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Blinded for a mobile phone

Posted Nov 21 2008 4:27pm
Seven emergency calls. One non-convey, one false alarm, one no trace and four ambulances required.

Before I had time to start my VDI there was a call on the screen for a male who had been stabbed in the eye in South London. I raced to the scene and there was an ambulance crew attending. I hopped aboard and learned that the 30 year-old man had been mugged for his mobile 'phone. The assailants had allegedly hit him hard on the head with something and then proceeded to try and relieve him of his left eye by stabbing it. They did a good job because the weapon had penetrated the eyeball and the man couldn't see out of it anymore. Although he was fully conscious and seemed to be in no great pain, he sensed the seriousness of his injury and kept asking whether he would lose the eye. He was rushed to hospital and I hope that they can do something for him.

For some reason, only known to himself, a taxi driver slammed his vehicle into a post. I watched as he reversed from the impact point and carried on his journey as if nothing had happened. I couldn't see any passengers inside...or maybe they were all thrown to the floor. What is going on out there?

Another fainted female and another non-convey. She was 20 years-old and very nice to talk to. She had fainted before and knew the score. Even though she was offered the opportunity to go to hospital and be checked out she declined. She had recovered fully when I arrived and I saw no reason to push the subject further, so she got the famous signing honour and off I went.

I received a call from my Control desk about a job that was coming down to me and was told that there was possibly a child fitting at the address and to proceed with caution as there was a lot of commotion in the background. There was a crew there but the whole thing sounded very dodgy and when I got on scene I found myself walking cautiously up to the entry door of the flats. The buzzer was answered by a slow and very slurred female (Scottish) voice.

"Ambulance", I said

"No, we don't need an ambulance", came the reply

"But you have a crew in there, don't you?"

"Oh, ok then."

I pushed at the door but it didn't open. She hadn't pressed her door release and I was getting concerned now. I pressed the buzzer again. There was a delay and Mrs Slur came back on.

"Can you let me in please?", I asked politely

Eventually I got in and made my way to the floor where the flat was. When the lift door opened I walked into the corridor carefully. I had imagined her and whoever else harming the crew and then lying in wait for me!

I went into the flat and discovered that the crew were talking to a young man who didn't even want an ambulance. All the while this Glaswegian woman, who was extremely drunk, hung over my shoulder talking at me. I wasn't listening- I couldn't understand her to be honest.

It turns out there was no child in danger at this address, just three stupid drunk people who had nothing better to do than call an ambulance out. The woman claimed her boy had been fitting and it's quite possible he had but he was taking diazepam and alcohol at the same time, so I suppose he was heading that way. Nevertheless he declined to go to hospital and I left the crew to work it out with them. Anti-climax.

Later on I was called to a 53 year-old male with DIB. He did indeed have problems with his breathing and had been diagnosed with a chest infection. On top of that he was asthmatic, diabetic and suffered from angina, so he wasn't in good shape. I arrived to find him sitting in his cramped hallway with his family looking on anxiously. Once he was nebulised he began to recover but he went to hospital anyway, he needed a proper check up.

I rested for a bit at my base station and then I was off to another stabbing. This time it was a 16 year-old boy who had been stabbed in the chest and was on a stairwell in a block of flats, or at least that's what the call description stated. In fact, when I arrived at the RVP, along with another ambulance and a few police vehicles, there was nobody to be seen. A search of the location revealed nothing out of the ordinary; no blood, no signs of violence. My control updated me and said that the alleged victim had called again from another location but this time he refused to say where he was. This was typical of a hoax call but also likely to be a stabbing victim who didn't want the police involved. I never found out which because the search was called off and I went back to the station.

A few years back, I was told of a call just like this. It had come from a vague location and the caller had simply stopped talking and hung up after a while. Everyone searched but found nothing so it was assumed he was a prankster. The next day his body was found in a local graveyard. He had crawled his way there with multiple stab wounds and died in the night. Sad really.

A quick call to a train station for a man who claimed he was having palpitations. He had been seen by the hospital doctor two days previously and nothing was found wrong with him. He was a homeless Romanian man and all he wanted was a bed I think. He got his wish; the crew took him to hospital. The rail staff who had tended to him before I arrived were not impressed with him and they apologised for wasting our time. I told them not to bother, it's better for them to call us than to risk getting it wrong.

My last call of the night was to a 70 year-old female who was hypoglycaemic. She wasn't taking good care of herself at all and only had an elderly husband to help her. When I checked her BM it was extremely low - 1.5mMol.

The crew arrived soon after I did and we set about reversing her potentially life-threatening condition. She wouldn't take anything orally, so she got an injection of Glucagon and that was followed up by a little Glucose IV. This did the trick and within ten minutes she was wondering what all the fuss was about. Her blood sugar level returned to normal and she was taken to hospital for further checks.

All told, a good night's work I think.

Be safe.
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