Bathrooms and lifelines

This isn’t a recent event, but I’ve only really just remembered it.

I was on my base-station but had no crew mate. This meant I had a few options (actually, I had none, but there was one of a few things that my control manager would tell me to do).

Option the 1st: Stay solo on the ambulance, first responding to Red calls (life threatening) being backed up as needed.

Option 2: Drive to another station to crew up with someone else who was also solo.

Option 3: Stay put and wait for someone else that had no crew mate to drive to me.

Option 4: Take a Paramedic off a rapid response vehicle (RRV) to crew up with me – They don’t like doing this as RRVs are very good at getting places in 8 minutes, which keeps the government happy, but they also know that double-crewed ambulances are the Trust’s most valuable resource.

Eventually, option 3 was decided on and I would wait for a Technician from another station (12 miles away) to drive to me. This suited me fine as I actually had time to check my vehicle, providing a Red call didn’t come in in my area!

So ‘Berk’ as I’ll call him, arrived. I immediately didn’t like him. He seemed arrogant and dismissive and bitched and moaned about having to drive to my station (in an ambulance, not his own car) to crew up with a ‘Student‘!

“This will be a long 12 hours” I thought to myself! Then I always remind myself that it is only 12 hours and for some of that, one of us is in the back with a patient anyway. ‘Keep calm and carry on’.

Actually, my short but stale encounter with Berk is not at all relevant to the story, but it’s good to vent. Berk!

 

First job around comes in: 78 year old lady, fallen in Bathroom.

“Priority 2 backup for an RRV please chaps”

“Roger, wilco’, all received”

We decide who’s ‘wheeling’ and who’s ‘healing’ and jump into our seats. Blue lights on, off we go.

It’s a short and uneventful drive to the address in a small, nearby village. We park up outside the bungalow and walk through the open front door.

“Hello, ambulance” standard entry call of the ‘medic.

“Through here guys” standard reply of the ‘medic.

We walk through to the bathroom where our Paramedic colleague tells us the story. Everything about a patient can be gained from a good history, so we listen intently.

“This is Joan (name changed, of course). Who 3 days ago….”

“Sorry mate, was that 3 hours ago?”

“‘fraid not guys, 3 days. 3 days ago, Joan walked in to the bathroom, lost her balance and fell into the [empty] bath. She was unable to get herself up. Thankfully, a neighbour became concerned that she hadn’t seen her so used the key safe to get in, finding Joan. We were called immediately.”

This poor poor lady had been stuck in the – thankfully – empty bath for 3 days!! Her feet were at the tap end, so she cleverly used her toes to turn the tap on and use a small just to fill it with water to drink from.

She was wet, soiled, cold, sore and afraid. And bloody relieved to see us lads in green!

She had a dreadful amount of pain in her back and bottom where she’d been led for so long, so we gave her some good pain relief before moving her. Once that kicked in, there was no other option than to man-handle her out of the bath and onto our wheelchair.

As we did so, we stripped off her wet clothes. She had an enormous pressure sore on her back and urine burns on her legs and buttocks. We cleaned her, dried her and put her into a hospital gown (always worth carrying a few on the ambulance) after dressing her wounds.

Systemically, she was well. Her blood pressure was excellent, her heart rate was normal and even her blood sugar was OK. She was, of course, mildly hypothermic, but otherwise stable.

We wheeled her to the ambulance and got going to hospital. I was in the back with her on the way, and she recounted the story to me through tears.

She genuinely thought she was going to die in the bath. She wept and I could do nothing but hold her hand and tell her she was safe. I recommended a ‘life-line’ pendant to wear around her neck so if she falls, she’d be able to summon help more quickly. She agreed that she would make enquiries when she got home.

I gave my clinical handover to the Matron in A&E who sent us to the High Care area of A&E with her. There she was given a comfortable bed while waiting for the doctors to come and see her. I told the nurses about the turmoil she’d bee through and they said they’d take good care of her. I knew they would.

 

Stuff like this terrifies the life out of me! We get called to people found dead by loved ones who have fallen and been unable to summon help. I cannot recommend life-lines enough, they are just that! It may take a while to get someone there, but someone will always get there. It makes me angry, as well, when people have them but don’t wear them, I feel like I’m forever telling off pensioners who have them hung over the bedside lamp! This is one of those ‘forever problems’. It’ll be a problem, forever.

