fire captain took the feet and we lifted.  Remember, the patient weighs 320lbs and I’m 150lbs.  But I managed to get the lift!  WOOHOO!  (and that would be the sound of my back crying out in pain….).  We get him into the back of the ambulance, the two medics push one of Adenosine to no relief.  So we take him to the hospital…

Call 6: 11 month old choking on apples.  In the car.  We get sent to a car that has pulled off the side of the road because the 11mos old female was eating APPLES WITH THE RIND STILL ON and choked, vomited twice and in the vomit was blood.  Commence the part where the parents freak the freak out.  (Stupid question from me:  isn’t 11mos old a little young to be munching on apples?)  Child is AOx3, smiling, playing, vitals normal in the field, smells like vomit, visible residue of blood, parents want her checked out.  So we go to the hospital 5 minutes away.  No sooner had I secured a bed for the patient, then dispatch clears us (without us knowing we were clear and sends us to another call…)

Call 7:  MVA at the Oceanfront.  We’re coming from 15 miles away – ish.  We get a late start because we didn’t know we had a call and the devil-spawn of a dispatcher got snippy with me. Never mind that my rescue squad number and that of another squad (who’s first due the MVA was in) often sound similar over the air.  AND WE WERE NOT CLEAR FROM OUR LAST CALL! So we start flying…only to be cancelled by the engine that was on-scene with patient refusals.  But that was good so we could go get fuel – and we ran into the shift captain who told us that he knew we weren’t clear when we were shipped the call and he’d talk to the devil-spawn about it. 

Call 8: CAME OUT AT 15minutes till shift change!  UGH!  For a guy who’d been moving furniture and had his dresser ‘kind of rock on his back’ 4hrs EARLIER! But not stopping at having a sore back, he moved his bed and the rest of his furniture.  And then called us.  But did I mention the schizophrenia, the meds – to include percocet – and the fact that he’d recently been released from the psych ward?  He had the gall – he who WALKED OUT OF THE HOUSE AND TO THE AMBULANCE to get mad that I didn’t put him on the stretcher and lift him into the back of the ambulance.  Ugh.  And when we got to the hospital, he told me that I look like ‘Ms. Vanilla Ice’.  UGH AGAIN. 

This upcoming weekend I work all day Saturday AND all day Sunday with Hurricane Bill heading my way.  Could get interesting….

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