Pseudo-Collapsers – part 2

The last of the case studies . . .

Pseudo-collapser 1

A young 20 something year old, smartly dressed man had randomly fallen to the floor whilst sitting on a wall as a group of young Asians walked past.  Bemused as they were they did the right thing and called for an ambulance.

Being new I was very concerned for his welfare and couldn’t work out what clinical reason he would have for collapsing.  My crew mate however, was less than impressed . . . so, after the initial checks we threw him onto the trolley bed and loaded him onto the ambulance.  His only ID was a release letter from the local prison dated that day. Continue reading

Pseudo-Collapsers – part 1

*Warning – quite a long entry*

I don’t know why I’ve honed in on this subject.  It could be that the people who do this seem to be nothing more than a drain on resources – and this might be annoying me.  Or it might be because what they do deserves nothing more than abject contempt – and this might be infuriating me.  Or maybe its just because the very nature of their actions and the efforts they put in borders on the hilarious – and this tickles me.

There could be lots of reasons.  But, for the intentions of this blog and in order to promote a happier lifestyle I think it best I choose the latter.

Pseudo-collapser 1

The call came down to us as a 20 year old male collapsed in the street.  Upon arrival we were presented with a young Bengali lad lying on his back, supposedly comatose, beside his VW Golf whilst his even younger teenage girlfriend stood by crying hysterically.

Continue reading

Psuedo collapse – “prologue”

I remember working my first Christmas with an old-school Paramenace.  We’d just attended a drunk who’d been beaten up in the street.  My crew mate showed no compassion and was quite harsh with him, both physically and orally.  Afterwards, whilst I was doing my paperwork, I remember him snapping at me.

“You’ll be this cynical once you’ve been in this job as long as I have!”

When you’re new you don’t want to offend anyone so normally you shut up but this annoyed me.  So, stopping writing I turned to him and retorted, “No I won’t Gavin*.  I’ll never be cynical like you”.  We didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the shift.

I often think back to that statement – especially when certain types of patients start to get to me.  I’ve only been in the job three years so I’ve a long way to go before proving that paramenace wrong but I still hold out to not being cynical.

However, those ‘certain types of patients’ I believe do annoy me are the ones who pretend to collapse . . . or “pseudo-collapsers”. Continue reading

Red 2 – Chest Pain

When you’re ill you go and see your Doctor.  If your Doctor then says that you need to go to Hospital in an Ambulance you’d be tempted to think it could be serious.

We pick up a lot of patients from GP surgeries.  I too used to think it must be serious.  But sadly, most of the time it is not.  I think with the increase in red-tape and the blame culture – plus the fact that a lot of GPs end up losing touch with pre-hospital emergency care – they end up being a tad over zealous with their A&E referrals.

The annoying thing is, the GP referrals that end up as Ambulance jobs come down to us as Red 2s (Life Threatening).  So, it’s not uncommon for us to race to the surgery only to find the patient stood outside chatting away on their mobile phone and smoking a fag.

Or perhaps this one – that happened the other day . . .

Continue reading

Dragged under the bus

The patient’s phone, lying on the ambulance floor, began to ring again.  It was an intensely annoying ring tone by Rhianna.

I glanced down to see who it was calling. The screen said “Mum” . . . again.  I paused before picking it up.  Then, sitting down, I took a deep breath and pressed the green button to receive the call.  The voice that tore into my ear drums was desperate.

“Tess!*  Tess!  Oh God!  Please tell me you’re OK!”
“Hello, this is the Ambulance Service here -”  I tried to sound as calm as I could.
” . . . . Oh god no!  Please!  No!  Please say she’s OK!  Please!!?”  her voice was full of tears.

Less than half an hour earlier our patient had been talking with her mum on her mobile phone about what to get her brother for his birthday.  Whilst talking she’d stepped out into the road.  Straight into the path of an oncoming double-decker bus.

Continue reading

Pet Rescue

I don’t think there’s enough attention to the other emergency services, like the LFB, in blogs.  I’ve only written about them once – really.  So here’s one job I went to mid winter early in 2010 . . .

The job came down as “possible drowning”.  Still new to several job categories you can imagine how nervous and excited I was to be going to something like this. Was I going to find a dead body floating in the river???  I remember leaping from the ambulance before we’d even stopped and racing down the canal path to search for the patient – much to the amusement of my crew mate.  I eventually found the caller, a young Bengali female, who led me to the patient and filled me in on the story . . .

It turns out the patient was an 18 year old Bengali lad who had bought his young girlfriend (the caller) a little kitten.  They’d been playing with it on top of a bridge over a canal late this evening when the poor cat slipped and fell down the wall, landing in a bush, narrowly missing falling directly into the water.  The young lad, in all his manly glory raced down to save it.  Seeing that the only way to get to the cat was to swim across the canal from the path, he bravely jumped in – in all his clothes plus coat – and swam across, breaking the thin ice as he did so.  He was eventually able to join the cat perched on the tiny mud ledge, in a bush, at the bottom of a thirty foot wall, under the bridge.  Here he remained slowly freezing to death until his girlfriend decided to call us.

Continue reading