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New skills

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a Student Paramedic studying part time through the Open University. This means that unlike full time students, I don’t do placement blocks as an extra person on an Ambulance, I work full time for the Service as a crew of (usually) two on a Double Crewed Ambulance (DCA).

Studying this way – I feel – gives me better exposure to lots of different types of emergencies and how to manage them with just the two of you (having a 3rd person there does make a massive difference in critical situations). It does mean that it takes longer (1 year probation plus 4 years study as a apposed to 3 years through University) and I have to study in and around my shifts – including hospital placements which have to be done in my own time, but I think that learning ‘on the job’ is a much better option. You can’t learn how to simply talk to people or reassure them at university, that’s evident from some of the young newly qualified Paramedics I’ve seen.

Studying this way also means that I am taught new skills as I progress and allowed to perform procedures on my patients. I’ve recently been given all of the Paramedic skill to add to my arsenal.

If you want to Google them, they are:

Cannulation

Intra-oseos (IO) access

Intubation

Needle Cricothyroidotomy

Needle Thoracocentesis and

Advanced Life Support (my assessment for this one is during my final year).

Cannulation is our most often practiced skill. It involves putting a small plastic tube into a vein using a needle (IV access). This allows us to give fluids, drugs and now in certain situations with help from our Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedics, blood.

IO access is only used in truly life threatening situations, when the patient is so ‘shut down’ that you can’t get IV access, or if they’ve suffered amputations. It’s also the first line of access in paediatric cardiac arrest (no pulse and not breathing). It involves a much larger, longer needle which we attach to a special drill and drill into the bone marrow. Seriously, that’s what we do! I’ve seen it done three times and only once on a conscious casualty. It really is our last line of access because it’s so aggressive, apart from paediatric cardiac arrest – just think on that for a minute!

Intubation is only used in cardiac arrest. It involves using a curved metal blade to lift the tongue and jaw out of the way to visualise the vocal cords. We then pass a plastic tube through the cords into the main windpipe leading to the lungs, thereby blocking off the oesophagus to reduce the chance of vomit getting into the lungs. We then attach it to a ventilator of some sort to breathe for the patient.

Needle Cricothyroidotomy or Needle Cric’ (pronounced cryke) for short is when the shit really hits the fan. If you’re pulling this out of the bag, it really is do or die! We only use this when a patient has a complete upper airway obstruction that cannot be removed by the heimlich manoeuvre or by using the intubation blade to find and some special pliers to remove the blockage. This patient will die if you don’t perform this technique. It involves using the largest cannula we have (like a bloody scaffolding pole) and pushing it through the throat into the windpipe, attaching an oxygen tube to it and turning it on and off to emulate breathing. Once this is done, you have 20 minutes to get the patient to definitive care of they die. This will be a bad day at work.

Needle Thoracocentesis is used when a patient has a collapsed lung which is ‘tensioning’. This is when the lung collapses and then gets smaller and smaller until it compresses agains the heart impeding its ability to beat. Again, this is fatal if untreated. So all we do is get that massive cannula and push it between the ribs to allow the air that’s outside the lung to escape and the lung to re-inflate. Scary stuff.

Advanced life support is pretty much a combination of all of the above with a cocktail of different drugs used in the management of cardiac arrest. With all of this, we are able to offer the same treatment for cardiac arrest in someone’s living room that would be offered in an A&E resus’ room.

 

So far, I’ve cannulated plenty of actual human beings, but none of the other stuff. The time will come for me to use these skills *gulp* and it’ll be fine.

This is actual grown up stuff now…wish me luck! I’ll report back with tales of how I’ve used these skills to save hundreds and hundreds of lives!

 

 

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Critical Haemorrhage

I’ve mentioned before that our ‘Primary Survey’ (i.e your initial assessment of a patient to decide if there’s anything immediately life threatening that needs correcting) differs from that of a first aider, who’s primary survey will be:

D – Danger

R – Response

A- Airway

B – Breathing

and maybe C – Circulation

Our primary survey is:

D – Danger

C – Catastrophic Haemorrhage

R – Response

A – Airway

c (deliberately small) – Cervical Spine injury

B – Breathing

C – Circulation

D – Disability or Neurological signs

E – Everything else

F – Family/Friends for history taking

G – Glucose levels.

So, as you’d expect, it’s a bit different.

