Tag Archives: Baby

Time off and a thank you

Just thought I’d post a quick update. I’ve been off work for a little while after the arrival of my beautiful baby girl 🙂  – please excuse the poor grammar and lazy prose, I’m very sleep deprived – I’m off for a little while longer, as such there’s no cool exciting jobs for me to tell you about. There is the trauma of dirty nappies but that’s not really the point of this blog!

I also wanted to drop a quick thank you to the team at Parameducate on Facebook for sharing my humble blog and bringing literally hundreds of new visitors to my page; welcome all and hope you enjoy it.


While I’m here, I’ll post a quick job that’s popped into my head.

During one night shift, we were in a neighbouring city which is well out of our normal patch. The trouble with big cities is that the are such busy places that resources from further and further afield get dragged into the region to cover the huge volume of 999 calls received.

Thankfully, the ambulances have a pretty decent navigation system (Terrafix, for those that want to know), as long as you apply some common sense, so its not too bad finding addresses in foreign areas.

So, with no chance of escape from the city grasp, we receive details of a Red call across the city for a 27 year old having an allergic reaction. These types of calls are funny ones; people call for a range of severities when it comes to reactions. Some people call for full on anaphylaxis where as others will call 999 for a simple skin rash. This chap’s housemates had called for the former.

An allergy to nuts in some leftover curry was all it took. Nut oil in the sauce, to be precise. He was knelt on the floor with has hands out in front of him propping himself up on the back of a chair, desperately gasping for air through his swollen airway. I grabbed my torch and shone it in his mouth looking for obvious swelling, while my crewmate opened the drugs bag and began drawing up the lifesaving drugs.

I quickly grabbed my stethoscope from my pocket (tearing the fabric in the process!) and listened to his chest: wheeze; wheeze; wheeze; loads of wheezing. I turned to my colleague to report my findings but he handed me a nebuliser before I had a chance to say anything – he’s very experienced and knew he’d need the vapourised drugs which the oxygen mask delivered.

I strapped the mask to his face and shoot my colleague a quick glance. We both know this guy is ‘big sick’, we need to give him more drugs, and quickly! I tell him I need to put a needle into a vein to give him more drugs. He hears me but doesn’t respond, he can’t talk! An enourmous vein jumps out at me and a insert a 16 gauge cannula (it’s a wide-bore IV, incase I need to push IV fluids later). I give a powerful steroid, a strong antihistamine and inject adrenaline into his thigh muscle. Constantly reassessing AB and C. I listen once more to his chest; plenty of air moving now, that wheeze is definitely improved. He starts to utter single words to tell me what’s happened.

5 minutes pass but it feels like a lifetime, we perform blood pressure, ECGs and other observations. He became able to talk in full sentences again.
A short while later, he seems to have made a full recovery. It’s so satisfying being able to bring someone back from the brink!

We conveyed him to A&E for further monitoring after the strong drugs we gave him which could affect his heart. I get the feeling that the A&E team don’t believe how bad he was, but we know. We know.

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A welcome arrival

My regular crew mate and I have had a rough time recently. We appear to be busier than ever as a trust and the two of us have been to some horrific jobs of late. So our second night shift revealed a welcome change.

We had just attended the second patient in a row that didn’t need to attend hospital, and had just arranged for an out of hours doctor to visit as soon as possible for a possible UTI (water infection). I radio’d control to confirm our availability. They confirmed with…

“Roger [callsign], I’ve got you clear on scene, I’ll add those notes to the log ‘out of hours doctor arranged’. Uuuummmm….”

Uuuumm. When they say uummmm over the radio, it means there’s a job outstanding. Not a problem, the night goes faster when we’re busy.

“Yeah [callsign], I’ve got an emergency in (18 miles away) for a 24 year old female ’38 weeks pregnant, waters broken, in labour’, is that received? Over.”

“Roger all received, are we the nearest unit? Over.”

“Negative, there’s an RRV (rapid response vehicle) that will be on scene in approximately 4 minutes. Over.”

“Roger, en-route. Over.”

“Thank you. 22:12 Red base, out.”

My crew mate was driving, so on went the blue lights and off we go.

It’s never nice to know that one of your colleges, whether you know them or not, it alone at a potentially difficult job, so we drove pretty quickly to get there.

When we arrived, ‘dad’ was outside smoking.

“Are we all good inside?” I ask.

“Yeah, she’s off her face on gas and air!”

So, in I stroll as my crew mate parks up, to find and screaming lady, bare below the waist and legs akimbo. Our colleague with gloves on and his maternity kit out and ready.

He looks at me with wide eyes and says with some urgency: “Ready to go then?”

“Right you are” I quickly reply as I walked back out the door I came in.

My crew mate, who has an odd sixth sense about this sort of thing, was already unloading the stretcher on the tail lift. Before I knew it, the lady was shuffling out wrapped in a towel, and plonked herself on the stretcher as another contraction gripped her.

“WHERE’S THE FUCKING GAS?!?!” She asked. We thrust it into her hand and loaded the stretcher into the ambulance.

As my crew mate gained IV access, the RRV took a blood pressure and some information for the paperwork.

While they did this, I set up a resus’ station (I saw an experience colleague of mine do this at a horrendous double-miscarriage we attended. In that case she was 24 weeks along so there was every chance they would’ve been viable so he set up resus’ equipment just in case). I do this every time now, because if you have to resus a baby, you don’t want to be fumbling around with packaging and alike.

It was decided that the RRV would travel in with us just in case anything went wrong – we’re an optimistic bunch!!

I took the helm and drove in – two para’s in the back would be better for the patient rather than a para’ and a student, I figured.

It was almost a 40 minute drive to the waiting maternity unit. The drive needed to be quick, but smooth. Not easy in an ambulance with 300,000 miles on the clock!

The whole time, I could hear her screaming and puffing on the gas and air and my colleagues telling her not to push! She joked with them that she would make a pact that she wouldn’t deliver in the ambulance. We all knew that she probably would!

Then, a nightmare happened! Around 11 miles from the hospital, I reached a ‘Road Closed’ sign. “Shit!” I slow almost to a stop and scan the map for an alternative route. I find one, but it adds 8-10 minutes to the journey time. No choice. I shout through to the back to let them know, and they look helplessly frustrated.

We carry on until I hear the dreaded instruction…….. “Pull over, PULL OVER!!”

I do so, quickly, grab some gloves and slip onto my clammy hands. I run round and open the door just in time to see my crew mate holding a baby being freshly delivered.

He places little one straight onto mum’s chest as I dry its back to stimulate breathing.

An eternity passes and then we hear it, the first little cry of a newborn miracle!

It was an incredible moment to be a part of. We had some quick health checks to perform on mum and baby. All was in order so I continued the (much smoother and calmer) blue light drive to hospital.

The midwives were expecting us and they welcomed us with smiles and coo’d over the baby.

A quick weigh revealed 5 lb 12 oz. A very happy family and very happy Paramedics that nothing went wrong!

We cleaned the resulting mess from the ambulance and had a well earned brew. Then headed back out for whatever the night threw at us. Whatever it was, we didn’t care. We were elated! My crew mate revealed that he had never delivered a baby before, so it was a first for both of us!

Sometimes this job is EXTRA amazing!

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