Tag Archives: Student Paramedic

The first solo shift…

…turned out to not be solo at all:

 

I arrived on station, alone. Checked the vehicle. Booked out the drugs bag from the safe and logged on for my shift. I radio’d control and asked if they new that a) I’d now qualified and could be used as an EMT (there was a chance I’d still be marked on the manning as a student, and therefor not responsible to anything on my own) and b) if they had a plan for me as apposed to being alone.

“Roger, thanks I’ll update the manning now for you. We do have a plan; a Paramedic in [another town 12 miles away] is also solo on their vehicle. Take your lunch and stuff and head across to crew up with her when you’re ready”.

That’ll do. They told me who I’d be with and I was happy. A very experienced Paramedic of 26 years+ who has always been pleasant when I’ve spoken to her in the past. The last thing you want is a cranky crew mate for a 12 hour shift!

I finished checking my vehicle, made a brew in my travel mug and headed across to meet her. I was available for emergencies the whole drive across, but none came in that I was nearest to, so I arrived uninterrupted.

She, too had checked a vehicle and had her Paramedic kit already loaded, so we used her vehicle. I parked mine in the garage, locked the keys away and added my login to the onboard computer system.

First job, straight away – good timing. 92 year old female, fallen.

We rushed to the address as we always do and were let in by the warden of the sheltered housing site. He told us that he’d found the lady on his morning rounds. She seemed uninjured but he was unable to lift her up. He’d put a pillow under her and a duvet over her to keep her warm, so she was quite comfortable.

We assessed her, found no injuries, so lifted her onto her feet. She was perfectly well so left her at home with a note to the GP to advise of the fall.

We cleared on scene to be sent another job immediately. It was nearby, to an 84 year old man who had also fallen, this time in the garden while watering the tomatoes. He’d tripped over the hose and landed on soft grass. His neighbour saw him over the fence and called us.

He, too was uninjured, but we found some concerning neurological signs. Further investigation revealed that he hadn’t tripped over the hose at all. He had a sudden weakness in his right leg, which was also present in his right arm. He was confused, repetitive and slurring his words. This poor man was having a stroke. I put an IV in his hand incase we needed to give him any drugs (a risk of stroke patients is that they’ll begin fitting uncontrollably and can only be stopped by IV drugs) and rushed him 28 miles to the nearest A&E. That’s the only problem with living in remote picturesque villages – it’s a very long way to hospital! Old people should be made to live near hospitals. In bungalows. With doors wide enough for stretchers ūüôā

We did a few more nothing-jobs, all treated at scene then received a call to a 15 year old fallen from a tree “as high as a house”. People calling 999 in a panic are rubbish at estimating hight so we always reserve judgement until¬†we see how far they’ve fallen.

“Hello, we’re from the ambulance service, what’s happened?”

“My mate fell from up there *points to branch*”

“That one?” I also point.

“No, the one above it”

“Ah, the one that’s as high as a house then”

They were right, he’d fallen somewhere near 12-15 meters, hitting several branches on the way down. Somewhat mercifully, he’d landed in a patch of stinging nettles which broke most of his fall. In fact, the only real external injury was a large abrasion on his arse and stings from the nettles.

We scooped him onto an orthopaedic stretcher and applied a hard collar to help protect his neck incase of injury, gave him some pain relief and made a start for A&E.

Despite his remarkable lack of injury, it’s courteous to call the receiving A&E department so they know you’re on the way with a trauma that has potential to be quite nasty. He was perfectly stable and had no other apparent injuries, but he may have had something under the skin that we cannot see without at least a CT scan.

We arrived at hospital to find a full trauma team – 9 doctors and 2 nurses, all with individual roles. My crew mate gave a full clinical handover and the lead doctor said:

“So basically, he’s hurt his bum?”

“Errr, yeah.”

Everyone smiled slightly, including the patient who was high on gas-and-air. The trauma team set to work ¬†while we told the family in the relative’s room what was happening. I’m confident he’ll be fine. The worst bit of it for him was his mates hearing us say that we’d need to see his bum. They took great pleasure in laughing at him. I suspect it’ll take him a while to live that one down!

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Blood and bloody idiot

There are a couple of terms used to define bleeding in the medical field;

Capillary – this is when the surface of the skin is scratched, but not deeply, and small spots of blood ooze from the damaged capillaries.

Venous – when a vein is nicked and blood will slowly weep from the wound.