When it comes to managing Catastrophic/Critical Haemorrhage (by which I mean an arterial bleed which will bleed a patient dry in mere moments), we don’t piss around. As you can see, we control Catastrophic Bleeding before we even try to get a response from our patient, let alone try managing an airway etc etc.

Most if not all of our critical haemorrhage kits have been developed by the Military. Their ‘bread & butter’ work is dealing with traumatic amputations and massive trauma to the abdomen and chest.

They’ve developed very efficient tourniquets and dressings known as ‘blast dressings’, or to give them their proper name, ‘haemostatic dressings’. These have a chemical in them which promotes clotting to stop bleeding quickly. These dressings are idiot proof, very large and very expensive. They save lives.

I’ve never been unfortunate enough to have to apply a tourniquet, though my regular crew mate was – he was sent to a lady who was trapped under the wheel of a bus!

I have, however, applied a blast dressing to a lady with a catastrophic bleed from the chest. It works very well indeed.

We have a special bag which is a cool, special op’s style black bag with red writing which says ‘Critical Haemorrhage Kit, Trained Personnel Only”. In there we carry tourniquets, various sized blast dressings and haemostatatic gauze.

On my last day shift, we answered a 999 call for a man who’d cut himself shaving, so the bag was left on the Ambulance that day……*sigh*.

Needless to say, we recommended some basic first aid and left him to it. Another life saved 🙂

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Apologies

“Well, well, well”

I hear you say.

“It’s that bloody Ambulance bloke. I remember he used to write regular updates on his day-to-day life on a frontline Ambulance. I’d almost forgotten he existed.”

AHA! I have returned with an apology. It’s been a very long time since my last post but life has been very busy!

I went and got myself married, started my final section of studying for my degree in Paramedic Sciences and re-joined a band I was in many many years ago. I know it doesn’t sound that busy, but trust me, it is!

Anyway straight back into it, eh?!

On the subject of apologies, I did start a post I never finished which was along the lines of this:

On the ambulance, we carry a fairly limited range of pain relief, from Paracetamol tablets, to strong IV Morphine with basically only Entonox (gas & air) in between.

To enable us to give the strong pain relief, we need to get IV access with a cannula. This gives us access directly to a patient’s veins to give morphine or paracetamol in the form of a drip. But what if we can’t get access?

I was working in the city with a different crew mate. As soon as we booked onto the vehicles, the radio goes off:

“Morning chaps, sorry to be so prompt this morning. We have an outstanding call for a concern for welfare.”

“Roger, all received, on our way.”

On go the blue lights, no need for sirens at 0630, there’s no traffic about.

We quickly arrived to find a gathering of people, most in dressing gowns but all with bed hair!

It turns out the neighbour had got up for work and head shouting from the elderly lady next door. He went round but couldn’t get. He heard her shout that she was on the floor so called 999. They had also called the lady’s daughter who had a spare key.

We shouted through the letterbox to reassure her we were there and within a short time, her daughter arrived.

She unlocked the door and we walked in. It wasn’t pretty. The poor lady (who slept downstairs) had got up in the night and fallen forwards. She had scuffed her face down the wall as she fell. She’d landed face down and was unable to get up our to pain in her hip as well as general poor mobility and low strength. And there she stayed, for almost 4 hours until her neighbour heard her calling out for help.

We set to work. Quick ABC assessment revealed nothing immediately life threatening. Then we were concerned about a possible next injury as she’d hit her head. She had no central neck pain reducing the likelihood of a broken neck. We then assessed all the bones top-to-toe.

“Surely, just help the poor lady up” I hear you say. It’s certainly what we hear a lot, but if she’s broken a leg and can’t feel any pain due to nerve damage, then the bone pokes through the skin as we move her, that could prove fatal. So we methodically check top-to-toe.

Her injuries were some nasty facial skin tears, a laceration to her shoulder, a broken left wrist and a probable broken left hip. Unsurprisingly, she was in a lot of pain. We knew that before we moved her, we needed to try to get her pain under control. The best way to do so was with IV drugs.

This is where we got into trouble. My crew mate tried several times to get access, but her veins were so small that he couldn’t find one, when he did find one they just collapsed as soon as he touched them with the needle. While he attempted that, I made a plan to get us out of the house. It involved a second crew and moving most of the furniture into the garden. The plan would be to scoop her, carry her back into her bedroom, onto a vacuum mattress – which has hundreds of polystyrene balls in and we suck the air out of it to cocoon the person safely in – carry her through the house, up the front steps and to the stretcher on the pavement.

