Too Close for Missiles I’m Switching to Guns…!


Rocking up to the entrance to A/E we joined the rest of the ‘Ambulance Armada’ parked under the canopy. (We must have historical Naval connections as the press always say that ‘the patient was ferried to hospital!’) Unloading our newest customer on the stretcher we made our way towards the automatic doors. Even before we entered the ‘Temple of Doom’ the shouts from inside could be heard loud and clear.

As we step inside the A/E department we both take a double look to check that we are in the right building. There are Police everywhere. Two officers are wrestling with a ‘patient’ trying to get him to the floor. The ‘patient’ does not want to play and he is giving a good account of himself probably due to the copious amounts of alcohol and/or drugs in his system. Another ‘Two Can Van Damme’ merchant!

Further down the corridor four officers are waiting outside an examination room for the go ahead from officers already inside to enter and restrain another unhappy ‘patient’. There’s not much room in the cubicles so two officers have had to dart in and grab the reluctant participant of a normal life before he trashes the place. The doctors and nurses go about their duties as normal hardly giving a second glance.

To our far left another Police officer with a PCSO are in earnest negotiation with what is colloquially termed a ‘gobshite’! He is kicking off because the security guard had asked him not to smoke and could not believe that he had to abide by the hospital rules on smoking. In fact he could not believe that he had to abide by any rules at all!

Seeing a spare trolley we place our patient onto it. She is in her seventies and looking frail after a fall at home where she had laid on the cold floor for several hours until found by relatives. After checking her over and discovering the possibility that she had a fractured hip, we spent the rest of the time with her trying to allay her fears about going into hospital. Giving her bags of reassurance and explaining the routine process of these things put her mind greatly at ease.

To her left on another trolley is a scrawny woman with scrawny arms and legs. She stinks! The stink of ulcers and burst abscesses through too much IV drug abuse. At least she is quiet. On the right is a trolley containing the hulk of a man who has been battered in a fight in which he had come off worse. Both eyes were blackened, top lip split and his nose pointed the wrong way! He is getting more and more agitated as he believes he should be seen right now, this minute, he pays his taxes!

A scream goes up! Followed by the clattering of chairs and trolleys as the ‘reluctant one’ comes staggering out of the cubicle with various Police officers attached to him. ‘Just drop him!’ I think to myself. Meanwhile the tag team Police near the entrance have got their man on the floor at last and are now attempting to cuff him. He resists more forcefully and one officer goes for his CS spray. ‘No, not in the department!’shouts an observant receptionist. CS gas hangs around for ages in enclosed spaces. Option 2 then…forearm across the back of the neck and knee in the small of his back with good use of weight. His partner grabs the legs and fold them back whilst pulling hard enough to snap him like a Christmas cracker!

Suddenly more Police come through the other entrance and split up into two teams. Three go to the officer and PCSO who are trying to extract their ‘customer’ from under the metal and plastic seating. Two others run past us and wade into the trussed up Christmas cracker on the floor. For a couple of minutes all that can be heard are the scuffs of boots on floor as purchase and grip is sought to gain the upper hand. Muffled grunts and groans and heavy breathing can be heard reminiscent of some 1970s low budget porn film. (According to my dad!)

And in the middle of all this chaos there are still real patients, with real complaints and illnesses who look on thinking where the hell are they? What has happened to society to make A/E a regular battleground? There is a running theme in all these close quarter battles and that’s alcohol coupled with a big dose of serious attitude problems!

Diplomatic Enforcement And Tactical Healthcare

Diplomatic Enforcement And Tactical Healthcare

My solution…‘Go in hard, go in fast and dont take any crap!’  In an ideal world the hospital could contract SWAB Team 6 for a couple of lads to use their particular skills in Diplomatic Enforcement And Tactical Healthcare or ‘DEATH’ as it is known. Somehow I don’t think that will happen and these events will continue and get worse with someone eventually being killed in the department. And the doctors and nurses and us will carry on as its becoming the norm rather than the exception.


19 Responses to Too Close for Missiles I’m Switching to Guns…!

  1. Tony F says:

    It really makes you wonder…..Personally I would shoot them.