Arterial – Blood will spurt out with every beat of the heart, sometimes spraying large distances depending on the size of the artery.

 

That final one, the arterial bleed, is considered to be a catastrophic haemorrhage. That is, if the bleeding is not quickly stemmed, a person will die within minutes.

 

Today, while working from a different station to normal, we were sent to a 25 year old who had punched through a window in a fit of rage, cutting his forearm. We were told the call had come from Police and they would also be attending.

We arrived after the Police and followed the significant trial of blood to a male laying on the floor, with his girlfriend tightly holding a towel around his arm, blood pouring down through her fingers. Thankfully, we had brought our critical haemorrhage kit in with us, so prepared to uncover, assess and re-dress the wound.

My crew mate wrapped his hands tightly around the arm to slow any bleeding while I prepared some gauze, a trauma dressing (more on that later) and a tourniquet.

*This next section is not for the squeamish!*

I slowly removed the towels to find a large would which was deep enough to nearly see bone through muscle and tendons. He had two large skin flaps where he had effectively de-gloved his arm, he had some blood clots within the wound from a venous bleed, and a quite noticeable spurting bleed from his Ulnar artery (one of two which run down the forearm). He had lost around 500ml of blood. The quick actions of his partner prevented him losing any more than that, which would have lead to shock.

We quickly ‘eyeballed’ the wound for any pieces of glass – there was none – and wrapped our trauma dressing around it. The trauma dressing we used has been developed by the military. It is specially designed to apply pressure directly over a section of injury on a limb, without using a tourniquet, which is always the last line of defence in a catastrophic bleed, as the limb may not survive.

While all this was going on, we obtained a quick history of what had happened. An argument with his ‘missus’ caused a fit of rage and he’d punched a window. He was also intoxicated and had been taking cocaine. He was also a bit of a knob head.

He immediately took a dislike to my crew mate (the person applying pressure to his wound to stop him bleeding to death) because he had “one of them faces innit”, calling him a c*nt and saying he would smash his face in. Delightful. Thankfully, I’ve got a knack of getting on with people like that, a trick I learned from an old crew mate of mine. As such, I quickly built up a rapport with him and persuaded him to come to hospital with us. Yes, I had to actually¬†persuade him!

During this, he continued to be verbally aggressive to all of us and stood unaided to show us how strong he was. Now, he clearly worked out, but also clearly used steroids. We advised he shouldn’t eat or drink in case he needed surgery, so he drank a pint of water. We recommended a wheelchair due to the blood loss, so he walked upstairs to find his phone, all the while, using the C-bomb like it was punctuation and swearing at us all and being generally aggressive and intimidating. The Police said they would travel with us and called for backup from the PC they had dubbed the ‘man-mountain’. And with good reason. At 6’2″ and 18 stone of muscle, he would certainly be able to contain our almost equally sized patient – owing to the advantage of a working arm. And pepper spray. And a taser.

He eventually walked to the ambulance and sat in a chair because we’d suggested he lay on the stretcher (am I building up a picture of what this bloke is like?). I inserted a cannula into his vein to give some pain relief through a drip. All the while he told me how shit I was at my job. We swiftly left the scene on blue lights heading for A&E. After around 6 minutes of travelling, he decided he had become board of wearing a seatbelt and sitting in a chair while in an ambulance travelling at speed through a town centre, so he undid it – against mine and the PC’s insistence – just as my crew mate had to reduce his speed for traffic ahead. As such, the unrestrained man now hurtled towards the bulkhead, stopping himself on a work surface, pulling his IV line out as he did so. This angered him greatly, and clearly it was my fault so he began swearing at me and saying how I wasn’t fit to do the job etc etc. We had to stop the ambulance, causing traffic chaos, to re-restrain him on the stretcher.There was no way I was going back near him with a needle, so I offered him some gas and air for the pain, which he accepted….

 

…for 3 minutes before throwing the mouthpiece at me and calling me a smug c*nt. The Police officer all the while provided suitable dissuasion from him trying anything. I was glad of the PC’s presence!

This pattern of threatening violence, kicking equipment and behaving like a general tit continued for the long 20 minute drive to A&E. It was one of the most stressful journeys I’ve ever had while attending a patient in an ambulance, and I’ve dealt with some stuff in my time! During the whole trip, I had to keep an eye on the wound to make sure it didn’t start bleeding through the dressing, I had to check that it wasn’t so tight it was cutting circulation off to his hand and somehow get some vital signs. He declined any vital signs and wouldn’t let me near him. All I could do was document it and make sure the built-in CCTV was functioning.