But, try and try as well did (the 4 of us) we couldn’t get any IV access. We decided to give her Oramorph (morphine drink) but it’s not as fast acting. We had to roll her onto her back before we could do anything.

We knew it would hurt, and so did she. When she was ready, and as quickly and smoothly as possible, we rolled her. She screamed and all we could to was apologise.

We were sorry that this had happened to her. We were sorry that nobody heard her shouting for 4 hours, we were sorry we couldn’t get into the house for a while and we were sorry we couldn’t get her pain under control before we moved her.

The rest of the plan worked like a dream. We dressed her wounds and drove her to A&E with the daughter.

My crew mate and I spoke about the job afterwards and both agreed that it is horrible when you can’t do what you think is best for a patient. It’s our job to ease pain, but when you can’t do that, you feel a little bit worthless. It may sound silly to you, but it’s true.

We returned to A&E an hour later with another patient and asked how she was doing. An x-ray confirmed a broken wrist and broken hip, but she was comfortable. We popped our head round the curtain and she was led there smiling. “Thank you both so much for helping me” she said.

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Concern for Welfare

*Radio buzzes*

“Go ahead. Over”

“Thanks guys, received your clear status at Hospital. Further emergency call for you in the city; caller states he’s concerned for the welfare of his neighbour as there is no answer at his door. All other details unknown. Over.”

“Roger, all received, on our way. Over”

“Thank you, 21:15, red base out.”

This type of call is quite common. Either a ‘care line’ company will receive an alert as someone has pressed their care pendant but not answered the phone, or a concerned neighbour is unable to get an answer from the door so calls us or the Police to check on them.

There are usually 3 outcomes:

1) They are absolutely fine and probably pressed their pendant accidentally and are quite surprised to see us, or simply didn’t hear the neighbour knocking.

2) They have fallen on the floor or are unwell in someway and very relieved to see us and so were unable to answer the phone or the door and are very relieved to see us.

3) They have died and that’s why there was no answer and we are shocked and saddened to find them.

We didn’t know the details of this call until we pulled up to a small lane, down which we could not fit our ambulance. We were met by a man in his 80’s who was the person whom had called 999.

He explained that “Mr Smith (name changed for confidentiality) always puts his recycling out on a Tuesday afternoon, but this time he hasn’t done it. I tried phoning him and knocking on all of his doors and windows but there’s no answer, so I called you.”

Seems fair enough to me.

“Is it possible he’s gone on holiday?” I ask as we walk down the lane to his bungalow.

“He’s a similar age to me and hasn’t been away for over 40 years!” He replies.

As we approach the bungalow, which is all in darkness, I shoot my crew mate a look that she mirrors. We know that this will either be option 2 or 3 of the above.

We also knock firmly on the front door but there is no answer. There is a key safe outside the porch but our control doesn’t have the code, neither dose the Police control room and neither does the neighbour.

I walk around the perimeter to see if there is a back door or an open window I can squeeze through as my crew mate requests Police attendance to gain access to the property by force.

All the windows are closed and back door is locked shut with security bars.

We decide to send the neighbour home, promising that we will update him as to what the outcome is. We say it is because he can go and have a cup of tea and watch some TV in comfort, when in actual fact, if this man is dead and has been dead some time, we don’t want him to see it.

We wait a little while for the Police, it’s a lower priority call for them and we know it so we don’t mind. All the while we shine our torches around to find a way in.

The Police finally arrive and we fill them in to what’s happened. The too knock on the door and every window. I show one of them around the house to make sure that there is no other way in.

The Police need to justify breaking someone’s door in and also need to do it in a way that is cheap to repair.

Using what they call ‘the big red key’ (see picture):

Enforcer

One of the officers takes a few hard hits at the door. Then we are all pretty bloody startled by what happens next…

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” Comes a shout from INSIDE the house!!

We all look at each other, not sure what to say.

“Uuuh, it’s the Police” one officer tries to explain.

“Why are you banging down my door?” He retorts.

“Your neighbour called 999 as he was worried you didn’t answer your door. We’ve been knocking on your door for nearly an hour” I say to try to reassure him. It doesn’t work.

“How do I know you’re not burglars?” Fair point, we all think.

