Genius

Some lady attempted suicide.

The MDT notes say she left her car running all night in her garage, and was found on the floor of the garage by a neighbor. It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, and she’s been there all night, and the car was still running when the neighbor found her.

The neighbor only found her because he thought the red light glow coming from her garage was strange. Apparently she left her headlights on. Neighbor broke into her house, opened all the doors and windows, turned the car off, and somehow dragged the lady outside into her driveway before calling us.

Somehow, she’s still breathing.

Brave man. Now he’s over in the bushes throwing up breakfast.

No, it wasn’t an accident. The note she left in her car removes all doubt of that.

Shaq and our supervisor are getting some stuff done while I gather information before we leave.

One of the fireman comes out of the garage and walks over to the ambulance. “Hey, do you know which hospital you’re going to go to?”

“Yeah, we’re gonna go to Saint Catholic’s. They have that hyperbaric chamber there they can put her in.”

“Cool. Good deal. Make sure you tell them the readings we got from our meter is six hunnert and fitty parts per million.”

This guy is speaking some language I don’t understand. But whatever. “Sure thing, dude. Six-fifty parts per million. Got it.”

He looks over my shoulder at my supervisor and nods “How is she doing? She gonna be alright?”

“I don’t know, man. She looks pretty sick. But her O2 sat is at one hundred percent, so at least that’s good.”

Fireman and I make eye contact and neither one of us have anything to say.

And Supervisor McDipshit wasn’t trying to crack a joke, either.

 

I looked it up later. At 400ppm, a normal adult will have headaches within 1-2 hours, and it is life-threatening after 3 hours. 800ppm is nausea, vomiting, and convulsions within 45 minutes, unconscious within 2 hours, then death. And this lady’s garage was over 600ppm, and she spent the better part of 9 hours in there.

Nobody could figure out how she survived. But she did.

The O2 sat of 100% is probably what saved her.

History major

We are taking care of some incredibly old lady from the local nursing home. Like, really old.

She fell out of bed and has some skin tears.

Remarkably for being her age, she is sharp as a tack.

We load her up, and I am sitting behind her in my confessional while Shaq hooks her up to the monitor.

“Ma’am, can you tell me how old you are?” I ask her.

“I was born one week before the Titanic sank” is her reply.

Like I know when the hell that was. I’m a grumpy, hungry paramedic, not some history major.

Shaq catches me looking at him with a confused look on my face.

“Oh. April eighth, nineteen-twelve.”

“What?”

“That’s her birthday.”

“How the hell did you figure that out?”

“The Titanic sank on April fifteenth.”

“Where did you just pull that fact nugget from?!”

“I started watching Downton Abbey yesterday. It was in there during the first episode.”

 

Someone should write a blog this guy.

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…”

“Indeed.”

“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.

Here, have a tissue

I don’t care about your feelings.

I’m here to take care of people, and to take them to the hospital.

If you get in the way of me taking care of a patient, or you try to do something stupid, or you do something or say something ignorant, I won’t hesitate to call you out.

I do not care if your sensitive little emotions get hurt.

If you are stupid and don’t know it, then that is because you have been coddled all your life.

Maybe you should read some books instead of petting your dalmatian so much.

Maybe go find a “safe space” where you can have a good cry.

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here not caring about your feelings.

Step away from the baby

Childbirth call. Some lady just delivered a baby at home.

I’m with the talkative part-timer again, who seems to be a little nervous.

But we make it to the call, and I finish my bagel without losing any cream cheese.

We encounter the first member of the fire brigade outside the well-appointed home. We can hear a baby crying, which is a good sign. At least it’s a sign that this is a legitimate call.

“Everyone’s in yonder” he says, pointing in the direction of the home.

Duh.

Sure enough, there’s a baby. Umbilical cord attached, but cut, being wrapped up by another member of the fire brigade.

Mom looks alright. Considering.

Wait. What’s that? That guy is getting out the IV kit? Whoa. Hold up. That other guy, he looks like he’s cleaning the baby’s arm and feeling for a- holy shit, that’s a tourniquet! Why the hell is there a tourniquet on the baby’s arm?!

“Hey, uh, what’s going on here, what’s happening?”

“Oh, we’re just looking for a vein.”

“Mmmkay, I see that, but why are you looking for a vein?”

“Well, the baby seems kind of lethargic, and the blood sugar was kind of low, so we were going to give some D50.”

What in the actual fuck are they talking about? “Well, what were the baby’s Apgar scores?”

“The what?”

“Apgar.”

“What’zat?”

Christ on a cracker. “Okay, what was the blood sugar?”

“Uh, lemme look, it was…42.”

“The blood sugar was 42?”

“Yeah.”

“On a newborn?”

“Yeah.”

“And you were going to start an IV and give D50?”

“Yeah.”

I have now put my hands into my pockets, lest I slap a civil servant upside his head. “How much D50 were you going to give?”

“Uh, like ten ml?”

So five freaking grams of dextrose. “What’s a normal blood sugar for a newborn?”

“Uh, between 80 and 120?”

“Give me the baby.”

“But…”

“Give me the baby and get out.”