We handed him over to the A&E nurse with an apology, as they’d have to deal with his very unpleasant manner. I feel I should add that he hadn’t lost enough blood to cause severe agitation like that, he was just drunk, high and angry.

Afterwards, I was washed out and a bit teary. It’s very hard to provide life saving treatment to someone, only for them to call you a c*nt 27 times and throw things at you. I can scarcely believe there are people like that out there. But there are, and I’m sure I’ll meet many more during my career.

 

So, I guess….don’t do drugs. Or punch windows. Or be a prick to people who save your life ūüôā

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Spice is the spice of life…ish

‘Legal highs’ are becoming a bit of a concern in healthcare circles. They are becoming more and more prevalent, especially among younger children of school/collage age!

For those that don’t know what a legal high is, it is the broad term for a range of drugs that are available legally to purchase over the internet. They pose as a plant fertiliser or similar, and are usually in powder form. They are given unusual names such as ‘whizz’ or ‘spice’, the latter being more popular. Spice is a cannabis derivative mixed with a cocktail of unknown chemicals to bulk it out. It can be smoked with tobacco or sniffed like cocaine.

The trouble with spice is, it kills people. Kills them. It produces a fierce chemical reaction with the bodies own enzymes which increases heart rate, reduces oxygen to the brain which causes respiratory failure, coma and eventually death. But not before a period of psychosis, profuse vomiting, disorientation and symptoms of a heart attack.

Delightful, where can I get some?!

Well, it seems that if you want some spice, all you need to is end up in prison. It is rife!

Cue a flashback to a recent call in the middle of the day to a Category C prison (which is for those who cannot be trusted in an open space) for a 30 year old man who was found unconscious in his cell. He was witnessed to be fitting so the prison nurse was alerted who came and treated him while we were on the way.

Despite there being no packaging for Spice anywhere, the presentation of the man was very similar to someone who had taken it.

When we arrived, we had to pass through 4 double locked gates like a safari park before being signed in to the log in triplicate, then finally being taken to the cell block. After that, we had to grab all our equipment then be escorted into the cell block.

I don’t really get nervous easily with my surroundings. I’m always aware of any danger, but very rarely get scared. I’ve been to drug dens and large fights in small rooms and always managed quite well, but for some reason, I was cacking myself!

As we walked in, every inmate stopped what they were doing and looked at us. The high walls and railings and narrow corridors made it a rather intimidating place to be.

We were shown to the cell to find a male on the floor looking pretty sick. He had a reduced level of consciousness, a racing heart and his colour was pretty poor. We were on the first floor so I needed to get a carry chair, which meant I had to go back to the ambulance and get one! This meant walking along a gangway and down some stairs to the door. Seems simple enough, but I’ve never felt like more of an outsider. Guys stood in the doors of their cells just stared at me as a walked by, people in the gangway didn’t give me much space to pass them and I didn’t really fancy making eye contact.

Anyway, my concerns aside, in the time it had taken me to get the chair and return, my crew mate had got some oxygen on him and gained IV access incase we needed to give him any drugs to stop subsequent seizures. We carried him out to the ambulance, lifted him onto the stretcher and connected our monitoring devizes. By now, he was awake enough to talk to us so we asked if he’d taken any drugs. He denied taking anything so we got driving to hospital.

Back through the security gates to the main gate where they had to find two officers who would escort him to hospital. This meant signing them all out, as well as us and handcuffing them all together. This took quite a while considering he was so unwell, but we didn’t argue – we understood.

So, I got driving to the hospital, which was a good 23 miles away. Nice and steady to start with but then I hear some commotion in the back. There’s only a small hatch between the cab and the back of the ambulance so I couldn’t really see what was happening, but with that, my crew mate popped his head through the hatch and said “keep us moving mate”, which is code for “put the lights and sirens on and don’t stop”. So, I blued the 20 minute drive through the traffic of two small towns and a city until we arrived at the hospital.

It wasn’t until after we’d handed him over to the nurses and doctors I found out what had happened to cause such a stir: He blood pressure and heart rate began rapidly dropping to the point where my colleague believed his heart would stop. He was given various drugs to maintaining a level to keep him alive but he was rapidly deteriorating. He may survive, he may have to be sedated and put into intensive care, he may die, I don’t know. But people take these drugs for a quick ‘high’ and end up critically unwell.