The WPC offers her Police Warrant card through the letter box. He agrees that she is indeed who she says she is and tries to unlock the door. The trouble is, giving an old lock a solid hit with a battering ram throws the lock out of joint, meaning that the poor bloke can’t unlock the door!

“I can’t get out, I shall die in here!” He shouts.

“This is turning into a bloody nightmare” I think to myself. We persuade him to pass his key through the letter box, promising to give it back, to unlock it from the outside.

We unlock and open the door and find the greyest most terrified man I’ve ever seen. He is most surprised to see 2 Ambulance Staff and 2 Police officers stood at his door. Truth be told, we’re most surprised to see him alive! Ever the optimists we are!

It takes us almost 20 minutes to convince him we definitely are who we say we are, and to calm him down. Then he pulls out a notebook and reads this.

“At 21:10 someone rang my doorbell, then knocked on the door and windows (the neighbour). Then 10 minutes later someone did it again, flashing a torch through all my windows (me). For 30 minutes someone knocked on the windows all around my house and shouted something through the letterbox. Then you stated bashing my door in!”

The Police officer says “With all due respect, why didn’t you just answer the door in the first place?”

“I thought it was a burglar.” He replies.

“Your neighbour was worried because you didn’t put your bins out this evening.”

“Bloody hell, he doesn’t know everything! I didn’t put them out because the foxes get to them!”

“That’s fair enough, why don’t you give us the code to your key safe to avoid something like this every happening again?”

“Well, errrm, no I’d rather not”

We tried to convince him that if Police and Ambulance control know what the code is, we can access his property if he’s unwell, but he didn’t want us to have it.

The Police made sure that he could secure his property, and we dutifully informed his neighbour that he was fine, explaining about the foxes.

We shared a laugh with the Police about how ludicrous the whole situation was.

My crew mates final words were : “You couldn’t write this stuff!”

‘I bloody well will’, I thought 🙂

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Broken Leg

Not having had any seriously interesting or ‘out of the ordinary’ shouts for a couple of weeks, I thought I’d write about a routine job that I recently attended.

We were on station when we received a radio transmission from our dispatching instructing us to respond to a Priority 2 backup request for a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) Paramedic on scene with an elderly lady who had fallen.

There’s 4 levels of backup that a RRV can request:

P1 – This is for a truly life threatening event. For example, a patient who has stopped breathing, having a stroke, heart attack or is so unwell that they will soon stop breathing. It’s also to be used for life threatening injuries, for example a traumatic amputation with catastrophic haemorrhage or a fall from a hight with massive head trauma. The reason this is only to be used for these types of events, is because no crew will be diverted from this priority backup to another call. We would, in theory, drive past an unconscious patient to arrive at a call this highly prioritised. Respond using blue lights and sirens, of course.

P2 – Not immediately life threatening, but could become so if the patient does not arrive in hospital soon. This could be used for chest pain with no ECG changes, pain that cannot easily be managed with morphine, broken limbs with deformity but no circulatory compromise or non-life threatening incidents where a patient is outside or in the public eye. Also respond using lights and sirens.

P3 – Non-life threatening cases where the patient needs admission to hospital urgently, but not immediately. This could also be used for stable limb fractures, falls where the patient is un-injured but is too heavy to lift with one person and they need assistance from the crew, or abdominal pain with no ‘red flags’. Respond at normal road speed with no lights or sirens.

P4 – Routine admission for a medical case. This is the only priority where an RRV would arrive, assess the patient, request backup and then leave the patient in their house to wait for the crew. The patient must be safe, able to walk or have someone to assist them to walk and not be likely to deteriorate. This is also normal road speed with no lights or sirens.

So, P2 backup to the city for a fall. That’s the only information we ever get. So, blue lights and sirens on and off we roll.

We arrive to find the RRV Paramedic at the top of the stairs with a fairly large lady who had fallen while walking out of the bathroom. She was sat on a small landing holding on to the hand rail, sat on one leg. As we arrived, he was giving her a drug to stop her being sick. He gave a quick history of the event, and told us he suspected a broken hip. So, we worked on a plan to get her up.

We would give her some Morphine for the inevitable pain when moving her then lift her onto a carry chair to carry her down the stairs. We dosed her up and got ready to move.

As I mentioned, she was quite large. And heavy. And old ladies have a lot of soft tissue and not a lot of muscle, meaning she had little strength and we had nothing to really get a hold of. She was sat on a small square landing, I was stood behind her in the bathroom, my crew mate was in front of her on the stairs, 2 or 3 steps down, and the RRV was to her side on the landing.

