Eyes Wide Shut…!!!

July 28, 2008
Eyes Wide Shut!
Eyes Wide Shut!

A week end of varying jobs that included some major stuff which I’m going to have to leave until a later date. This being due to the fact that a couple of jobs were very ‘out of the norm’ and could be traced back to the caller. I’ll wait until the heat dies down on those ones maybe.

Manky Mucky Infected Feet...!!!

Manky Mucky Infected Feet...!!!

But one job that stands out (from an Ambulance point of view but not necessarily the patients point of view) is the incident involving OTCs (Over The Counter medications). Every day/week/month/year more and more medications are available to buy at the chemist whereas at one time they were only given out on prescription from a doctor.

But as information becomes more readily available and a whole raft of instructions and guidance comes in the medication packaging it is assumed that the user will either read the ‘patient information sheet’ or take care when taking their medicine.

Eye Medicine

Eye Medicine

And so we lead on to the case of the woman arriving in A/E with a wet flannel clamped to her eye after using ‘eye drops’. This, you would think, is a pretty easy task…application of eye drops via a ‘dropper’ onto the afflicted eye. But unfortunately this lady also suffers from a fungal foot infection. This is also being treated with a medicine.

Anti Fungal Foot Medicine...NOT Eye Medicine...!!!

Anti Fungal Foot Medicine...NOT Eye Medicine...!!!

Using my imagination I could see a whole story line unfolding like a plot in the early stages of an episode of ‘Casualty’. With a little more thought power I also envisaged Michael Burke talking through the scene with back ground music from the BBC ‘999’ programme. “Dud, dud duhhh!”  I asked the lady what had happened and she explained that she was in a rush and instead of using OPTREX’  eye drops she had foolishly used Curanail’  anti-fungal paint instead!!!

“OUCH!”

On a more positive note I did inform her that if she was to put ‘OPTREX’ on her feet then she would not trip up at night! I think she saw the funny side…although only with one eye! 


Tip Top T Shirts…!!!

July 22, 2008
Inspector Gadget T Shirt

Inspector Gadget T Shirt

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a fashion monster or style guru then have a look at the T shirts and stuff that you can obtain from Inspector Gadget. Some people collect beer mats, some collect train numbers and others collect sexually transmitted diseases…but that’s another matter. Me…? I collect T shirts. And you cant go far wrong with acquiring a snazzy blue ‘Ruralshire Constabulary’ garment. I might even have a go at producing a ‘SWAB Team 6′ T shirt in the near future.

'You Couldnt Make It Up'

'You Couldnt Make It Up'


A Very Very Iddy Biddy Slight Whiff of Cheese…!!!

July 19, 2008
Bikes and Cars dont Mix Very Well...!

Bikes and Cars don't Mix Very Well...!

Making progress towards the scene we notice traffic backing up on the hill. Alternating the sirens between yelp/wail/whistle/bull horn/get out the way you moron we manage to squeeze into the gap between the couple of parked cars that have stopped at the incident. One of the cars was obliged to stop where it was due to the fact that there was a motorbike sticking out of the window!

Even though we were pulling into the small space as near to the car/bike, we were still being ‘flagged’ down by two bystanders. I think some bystanders must get a nervous condition at scenes of RTAs which compels them to wave continuously until the incident is cleared and swept up! “Yes, yes, we can see thank you very much!”

Alighting from the truck my colleague makes his way over to the RRV who, first on scene, has hold of the motorcyclists head providing cervical support. The biker is sat up, his helmet laying next to him in a non usable condition anymore. Nearby is the car that has ‘eaten’ his bike. The car driver is upset and crying thinking it is all her fault.

My crew mate speaks to the RRV pilot whilst I start getting the kit ready. Cervical collar, spine board, head-blocks, straps, stretcher, blankets. Once all the kit is assembled I trundle the rig off the lift and towards our patient.  I notice he is pale…very pale. He is clammy…very clammy. But he is conscious and can tell us that his leg and both knees are killing him!