Just to show how commonplace this is in prisons, as we were on the way to hospital, I heard a broadcast over the radio for an emergency in the same prison for another inmate who was fitting after taking Spice…

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Ambulance Crew – A Basic Survival Guide

So, you’re thinking of joining the Ambulance Service. Have a seat, make a cuppa,¬†and I’ll tell you what you need to know to survive being an Ambulance Person.

One of the most important things to realise about working for the Ambulance Service, is that it’s¬†not all blood and guts. In fact, it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen any guts, or brains, or body parts that should be inside the body. A large amount of our work is medical complaints; chest pain; shortness of breath; abdominal pain; strokes; headaches etc. There’s also a very large portion of mental health and social concern cases. Because of that, you need my number one rule:

  • Be able to talk to¬†anyone.

I once heard a Paramedic of 30 years say he could talk to anyone with an asshole. I thought he was joking, but actually, this is a skill you need to have. As you become more experienced and knowledgable, you’ll be able to talk about more specialist medical things, but first, being able to talk and not being scared of you own shadow is a good start. This brings me to point number two.

  • Trust¬†in your training.

You’ll turn up to your first emergency call wearing the uniform of thousands before you and be expected to know what you are doing. Have faith, you won’t be on your own (hopefully) and your basic training will kick in, no matter what the call is. For a newbie, it’s all about A B C and not doing any harm. Increased skills and knowledge will come along in time. You won’t be expected to attend (by which I mean sit in the back of the ambulance and treat on the way to hospital) a very unwell patient, so you’ll be driving the truck more than your crew mate, and so:

  • ALWAYS drive to the condition of your patient.

During your driver training, you’re taught to drive as fast as it is safe to go. In reality, when driving a 6 tonne ambulance through narrow city streets with a seriously unwell patient in the back, speed is the last thing you want. Smoothness is the key! I learnt that very early on after a bollocking from my crew mate who nearly fell to the floor while treating an unwell child in the back of the ambulance while I drove on blues to the hospital. These vehicles do not handle well, they wallow around every corner and feel every bump! You’ll be thankful of this advice when the time comes for your crew mate to drive¬†you to A&E with a patient in the back.

  • Support your crew mate

You’re with them for 12 hours (or likely more) a day in a very small space, during sometimes some very emotionally charged scenes. Unless the clinical decision is dangerous, always support your crew mate. It looks unprofessional to argue on scene and will create a difficult working environment for the two of you. You can always talk it out after you’ve dropped the patient off at A&E. I’ve done shifts with people I really haven’t liked, I’m talking about proper dicks, but when it came to the clinical stuff, you need to work together, especially when time is critical. Which brings me to point 5:

  • Don’t panic!

It will be tempting. You’ll have to stop and take a few deep breaths, you’re ears will be ringing and your vision narrows, you’ll feel your own heart punching you in the chest, your legs will feel weak and your brain will be moving so fast you’ll forget your own name. This will happen the first time you come across something serious like a horrific car crash. And subsequent times after that. Don’t worry about it, but don’t let it affect your care. Even the most experienced medics have that surge of adrenaline during incidents like this. The key is to take your time with things: like a swan – calm and smooth above water, but underneath paddling like fuck!! Your colleagues will be excellent and you’ll fit into the team. You’ll either know what to do, or be told what to do – both are absolutely fine.

  • You’ll have memories, good and bad

No need to elaborate too much here. You’ll see some of the funniest, strangest and most heartwarming things doing this job. You’ll also see things that will steal sleep from you, give you flashbacks and haunt you. You need to be ready for that. Take comfort in the fact that you won’t be alone, and there are support networks in place.

 

 

This list isn’t exhaustive, there are hundreds of survival tips I could throw at you, but that would make a very long post indeed.

Now probably the most important rule of all:

  • Never, I mean¬†NEVER pass up the opportunity to go to the toilet. You might not see another one for 8 hours! (That ‘drive to the patient’s condition’ rule will soon go out the window when driving to hospital with a bladder the size of a small continent fit to burst!!)

This really is the best job in the world. The government won’t ever appreciate what we do, senior managers will alter your terms to make 12 hours seem harder and harder in the name of ‘efficiency’. You’ll miss your family and friends, spend Christmas Day in the houses of strangers and your body clock won’t know what hour of the day it is. But really, this job is like no other – you’re trusted with people’s lives, you offer relief to those who are anxious and ease the pain of those in need.

