My god! It’s a good job you called us!

I stood and stared – mouth agape and eyes wide open.  I was in genuine shock at what I was seeing.

The job had come down as “Red 2, 35 year old female – Difficulty in Breathing – Chest Pain”.  On arrival our patient didn’t look happy . . . and neither did their husband, who was fidgeting backwards and forward rattling off in broken English what had happened with sincere heartfelt concern for his wife. Continue reading

We now have a student

I recently attended a Practice Educator course (PEd) which, once passed allows you to be allocated a student to mentor for a set period of time.  The course, run over less than a day, aims to get you prepared to deal with such things as, the student’s “signing off document”, or how to be a good role model to the future of our front line health care professionals – or more importantly, what do to if the student is a complete idiot.  Continue reading

Charity Ambulance Pull – Children In Need

I’ve got into a little habit of doing silly charity events of late.  So when a work colleague, Martin Lewis, approached me with an idea he had for a charity ambulance pull, from Hackney to White City, I thought to myself, how could I refuse.  Especially as it was for Children in Need.

“Is it going to be an older truck or a newer one?”  I asked hoping for the older ones.
“It’s a brand new ’12 plate”
“Damn it.  They’re heavier”
“Only by half a ton or so.  I’m sure we’ll manage” Continue reading

“Which bed you want us in guys?”

The doors were burst open into the resuss department by our trolley bed.  Our patient, recently brought back from cardiac arrest was not breathing and still in a critical state*.  Wires, tubes, dots, cylinders, devices, gadgets and of course, the machine that goes “ping” were strewn all about our patient desperately keeping track of any change in their condition.

In front of us were two bays with beds in . . . Continue reading

The Ambiguous “Red 2”

The very first job we went to yesterday was a cardiac arrest.

It came down as Red 2, “fainting” with a post scriptum stating “patient making gurgling sounds”.  That was enough to set off some warning bells at least.

So, we quickly arrived, and along with an FRU, another ambulance crew and a [tippy title=”PRU” URL=””] Physician Response Unit.  We have this in East London where an advanced A&E Doctor goes out with an advanced paramenace in one of the HEMS cars.  They are there as a sort of “nomad GP” if you like.  But with lots of other skills and toys to bring to the ‘party’.  Amongst them is the “auto-pulse” which is an automatic CPR machine.  So, having these guys turn up at a cardiac arrest can significantly improve outcomes. [/tippy], we spent the next hour dragging an old gentleman back from the proverbial “light”.  Continue reading


The classic attack from an ambulance crew to a woman in normal labour (sometimes out of ear shot, sometimes not) is to gripe that they’ve had nine months to plan for this event – so why are they calling for an ambulance now!  The most common retort from the patient is to say that the midwives told them to call for one when their contractions get to a certain duration.

Now, this could be true in some instances but I don’t believe it in most.  For when we enter the maternity department of a hospital with our patient in tow – sometimes walking, sometimes in a chair or sometimes on a trolley bed.  Sometimes even, in the throws of spitting out a new born baby from between their legs . . . Continue reading