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Ambulance: Back to the nights

Written by RSS Poster Xf
I completed my first tour of night shifts since my unfortunate period of illness and trauma last year. It took me a few shifts to get into it again, and my sleep pattern was erratic at best to begin with. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the run and actually dealt with some genuine (and genuinely nice) patients.

However, my first night kicked off with a call I'd rather not have gone to. A 1 month old baby with respiratory failure. She'd stopped breathing due to a genetic condition, and her mother and sister were taking care of her when we arrived. There was a motorcycle paramedic (MRU) on scene and we got the story from him when we entered the little flat.

The baby was breathing again (albeit inefficiently) but had stopped several times prior to the 999 call. She is in such poor shape that it is unlikely she will have much of a future, if any at all. This type of call always makes me feel very down, especially as I am a parent myself. I have a lot of admiration for people who struggle through with very unwell children and still manage to keep a smile on their...

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Ambulance: The Royal cushion

Written by RSS Poster Xf
Every now and again in this business, we treat individuals of high stature or fame, or both. A call to an 81 year-old woman who'd fallen in the street didn't allude to anything more than an average call to an average person. However, when we arrived, we saw that armed police had settled and comforted the lady and that a decoratively dressed man was also in attendance. It was clear from a distance that they were helping someone who was regarded as a little more than ordinary.

The woman had stumbled over her walking stick and fallen hard onto her arm and hip. Her upper arm was giving her a lot of pain and we controlled this with Entonox, whilst establishing what had happened. The lady's husband is an employee of the Queen, and she was on her way to Sunday church service near the Palace, when she misjudged her step and fell onto the pavement.

She was helped to a sitting position by the cops, who'd been close by, and the decorated man, who is also in the employ of the Royal Household, appeared shortly afterwards, to render moral support and to provide a...

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Ambulance: The root of all queues

Written by RSS Poster Xf
THIS news story relays the current problems we are all facing but I have heard many times that this is fairly common with WAS. However, look at the story and read it carefully. The problem was caused, in my opinion, by the GP and the structure of the pathways set in place for such ambulatory patients.

How did the GP diagnose a fractured spine? He clearly wasn't absolutely sure but had suspicions, so he arranged for an ortho bed and an MRI to be carried out, to see exactly what the extent of the damage was to this lady's back. That is all fair enough. The GP has to act on his experience and knowledge and the given set of signs and symptoms surrounding his patient. But it sounds like he either used an emergency ambulance service, (which is solely for immediately life-threatening illness and injury), just to expedite his patient's journey to hospital, where other means of transport, such as A&E support or Patient Transport Services, were available (in other words he dialled 999 for a patient who was not being admitted for immediate life-saving...

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Ambulance: Dogs have feelings too...

Written by RSS Poster Xf
Another cardiac arrest dragged me and my crew mate miles from base. An 83 year-old man had collapsed in front of his family. He was a known diabetic but had been speaking to his son earlier, with no problems reported at that time.

When we arrived, a FRU and another ambulance, crewed by an Accident and Emergency Support crew was on scene. We were told that a Physician's Response Unit (PRU) was also on the way.

The man was stuck in a tight space and the FRU Paramedic was in the process of resuscitating him, with the help of the A&E Support crew. It was clear that this was a messy and complicated job, and the presence of his family, in various rooms of the house, didn't help the situation. Emotional energy like that can hamper a resuscitation attempt - the task calls for an almost cold but certainly calculated demeanour; having family and loved ones out of sight is important whenever it can be achieved.

Before too long, there were too many cooks in that space. The PRU team had arrived, consisting of a HEMS paramedic and two doctors, so when they...

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Ambulance: Dogs have feelings too

Written by RSS Poster Xf
Another cardiac arrest dragged me and my crew mate miles from base. An 83 year-old man had collapsed in front of his family. He was a known diabetic but had been speaking to his son earlier, with no problems reported at that time.

When we arrived, a FRU and another ambulance, crewed by an Accident and Emergency Support crew was on scene. We were told that a Physician's Response Unit (PRU) was also on the way.

The man was stuck in a tight space and the FRU Paramedic was in the process of resuscitating him, with the help of the A&E Support crew. It was clear that this was a messy and complicated job, and the presence of his family, in various rooms of the house, didn't help the situation. Emotional energy like that can hamper a resuscitation attempt - the task calls for an almost cold but certainly calculated demeanour; having family and loved ones out of sight is important whenever it can be achieved.

Before too long, there were too many cooks in that space. The PRU team had arrived, consisting of a HEMS paramedic and two doctors, so when they joined...

Continues, Read More...