It’s not for everyone, but if you can stomach it, do it!

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Life Cycles.

It’s funny that less than 2 weeks after feeling elated, nay euphoric, over the fact that we successfully resuscitated two people, that we should attend two deaths were nothing can be done.

Not my usual crew mate, but a lady I’ve worked with often and get on well with. She’s an experienced Paramedic with something like 19 years under her belt.

Our first emergency call of the day was to a fall that was in the next city, so a fair drive. Half way there, our control divert us to an emergency back in our own town (It’s impossible to predict things like this)! It had come through as an elderly gentleman who had collapsed and was not breathing. I turned the ambulance around and made progress to the address Traffic was bad and it took a lot of ducking and diving to weave my way safely thought the country lanes. Blue lights flashing and sirens blaring.

We arrived to find that a Paramedic on a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) had arrived first, so we rushed into the house where we were pointed in the bedroom by a lady we assumed to be the patient’s wife. Our colleague on the RRV was alone in the room with the patient who was on the floor and looking a shade of blue/purple. He obviously wasn’t breathing and the monitor that our colleague had attached showed his heart was in Asystole (the flat line often seen on TV shows like Casualty and ER). The RRV Paramedic looked at us instantly and shook his head. We all knew what that meant. He had collapsed quite some time before 999 was called. Then followed probably the worst 35 minutes of my life.

The RRV Paramedic volunteered to tell the wife that her husband of 60+ years was dead. The howl of devastation that followed will not leave me for some time. It was the sound of her very soul escaping amongst questions of “Why?!” and ‘What if I had only…?’ We did our best to comfort her but it must have seemed as though it was an awful moment from which she may never recover. I was sad. Not for the gentleman who had passed away, he was at peace. No, I felt sad for the family that he had left behind. His daughter was on scene too, but was clearly in shock, with wide eyes and not a lot to say.

The gentleman was too large to lift back onto the bed, and so I arranged some pillows under his head and covered him up to the neck with a blanket – as if he was taking a nap. I talked to him while I did this, apologising that there was nothing we could do, and that we would look after his wife for the short time we were there. I’m not sure why I talk to the deceased but I know I’m not the only healthcare worker that does!

The Police were called (as they always are in an unexpected death) to act as coroner’s officers, and completed the necessary paperwork (of which there is¬†lots). While this was done, my crew mate asked the wife if she’d like to see him. She said that she would, and so was taken into the bedroom. To see a lady, near 80 years of age, drop to her knees and wail over the body of her husband was awful. She hugged him and kissed him, telling him how much she loved him. It was heartbreaking. We sat her back with her daughter, passed our condolences and left them in the care of the Police Officer.

My crew mate, the RRV Paramedic and I were all allowed back to our station for a brew and to regain some composure (we’re no good to our next patient, if we’re still thinking of our last). I’m not ashamed to say that I was quite teary. I looked over and saw my crew mate filling up, as well as the RRV Paramedic. 52 years of experience sat in that room, 49 of them from my two colleagues. We all sat in silence a moment and reflected. We talked for a while about it. “It’s not that often that a job will really affect us all like that”, we agreed.

Half way through our cup of tea, our radio tones went off and our dispatcher called through.

“I’m really sorry guys, we’ve got another job coming in……”

Then the radio fell silent. He called back a second later sounding devastated at what the call was, and that we would have to attend immediately after dealing with that unforgettable, harrowing call.

“It’s coming in as a lady ‘on the floor, possibly dead'”.

We didn’t hesitate, rushed to our vehicles – all three of us – and sped to the address. We arrived in less than 5 minutes to find that sadly, once again, nothing could be done. The lady had been found by a neighbour who’d popped round to see her. She had died at some point in the night, meaning resuscitation would have not been successful.

We sent the RRV back to station and dealt with the scene. Police, paperwork and consolation. This time the family were not on scene and had to be phoned to tell them the news. I think that made this situation easier to witness (this sounds selfish, but I don’t think either of us could take another emotional beating like the last call).

It’s an odd feeling when you can’t save someone. A mix of emotions run through you like a freight train. But such is the empathic nature of ambulance staff, we feel sadness for the family, not ourselves.

