Our next call was to an overdose but just as we were about to press Amber, we heard a GB for a 10 YOM with chest pain. We offered up for that and a cancellation for the overdose arrived and so we sped off to the child. Now genuine cardiac chest pain in children is thankfully quite rare. In this case it was actually a chest infection. The kiddie had already had 2 rounds of different antibiotics and 3 weeks later was still poorly. He had a nasty cough and tingling in his arm. He'd been given an inhaler and a spacer to use but had only taken it once that day. An inhaler can actually be used up to 10 times in a day, 2 puffs counting as one dose. Barry, as well as being a Paramedic, also has ECP skills so was able to utilise them for this call. The Boys couldn't decide what was best for the patient - did they take him to hospital for a chest x ray or leave him at home and arrange the doctor. The father, although obviously concerned, was happy to go with whatever they thought best. In the end Barry and I took the patient out to the ambulance to do a peak flow, BP etc and Steve phoned the hospital for advice. It wasn't long before Steve appeared saying we were to take him in. So Dad joined us in the ambulance and off we all went to hospital. It was good as I'd now got to see 2 different hospitals on the sector! We took him down to Paeds and then with coffee in hand returned to the ambulance for our next call.
Our next call was the biggest pile of crap ever and makes me wonder about the Community Police Officers and whether they have any common sense or if they leave it behind in Training School. We pull up at a large green where there are quite a few games of Sunday League football going on. An officer flags us down and says, he's been headbutted in the nose but it's not bleeding it's just a bit red. We meet the patient who is about 18 and his first words are "I can make my own way to hosp!". So why the bloody hell are we here??? Fair enough he looked to be in some discomfort - as I well know, a broken nose hurts - but if he can make his own way and has voiced that, why have we had to run on blue lights to get to him? While Steve take some obs and the patient has a look at his nose in our wing mirror, the officer asks me if it is serious. I give him a flat reply - No! Oh that's good, says the officer, but you can never be too sure and it make have been serious. I want to shout at him - you've wasted our time, his time, risked the public by making us drive here on blues ... and for what? A red nose!!
Our next call was to a "person lying in the street". This actually turns out to be an abscondee from the local hospital. When we arrived the female was sitting on a wall with one of our fast responders. She had a hospital bracelet on and was bleeding from where she'd obviously pulled out a cannula. A quick call to the hospital and we found out she had been waiting for a psychiatric assessment when she'd wandered off. As she would speak, it was a fairly quiet ride to the hospital where she was returned to the ward she had come from!
Our last call of the day was to a lovely old lady who was suffering from back pain and dizziness. When we arrived she was all ready to go with her bags packed and coat on. There was a responder with her who we let go on his merry way after a quick handover. She had a really bad curvature of the top of her spine, meaning she couldn't lift her head. I think that's what was giving her the pain. Once we had the patient in the ambulance I started making conversation with her and she turned out to have had an incredibly interesting life. I think we sometimes forget that our patients have other lives as we are generally only focused on their illness or injury. Amongst other things, found out how she'd married an Indian General but it hadn't worked out. How she'd worked as a nurse and a hotelier for many years. She'd had an operation go wrong and she'd received a large payout which was now funding another operation which she would have otherwise had to wait on the long NHS list. In fact she was due to have the surgery the next day and I'd love to tell you the Doctors name coz it was hilarious but sadly I can't!!
So that was my day. I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the patients who are usually just a voice on the phone or an address waiting to be assigned an ambulance. I think all EOC staff should go out observing regularly and visa versa the road staff should come in and see what we do. I think it would really change attitudes on both sides.
P.S. sorry this has taken so long to be posted but the other half has now hurt her back and has been laid out for a month so simply haven't had time to blog. I'm trying to catch up on it now!!