Take the bag!

My service has a policy which requires the crew to take in the stretcher, cardiac monitor, and jump bag to every patient.  I have been in the habit of taking said equipment in, even without a written policy. 

While taking a cardiac monitor in to a 10 year old with a twisted ankle may be a little over kill, that’s what the bosses want, so we do it.  Or at least I do.

It’s also a good practice.  Seriously, what are you going to do for a patient who accidentally stabbed himself in the femoral artery with a turkey baster right before Thanksgiving dinner, and now there is blood squirting every which way, in the squash casserole, and all over the turkey, and the mashed potatoes, and your jump bag is 30 yards away in the ambulance?  And when that call happens (and we all know it will happen, to someone), you just know there is going to be a doctor/nurse/paramedic/personal-injury lawyer watching your big, fat, screw-up.

“Ma’am, can I borrow a towel from you since I’m too lazy to bring in my equipment?”

Take in the damned bag.  Take in the damned monitor.  Put it on the effing stretcher so your lazy ass doesn’t hurt your lazy back carrying it.

I hate lazy people.


Earlier, I discussed the disproportionate use of lights and sirens in our responses.  Sure enough, someone just has to prove me wrong.

We are responding to a doc-in-the-box that calls our service at least once a day.  This clinic doesn’t have a stellar reputation, nor does it have a terrible reputation.  Just another urgent care facility. 

Apparently, they called my dispatch center directly and requested an ambulance.  Somewhere during that conversation, an employee at said urgent care facility mentioned that the patient was complaining of chest pain.  And difficulty breathing.  And has a history of PE.  And an abnormal EKG. 

…And wants us to come non emergency.

This patient was genuinely sick.  She was in sinus tach at 130, and in obvious distress.  Her room air O2 saturations were very easy to take, as the clinic staff hadn’t bothered to administer any, much less check her SpO2.  It was 88.  The staff did, however, start a 24 gauge INT for me.  Sweet.

Her 12-lead, physical exam and history all scream PE.  And this doctor either:

A. Didn’t know it.  (Which makes me wonder why not)
B. Wasn’t that concerned about it.  (Which makes me want to ask him why) …or…
C. Knew that I personally would be the one to respond and take care of the patient.  (Which makes me want to shake his hand.)

Maybe I’m just complaining too much.

You thought texting while driving was bad.

So Slimm and I are awoken from a nap to respond to a man with a piece of a metal fence stuck in his leg.

We were having a good nap. There had better be a humongous piece of metal stuck in this man’s leg.

Finally we find the guy. About as far away from the entrance to the scene as you can get. I will, and did, drive my ambulance across a football field, baseball field, and a lacrosse field.
Sure enough, this guy has a piece of a metal fence, the kind used to hold up silk fences around construction sites, impaled in the back of his leg. Well done, man, well done.  Thank you for interrupting my nap with a genuine problem.

“How did this happen?”

“I was texting my daughter while walking, and tripped, and fell down. I guess I just landed the right way.”

He’s gonna be OK. After some surgery, that is.