Taking control of the patients head from behind enables the RRV pilot to place a collar on him. Very carefully we lower the biker onto the hard backboard and secure him with the head-blocks and straps etc. We decide to do a more detailed examination in the back of the truck. To make best use of the straps we take his boots off before securing his feet in a figure of 8.

Me & my mate overcome with Cheese...!

Me & my mate overcome with Cheese...!

But upon removing his boots and socks…dogs within a hundred yards begin to howl, mothers clutch their children to their bosoms and birds flee from nearby trees. The smell is most foul…putrid…a mix of swamp gas and age old Gorgonzola cheese!!! Once in side the truck, the windows are opened as best as possible and the air con is switched to mach 5! Only then do the the ‘tuff-cuts’ come out and his clothing is cut away to reveal the extent of his injuries.

Everything appears okay. GCS of 15 (Glasgow Coma Score..15 being the best, 3 being the worst), blood pressure fine, pulse steady, colour returning nicely. All his other vitals are fine with a good clear chest and no rigidity in the abdomen. The only obvious injury he appears to have is a compound fracture of the left tib/fib (open break of the lower leg bones) but the bones have sneaked back into the safety of the skin!

My crew mate starts feeling for pulses to make sure there is no interruption in the blood supply below the site of fracture. “I’ll just check out any witnesses and get a clearer history.” And with that I jump out of the back of the truck. And get a lungful of clean air.

Looking at the condition of the car/bike it is amazing that he has only sustained, as far as we can tell at the moment, a broken leg! The car is written off and so too is the bike! The car driver calms down a little when I tell her that the biker is okay. She says that she was stationary on the other side of the brow of the hill when she heard a massive crash and she was showered with glass. Instinctively she turned around and saw a helmeted biker almost sat on the back seat!

I open the back door of the truck and ask my mate if hes ready to go? Suddenly I am taken back to my Army NBC training with CS gas in the gas chambers somewhere on Salisbury Plain. My eyes are stinging…! My nose is assailed with a smell most foul…! My skin feels as if a warm ghost has softly wafted past me in the dead of night…! A warm ghost that probably owned a cheese factory and probably met his demise after falling into a curdling vat…!

Wiping away the chemically induced tears and trying to breathe through my ankles I just about make out the shape of my crew mate…he is pale…very pale! He is clammy…very clammy! “Are you okay?” I call out to him. With an almost imperceptible nod I just about see him through the yellowish air that seems to be emanating from the bikers ‘dancing gear’! Doors shut…I start the truck and off we go to A/E to sort the bikers injuries out.

En-route I happen to glance at a shop window and see in the reflection my crew mates mouth and nose trying to squeeze through the tiny gap in the side door window! He looks yellow…but that could be the tinted glass of the shop window! After depositing our biker in A/E we tidy up the back of the truck and leave all the doors and windows open to try and ‘vent’ the vehicle!

Later on we arrive back at A/E with another customer and the whole department smells…it reeks of gone off cheese! I have never dealt with any one whose feet stank so much in all my career! It has put me off pasta and Parmesan cheese for good!

Worlds Most Cheesy Feet...Ever...!!!

Worlds Most Cheesy Feet...Ever...!!!


Night Manoeuvres…!!!

July 13, 2008

 

The streets were dark and silent except for the rumbling of our Ambulance tyres on the cobbles. It was still three hours from sun up and another five before the end of our shift. As we slowed down the blue light strobes seemed to catapult their radiance from the wet cobblestones onto the many windows either side of us.

“There!” shouts my crew mate and points towards our target, number ’36 Surgical Stocking Street’ in the older part of ‘Crinkleyville’. The call had been sent to our mobile data screen detailing us to our next customer: ‘Mrs. Gutbucket’ 75 year old female…query if injured or ill…call terminated before details could be acquired.