  2. Emma says:

    Wow, what a night that was, I feel very sorry for the really ill patients who must have been absolutely terrified especially your poor old lady, would hate to think that was my poor mother, no wonder us “normal” people hate the very thought of having to go to A & E when necessary…x

  3. There is a better solution: Nuke and repave.

  4. It was kind of the government to insist that the frail elderly and vulnerable have to spend no longer than four hours in A+E, It must be so reassuring for them 😦

    *Sigh* what a sorry tale.

  5. kingmagic says:

    Tony F…take your place in the queue Tony.

    Emma…we dont really take in to account the need to tell patients, especially the elderly, that they might see and hear things they may not like. Zero tolerance is needed to curb this idiots! x

    Mr. Nighttime…’Nuke and repave’ I like your style.

    UHDD…if only ctv footage was played to the courts then the sentences, if it gets that far, would be far greater.

  6. Stonehead says:

    How about a two-tier A&E system. After all, we have two-tier everything else.

    Except that mine would be “quiet, co-operative, polite patient?” Door A—clean department, calm, professional and caring staff, and mutual respect on all sides.

    “Loud, argumentative, drunken, obnoxious scum patient?” Door B-chute directly into the the biohazard incinerator.

  7. piratedani says:

    speaking of which, when are we going to be treated to another episode of SWAB team 6?
    Regailed with wonderful tales, all told under the cover of ‘fiction’

  8. kingmagic says:

    Stonehead…another good idea but in this inclusive society of ours nowadays it would go against equality & diversity. Good idea though!

    piratedani…SWAB Team 6 are out somewhere in the cuds. I think they are after some cut price Waterford crystal! Due back soon. x

  9. […] a trip to A&E? 6 01 2009 After reading Purpleplus’s description of the goings on at a typical hospital A&E  in a large British city, you may well prefer to […]

  10. Witsinfr says:

    I keep saying to myself, and anyone that will listen to me…


  11. Demi says:

    I concur with Witsinfr, if our police force could use tasers, there would be a lot less hassle. Anyone who’s seen an episode of Cops knows how effective they are at subduing a hostile person.

  12. LC says:

    @Stonehead – Not a bad idea, but I would suggest a slight alteration.

    Have the ‘Catagory 2’ chute lead to a selection of small rooms in the cellar. At any time the medical staff can come down to the room and ‘relieve stress’ by using a generous selection of implements provided by the hospital. Afterwards the room is hosed out to the bio-haz burner, and then awaits the next stress relief volunteer.

    I suspect such a setup would prove immensely popular with doctors who are pulling 30 hour shifts, nurses who are abused for not providing green jelly when the patient demanded yellow, paramedics abused by the 47th drunken clown of the night, etc.

    It would also provided a good lesson to potiental offenders that it is not a good idea to p*ss off people with surgical tools, interesting chemicals and a good knowledge of human anatomy when they finally decide they have had enough.

  13. Hogday says:

    Hi Purpleplus. The tragedy of your excellent post is, for me, the fact that I could picture an almost identical scene in several hospitals on divisions that I serverd on, both in London and a county force. The well worn cliche, “You couldn’t make this stuff up” is so very apt. I know when I’ve related these tales to friends on `the outside`, I often get that funny look and a reply like, `surely not in a hospital`. With Taser being rolled out across the Uk there will soon be an alternative to that crappy CS (aka Cry Shit). Hope you get one!

  14. kingmagic says:

    Witsinfr…cattle prod…good idea but needs lots of training for a good aim.

    Demi…TASER is on its way…big style!

    LC…are you related? I like your thinking!

    Hogday…Although it is not an everyday occurence it does kick off from time to time…and usually gets seen as ‘another day/night in A/E!’ Our Police force are going to need plenty of batteries and cartridges for their TASERs.

  15. Von Spreuth says:

    Good luck. And for the “normal” amongst us, a big THANKS!

    Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

  16. Sounds like the good old days at my old ED in London. The bobbies used to bring in a dog and walk it round the waiting room to snarl the patients quiet! Much more effective than the diazepam they would inevitably ask for. We once had a police horse poke it’s head through a window into the minors area – scared the natives shitless, they thought aliens had landed.

  17. Von Spreuth says:

    You are lucky the did not try and eat it….LIVE.

    Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

  18. Well, we’ve been told we’re not getting Taser in the met – ho hum.

    Incidentally, great post – I’ve linked to this post as it’s such a perfect description of a shift.

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