I shed a tear later when I got home that night, comforted by my beautiful girlfriend. I know it’s clich√©, but things like that really do make you appreciate your loved ones.

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Education.

I haven’t posted for a while. This is because I was blessed with some leave.

First day back today was fairly routine. We blue light to EVERYTHING, leaving over half of the patients at home, and conveying the rest to A&E – a few of those on blue lights if they’re unwell enough. ‘

I often discuss with my crew mate the efficiency of other emergency services. The Police are as busy as us, and just a short staffed, Fire and Rescue call volumes are always reducing (more on that in a moment) and, well, everyone always forgets about the coast guard.

(Before I go on, this isn’t a rant about the Fire service. I’ve worked alongside them at many a job and they are always very efficient, very professional and always a good laugh. In fact, my father-in-law was an Officer in the Fire service so I must tread carefully!!)

Basically, they have it nailed. A number of years ago, someone in the Fire Brigade (as it was) decided to take a step. A step that would have no immediate reward, but in years to come, would see call volumes drop considerably. A step of genius:

Education.

They started to educate the general public with television advertising campaigns for things like installing smoke alarms in the house – and checking them regularly, how to put out a chip pan fire – with live demonstrations at events and advocating the fitting of those orange seatbelt cutting, window smashing things (I don’t know what they’re called!) to cars.

They went on a PR mission that all these years later has paid off in a big way. Houses have smoke alarms, people put out pan fires without engulfing themselves in flame and people have those little orange whatsnames. Mostly, however, call volumes have decreased considerably. Remember the Fire strikes a few years back? When the army in the Green Goddesses had to stand in? They got bored. Very quickly. Turns out, not that many calls anymore.

My crew mate and I then wonder why the Ambulance service doesn’t take a similar tact. As I say, we blue light to pretty much everything – no matter how silly it sounds. Some examples of what I’ve driven to under emergency conditions, putting myself and other road users at risk : “Cut finger nail too short – bleeding”, “Can’t sleep”, “Cut on foot”, “Swallowed chewing gum”, “Knee pain”, “Became cold”……the list goes on and on and on.

Let’s not forget that we’re an emergency service, trained and equipped to deal with life and death situations, and yet…

So why aren’t the ambulance service advertising what a true emergency is? Why are we not saying “here’s where to learn first aid”, why are we not educating the public?

Well, we’re too busy fighting fires. Too busy attending calls to the above ’emergencies’.

Like I said, over 50% of our callers are not taken to A&E.

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Trauma trauma trauma.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a large van travelling at 30mph making contact with a human male man is going to cause a considerable amount of damage. I can now confirm that it does.

We received an emergency as given above. When we got there, we found a typical RTC (Road Traffic Collision) scene; lots of bystanders, rubbernecking car drivers, a few stopped cars etc etc. This time there was one addition Рan unconscious person led on the floor with a rather unhealthy amount of blood on the outside of his body

He was unconscious and his eyes were looking different ways (you don’t need to be medically trained to know that that is not a good sign!).¬†

He was breathing OK and his chest was a) in one piece with no dents or holes, and b) had good air movement throughout. 

We gave him some oxygen while fitting a hard collar around his neck to protect his spine in the likely event of a fracture. He then woke up, not fully, but enough to start shouting abuse and trying to punch and kick my crew mate and I.

Now occasionally with a head injury, comes something called Cerebral Agitation. This is when the brain has taken a pounding and reacts by causing the person to become violent, even when they could be the most peaceful, calm person normally. 

In this state, he was very difficult to manage. In an ideal world, we would fully immobilise him, fully assess him and convey him to A&E, however, it was taking 4 of us to hold this chap on the stretcher. We don’t normally restrain our patients, but if you feel in danger, or the patient is in danger of further injuring themselves, it’s ok to use reasonable force.¬†

We requested a Critical Care Doctor to come on the air ambulance and sedate the patient, purely for his safety. The good Doctor (and they are all very good doctors on the air ambulances) flew in and obliged. Once he was sedated, we could secure his airway by passing a tube into his lungs and breathing for him with a ventilator. 

We then had a good top-to-toe assessment for any broken bits, loaded him onto the chopper and they flew him to a major trauma centre. 

Major trauma like that doesn’t come along all that often, but when it does, it’s nice to know that you have additional clinical support where necessary.¬†

I’m not sure of the condition of the patient now – that’s one of the downsides of the job, you rarely get to find out a final outcome.¬†

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