It’s our choice

So some pretentious jackwagon comes up to Shaq and I at the hospital after we dropped off a patient.

“Why didn’t you transport that patient emergency?”

I’m dumbfounded. Plus hungry.

“Wait. What?”

“That last patient, the ER wants to know why you didn’t transport him emergency.”

“…because I didn’t feel it was necessary?…” (seriously, where is this going?)

“Well, in a stroke, time is brain, and every second counts, so…”


“So why didn’t you transport him emergency?”

“Because I didn’t feel it was necessary.”

Then we left.

What I left out was that the patient was last seen around ten o’clock in the morning by his son, at which point his son noticed his face was drooping and he ‘wasn’t talking right.’ ¬†Nobody had seen the patient since after dinner yesterday, when his daughter brought him food. At some point, the patient went to bed, then was found more than 12 hours after being seen normal. Oh, and the son that saw him with the droopy face at ten a.m.? That son called 911 at 4 P.M.

So much for that window.

I’ve always had this personal policy: We transport everyone to the hospital non-emergency, unless:

  • there is an impending airway failure, or we are unable to control the airway for some reason
  • there is a limb presentation in a pregnant female
  • any time my partner feels it is necessary

My partner and I make decisions together, and our safety is in our minds first. Since driving with the lights and sirens is inherently much more dangerous, we reserve them for cases when it is absolutely necessary. Hell, it’s dangerous enough with two people up front, but it’s even more difficult trying to clear these intersections by yourself, ¬†and trying to deal with a distraught family member.

I’m willing to listen to suggestions as to when I should use the lights and sirens for transport, but unless my management or my medical director wants to put it on paper, I won’t take criticism.

We decide.


  1. “If they had actually listened to my report, they’d know why.”

  2. Flash Larry says:

    What BH said. Or they could read the trip report.

    Of course, “The ER wants to know,” means the ER should ask, not just have the information filtered to me or you through a third unrelated party.

    And how did they know how you transported anyway?

    • That’s the point. After some digging around, they (the ER staff) didn’t know how we transported, didn’t care how we transported, and certainly didn’t ask why we transported the way we did.

      It was just some nosy bitch who works for the same company trying to stir up drama where there was none.

  3. I can’t go over the speed limit when using lights and siren when I have a patient, so I hardly ever use them. Your right it is hard enough clearing intersections with two people. I find I actually lose time stopping to clear intersections, unless I’m passing stopped traffic. I believe it doesn’t matter to anyone else, except me, my partner, and patient, if I transport under lights and siren.

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