I was off the Christmas period spending five wonderful days getting “geographically embarrassed” (lost) in North Wales. This meant I was able to escape the wondrous delights of working the festive period.
I wasn’t able to escape working the new year period though. However, I was lucky enough to be working earlies. So, as I finished work on New Years eve it was plain to see the city was already gearing up for a huge drugs and alcohol fuelled marathon explosion of drunken debauchery . . . and albeit I was glad not to be working nights, my thoughts went out to those who were.
I also worked New Years day, starting early enough to be dealing with the dregs of the night before. As my shift started the night turn were just leaving to go home. Amongst their continuous jobs of dodging multi-directional vomit from the bounty of London’s finest whilst their equally intoxicated colleagues swore blindly that their drinks “had been spiked” was a ‘real’ job. They told me they’d attended a shooting whereby a hapless individual had been shot three times in the chest. A [tippy title=”thoracotomy” URL=””] A thoracotomy is an incision into the chest wall to gain access to the vital organs therein. Best performed under clean hospital conditions but sometimes done “on the road” in emergencies. This is the perfect time for a doctor to “lose” their watch. [/tippy] was performed by HEMS with the aid of the crew, in an attempt to perform immediate surgery on the patient’s damaged heart. But it was to no avail and sadly the patient was pronounced dead at hospital.
Our shift wasn’t even a fraction of their excitement. For the first few hours we scoured the City streets working through the back-log of “Collapse – No Response” patients and dealing with them with the tried and tested KPF technique – (Kick Patient’s Foot).
With each miracle resurrection performed another life was saved! Eventually we moved onto the lower category calls that had been waiting all night for an ambulance. They included the lesser important patients like elderly folk who’d fallen to the floor and had been stuck there for half the night. Or the woman who’d suffered a miscarriage several hours earlier.
Over all I believe I got off lucky. There were certainly lots of interesting things happening around London that night. And, as always, there has to be some crew that deals with it. Thankfully, this time round, it wasn’t me.