As mentioned in my previous post I finally decided it was time to go out on an Ambulance again. I've been out a couple of times with HART and also went out with an ECP but haven't actually been on an Ambulance since I finished my dispatch course which if memory serves was at the end of 2005!
Steve text me to say that he was doing an overtime shift with his old crewmate Barry and would I like to join them which is why I found myself getting into uniform at 0500 on a Sunday during my week off!! Although we would be on the SW sector, we would be running out of different station which didn't really make any odds to me but Steve and Barry don't particularly like it.
I arrive, I'd like to say bright eyed and bushy tailed but I think a better description would be bleary eyed and redbulled! We spent the first half hour or so sorting out the truck (well that's what they did, I stood around trying to wake up). At 0700 we book on and then we wait...and wait...and wait some more. 3 cups of coffee later we finally get a call from EOC. As the phone rings I say "I bet that'll be AAC". I was right so we now have the perfect excuse to head to KrispyKreme for yet another coffee and the donut that Steve owes me for making sure he got off on time on our earlies!!
We have been at the shop for barely 2 minutes when the MDT starts ringing...Cardiac Arrest!! Bloody hell - what a way to start the day. And to top it all off it was miles away - we always start the nearest mobile crew until we can find something closer through a GB or such. It's better to at least have something on the way in case nothing else comes up. Barry was driving and Steve was attending. I have say there is a certain childish glee building up inside me knowing that we are seconds away from tearing through the SW at silly speeds and scaring learner drivers when you appear in their rear view mirror!! To say I had to brace myself in the back of the ambulance is an understatement! I think at one point I had my foot against a wall as Barry negotiated the frequently annoying speed humps, mini roundabouts and really shit drivers who seem intent on trying to go faster than you or pulling out into your lane when you least expect it. However I enjoyed every minute of it! After about 5 minutes we got the "whoop whoop" come up on the MDT which signals a cancellation. The FRU had got on scene and as patient was obviously deceased, there was no need for us. He would contact EOC and arrange the GP to come out and certify.
We turn off all the lights and sirens and pull into a side road to do our paperwork. We sit there for a bit and then we get another message asking us to go back on AAC at a new location. However before we have chance to do that we get a call for an elderly gentleman who has fallen in the bathroom and is unable to get up. The blue lights and sirens go back on and we speed away although we do go a little more sedately this time. We arrive at the address and find a rather large gentleman on the floor with his drawers round his ankles. I felt really sorry for him - it must be so embarrassing to be in that situation and then have 3 strangers turn up and gawp at you. Steve and Barry managed to sit him back on the toilet and then started to take his vitals. He was very breathless which he stated was normal although his wife seemed a lot more concerned. Like many old people he didn't want a fuss whereas his wife felt he really wasn't well and needed further treatment. The gentleman had had diarrhoea for a week and was also passing some blood and his sats were quite low and Co2 was quite high and so it was decided that we'd convey. Barry went off to get the carry chair while Steve carried on checking him over and getting some different clothes on him as he'd had an accident on the floor (the patient obviously not Steve!) This is where things started to get a bit amusing. The staircase was very narrow and the gentleman was ... well ... let's just say he wasn't the smallest of men! It was hard enough for them to even get him onto the chair, let alone negotiate the stairs. They did a practice lift and then went for the main event!! I couldn't see Steve coz he was at the feet end but Barry looked as though a vein was going to pop out of his temple!! However they got him safely to the bottom and while I got all his medication from his wife, they got him into the ambulance. In the ambulance they did an ECG as well as all his obs again. By this point he really didn't look well at all and then when the ECG printed out it was quite abnormal. I think Steve and Barry were worried that he might suspend in the ambulance but luckily by changing the O2 levels, his obs became a bit more normal. (I can't explain any of that so I'll leave Steve to do it!!) Anyways, after a while they decided no blue call was necessary and we made our way to hospital.