Pulling up outside the address I sorted out the kit to take in with us and headed for the front door. It was in the middle of a whole row of terraced houses built around the 1930s. The houses here mainly consisted of two up/two downs with the front door leading straight onto the pavement and the back door leading into a small backyard.

Using a ‘belt & braces’ approach I rang the doorbell, knocked the door knocker and rattled the letterbox. No answer or noise came from within the house, although as always happens lights came on a dozen houses away either side to see what the commotion was! Looking through the window at the side of the door we could see nothing. Curtains firmly closed and no tell tale chinks of light betraying an occupant.

To the far left of the terraced houses we spied a passage. We made our way around the back of the property to see if we could get a reply at the back door. Stumbling in the dark and knocking over all manner of rubbish and scaring off the local tomcats we eventually arrived at the backyard door. ‘Bollocks!’ it was bolted!

Using our experience and skills from numerous similar jobs we trundled a nearby wheelie bin over to the back gate. With the agility of a ‘one legged elephant pissed in the dark’  my crew mate clambered onto the lid and leaned over the gate and undid the bolt. We were in the outer cordon now! More knocking and banging ensued upon the back door and more looking through windows trying to see if there was life around.

Still no answer and things did not bode well for the 75 year old occupant. Luckily the downstairs window was slightly ajar which looked to be a good opportunity to gain access to the house. Before going in I rang control to see if they had managed to recontact the caller?…no reply, the caller had obviously dropped the telephone whilst talking to one of our colleagues in the great ‘Puzzle Palace’ control room.

The Window of Opportunity

The Window of Opportunity

‘Right I’m going in!….Cover me!’  my crew mate just stands there fed up with hearing the same line every-time we have to gain entry to a building. ‘Ged on wi it!’  he scowls and re lights his roll up that he had extinguished prior to getting this call. ‘I’ll get in and open the back door if I can, you just keep shining that torch so I can see where I’m going!’

And with that he suddenly shines the torch full in my face as I’m halfway through the kitchen window! Everything goes in slow motion as I vaguely recall tripping on the sink taps and clattering to the kitchen floor bringing down the curtains and blinds with me! Regaining my composure and remembering my training from Ambulance Ninja school, I bounce deftly onto my feet and trip over the cats basket as I lumber towards the back door!

Ninja Without a Torch!!!

Ninja Without a Torch!!!

Quickly I let my crew mate in…not to assist in the search for our caller but so that I can call him a ‘stupid twat’ to his face! He feigns total innocence and exclaims ‘Whaaaat? I aint done owt!’  Looking like Alf Ventress out of ‘Heartbeat’ my crew mate stands there with half a roll up dangling from his mouth. Shaking my head and taking some of the kit we venture deeper into the house.

Through the kitchen door we enter the main living room and everything looks quiet, nothing out of place. Switching the light on we both notice the phone still on its receiver. ‘I’ll give comms another ring and get a heads up on whats happening!’  Picking the receiver up I dial into our control centre and tell them that we cant find anything so far.

A pause ensues from the other end of the line….‘That’s odd then because we’re talking to the caller right now, shes managed to pick her self up after falling over!’…..’Are you sure you’re at the right address?’

Telephone Communication Device

Telephone Communication Device

And as the realisation starts to dawn on us that we’ve broken into the wrong house a sound is heard from upstairs….followed by movement….followed by footsteps on the stairs….followed by the appearance of one very irate man holding a golf club in a far from welcoming manner!  

‘Sorry we’ve got the wrong address mate!’

And with the speed that would possibly qualify us both for the next Olympics we pick our kit up and leg it! Hurried radio messages are passed to our control to let them know we may have woken someone up and that a supervisor skilled in the arts of diplomacy and negotiation maybe required. Then shortly after we have regained our normal breathing rate the front door of the address we were called to opens and a voice calls out…‘I don’t need an Ambulance now thank you boys! My son is coming to take me to the hospital!’

I Hate Nights…!!!


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