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Posted Jul 09 2010 10:30am

The foot belongs to a female police officer (not sure if I can say WPC anymore) who broke her toe and was waiting in A&E for the good news. Her x-ray shows the damage. She will now and forever be known as 'hopalong' - by me anyway. Oh, and yes, permission was granted to publish these.

Day shift: Four calls; two by ambulance; one by car.

Stats: 2 unwell adults; 1 faint; 1 no trace.

No student with me today.

The morning started off fairly quietly then a call for a blind man who was vomiting and suffering a headache took me to a caller I knew; a man I’d conveyed to hospital in the car a few years ago. He gets lonely and calls us so that he can go somewhere noisy; the last time I helped him I think he was complaining of the same problems, although he didn’t look ill then and he certainly didn’t this time.

A crew was sent, even though I could have taken him in the car, so I left it with them.

Surrounded by the clutter and mess of Parliament Square where protestors camp as a testament to their right to protest, whilst ignoring the rights of others to enjoy the right to move around without bumping into a tent, a 53 year-old Orange County (California don’t you know) lady fainted whilst on a bicycle tour with her family. She was recovering when I got there but, given that her BP was very low and her pulse almost undetectable initially, I thought it best to wait for the crew and get an ECG done in private, rather than out in the open.

I chatted to her family while this was being done and got to know a bit about them (‘cos I’m nosey) and I also spoke to the cycle tour guy. He told me about the tours and allowed me to mess about with the plastic squeaking toys that were fixed to the handlebars, serving as warning ‘bells’.

Emotional problems often manifest as physical illness, whether real or imagined, and we get to collect the resulting ailments and take them to hospital where no treatment is available. So, the 47 year-old man with ‘DIB’ who had no trouble breathing but cried a lot, was taken in the car when his temperature was found to be slightly high (possibly a mild viral infection). He’d called 999 ‘for advice’ but we don’t do that and so an ambulance (well, the car) was sent.

All the way to hospital in the car he lay flat across the back seat, even with the seatbelt on. He was highly emotional about something and, try as I might, I could not get him to tell me what. Strangely, when we arrived at hospital and I handed him over to a nurse, he developed chest pain. He was destined for the waiting area prior to that; he ended up in a cubicle.

I bumped into the female PC with the broken toe while completing the handover of this patient and we managed to concoct a more realistic drama over the origin of her injury – a foiled bank robbery. She tackled three armed robbers single-handedly and one of the guns dropped onto her boot, breaking her toe. There you go, much more heroic than running into a wall I think.

When MOPS call ambulances because a street-sleeping person is using the street to sleep during the day, they tend to panic and think that person may be dead – or almost dead. Rarely, they are correct and we get there to find that CPR would benefit them. Mostly they are wrong and we run around the area and find nobody dead. Sometimes we find somebody asleep and that’s what we expect to find. The situation is made more confusing when the MOPs making such calls refuse to stick around and point out the offending human article. You’d think if they were distressed enough to assume it was an emergency they’d do one of a three things: 1. Try waking the person up or checking to see if they are breathing; 2. Stay on scene and shout at that person from a distance if scared; 3. Just wait on scene.

I ended that little excursion with unnecessary paperwork and a few irate drivers who didn’t agree with the way I blocked their path when driving to the ‘emergency’. I’d feel the same if I was driving home but I don't swear at anyone because of it.

Be safe.
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