Ambulance: Getting back on the horse

Written by RSS Poster Xf
I'm going to ease myself back into writing this blog; it's been a long time since I recorded patient-related events in detail, so forgive me if things start off a little slow.

I've been 'third-manning' for the first few shifts on my return to work. I need to be assessed as fit for practice, so I am duty-bound to sit in an ambulance with a crew and 'learn' my trade again. This is standard procedure for any frontline staff member who has been away from patient-care for a length of time.

So, initially I was taking obs and re-learning the layout of an ambulance (not that you forget it but I've been on a car and a desk for a few years now and things change). After the first shift of lifting and listening, I started attending again. I felt as though I'd never left.


My first patient, an 80 year-old lady with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), asked me when I was going back to Scotland. She didn't ask me in a 'I am interested in whether you will be returning to your roots at some time in the future' kind of way, but more in a 'why don't you bugger off back to...

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Ambulance: Acute death

Written by RSS Poster Xf
So.... I'm just about ready to get back on the road. I just need to prove I'm fit enough again (mainly to lift drunks and heavy patients). It'll be a couple of weeks but I'm returning to patient-care based stuff. I've had my fill of sitting in front of a bank of monitors.

I should explain what's been going on because many of you have been asking me why I haven't been posting and where I'd disappeared to.

I developed a very painful and persistent earache which turned out to be caused by a large 'mass' in my middle ear. My family and I endured a couple of weeks of waiting while they checked to see if it was malignant, post-biopsy. During that time I became much sicker and I think it convinced my loved ones that I wasn't going to be around much longer. It certainly felt that way!

I was finally told that it was benign but that it was destructive; eroding bone at the base of my skull and into the semi-circular canals. There was another wait to see if it was operable or not.

All of the problems I've faced in the last none months have been the result of this...

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Ambulance: Tinsel and stuff

Written by RSS Poster Xf
The Season's upon us again. This year, for various reasons, it will be especially nice to be celebrating Christmas with my family. I think I lost sight of the worth of things you never have to buy in life, while a tidal wave of bad luck and bad consequences swept over my head.

I've missed writing regularly of course, but I need the time to completely heal and get things done that must be done if I am to return to the front-line battle that is paramedicine. I've not lost my opinions nor has my attitude evaporated; I'm re-charging my batteries and re-focussing my lenses, that's all.

So, have a lovely Christmas when it comes. I wish you all good health and a happy time over the period. Please don't drink yourselves stupid if you can avoid it and please remember to say something nice to an ambulance crew - even if they aren't actually treating you!

I'm not involved in this year's battle against Festive alcohol-fuelled stupidity and violence. I won't be mopping out a vehicle floor covered in someone's vomit. I won't be assaulted, shouted at, insulted or thrown...

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Ambulance: Stalking posters

Written by RSS Poster Xf
During the years I have been writing this blog, I have been asked to add links so that others can advertise their services and products. I have also been sent hundreds of comments that look as if they are genuine but often contain links to commercial websites or products.

I don't mind this because it is part of the downside to blogging, but I would respectfully ask those who have attempted to post comments, tagged with links to their businesses, to stop doing this on the one post that I feel deserves to be left alone... 'Goodbye JT'.

This post was written as a heart-felt farewell to my dead son, so I find it a little insensitive that those of you with no more than a commercial interest in posting on my blog would choose that particular post to comment on.

I have thousands of legitimate readers and they visit because they want to learn, engage, discuss and argue with me. Please don't bother if all you want to do is sell viagra, or skin lotions, or pay-day loans. I have allowed Google ads to transmit selected items here and that is all I am permitting, so give it up.

Thank you!

Xf




Ambulance: Gassy booze

Written by RSS Poster Xf


Isn't it bad enough that we are dealing with more and more young drunkenness, with the prospect of alcoholism and liver failure creeping into those in their early teens, without the additional alcohol-industry-induced trauma that drinks like this can cause?

Gaby Scanlon, an 18-year-old who was given one of these cocktails, endured agonising pain and was rushed to hospital by her friends. A CT scan revealed a large hole in her stomach.

Surgeons found that the extremely low temperature of the liquid nitrogen had not only burned a hole in her stomach but had completely destroyed her stomach lining. Her whole stomach had to be removed and surgeons connected her oesophagus, which takes food from the mouth to her stomach, directly to her bowel.

Now her diet is restricted for the rest of her life.

Proponents of these 'theatrical' cocktails will say they are perfectly safe to drink and that Gaby was an unfortunate 'one-off', but is it really worth even one young person's health (and she could have died if this hadn't been dealt with quickly) for the sake of...

Continues, Read More...




Latest Xf Stories

Goodbye to a good man
Devolution
Elephants
Four nights shifts and an egg and spoon race
Human pigeons

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