“On lift? Ready, set, LIFT….hmmmph, arrrrgh, heeeaaaa, oooommph. Lower, lower, LOWER!” Came the cries from all three of us in synch.

Plan a) had failed. If anything, we had moved her nearer to the edge of the stairs and we were all now in a rather precarious position.

I had the idea of using a special inflatable cushion called a Mangar Elk, to raise her to the hight of our carry chair that was with me in the Bathroom, then slide her backwards onto it.

Like this

Like this, but nobody is ever that smiley.

We had encountered a small problem though; after moving her to her new position, we noted the leg she was sat on was grossly swollen at the mid-shaft femur. We had a new diagnosis of a broken leg with a possible hip fracture as well. This meant that one of us would have to manually stabilise the leg before we moved her again.

So, we slid the cushion under her bum (no mean feat, let me tell you!) then began to inflate it. As we did so, she slid further towards the stairs!!!

Between the three of us (two of us really as my crew mate held her leg straight), we somehow slid her onto the carry chair. All three of us took the opportunity to stretch our aching backs before we carried her down the stairs. So narrow were the stairs that only two of us could use our chair.

Comfy, eh? No.

Comfy, eh? No.

So, we heaved and struggled with our lady, all the while, not letting the strain show on our faces so as not to worry the patient or her family – though the red faces and beads of sweat probably gave it away.

In the end, we carried her down the stairs, down the other stairs out the front door and wheeled her to the ambulance. Then one final lift onto the stretcher and that was that.

Hot, sweaty and aching we had done the job. Thanks to the Morphine the patient had hardly felt a thing. We gave her a little more pain relief  before the bumpy drive to hospital and set off to A&E.

Handover to the A&E Nurse, slide patient to hospital bed, clean stretcher and replace linen, clean all reusable equipment, make a list of kit used to replace, wash hands, make cup of tea and make yourself available for another emergency – all in 15 minutes to keep the government happy.

That is a typical job. Heavy lifting, frequent patient reassessment, quick thinking and a well earned brew.

We actually received a thank you letter from the patient’s family for taking such good care of their mum and being so kind to her. It’s always nice to receive a thank you for the job we do, especially when it really is hard graft 🙂

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Hot Response

‘Hot response’ is a term used to describe a blue light response drive to an emergency. There is a ‘cold response’ which is normal road speed for low priority and urgent cases needing routine admission.

I like the term ‘hot response’, I think it just sounds cool.

The only thing is, we are requested to have a hot response to almost bloody EVERYTHING!!

Lets play a game…

“[callsign] thank you, I have an emergency for you please in the city; 21 year old male hearing voices…”

“Emergency please for an 84 year old male with breathing problems…”

“Thanks [callsign], further emergency for you for a 72 year old female, rolled out of bed and found by carers who got her up and believe she is uninjured…”

Which one of those would you think would require a blue lights and sirens response?

The answer??

All of them. Every single one of those radio transmissions from our control ended with the words “hot response”.

They may be coded at different priorities, but all of those are prime examples of what we blue light to.

I was sent an ’emergency’ yesterday for a lady who’d had shoulder pain for a week and may be aggressive. I don’t understand why that needs me to barge my way through traffic, putting myself and other road users at risk, and making everyone else’s journey more stressful because they need to move out of my way!? What will those extra minutes gain me?

In the case of someone who is not breathing, extra seconds will make the difference between life and death, but when someone has had something for over 24 hours (with some exceptions), what will it achieve?

More ambulance crash when driving under emergency conditions. When driving, we claim exemptions for certain road laws such as speed limits. How could I justify claiming exemption if I crashed and injured someone, for a person who when they phoned 999, said they weren’t hurt?!

Here’s my closing statement in the interest of safety.

If you see an ambulance on blue lights, pull to the left and stop somewhere sensible (not a blind bend if you can help it). Don’t read this post and think “oh, it’s probably just a painful knee they’re off to”, it could be something truly life threatening.

Also, a lot of calls are not as they first appear. If someone rings 999 for an achey arm, it could be a heart attack. If someone calls because they’re dizzy, it may be a brain haemorrhage – we never fully judge a call until we get there!

But, just have a look next time you hear sirens, I bet it’s an Ambulance. Wave if you see me 🙂

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