Cat Shit One…Apocalypse Meow…!!!

April 2, 2009

Thought you might like this for a little light hearted change…!

I will be following these guys in the future to see how it pans out! And maybe SWAB Team 6 will learn some new stuff…!


Selfishness and/or Ignorance…!?!?!?

April 1, 2009


This report on a woman blocking in an Ambulance on an emergency call prompted me to relate some of the things I have personally had to endure. The gentleman in the report died of a heart attack whilst his neighbour blocked the ambulance in. She was fined £5oo!

In my job most of the time people do get out of our way and will make reasonable efforts to help us. But, and this is getting worse, more and more seem to be in their own little world where everybody else is not to be considered. I have to contend with idiots who will not pull over to let us past when on ‘Blues & Twos’ and with drunks who get in the way of us treating  patients who havebeen assaulted.

A Good Public Information Film

(Although I cant understand why the Paramedic is being treated by a Fireman and then put into a fire engine?)

I had the not so nice experience of being shouted at and sworn at by a taxi driver to get my ambulance out of the way whilst I and my crew mate were doing CPR on a patient in a house! Only when the taxi driver actually walked in to the house to continue his verbal attack on us did he realise what we were doing…and he still then walked off muttering and grumbling!!! 

We are now covered by the  ‘Emergency Workers Obstruction Act 2006’  which gives us some protection but until people start getting prosecuted and it gets made public we are still going to see an increase in this sort of behaviour. As I said earlier most of the time people are good…but it is noticeable that more and more are becoming less tolerant towards us. Is that as a result of the culture we are now living in? This country is becoming increasingly more and more angry and frustrated. This leads to more assaults on us…and sooner, rather than later, one of us will be killed!

But that will be okay…just so long as the taxi driver gets to his next job, or the woman gets to walk her dogs, or the car being driven by the businessman is not delayed, or the customer can get his newspaper whilst we continue CPR on the floor of the newsagents, or the middle aged man can reach over us and get his tin of beans off the shelf in the supermarket whilst again we are doing CPR on a patient!!!

Another Good Public Information film (we don’t see enough of them)

We need more patience from people but that has to be thrust into some peoples faces…just to make them take notice! By that I mean we need more prosecutions and more education. Just to reinforce the selfishness and ignorance of some people that we come across…I was actively resuscitating a baby in my arms trying to get past the crowd of people in the A/E department but was hindered by a couple who were complaining of having to wait so long to see a doctor! They could see me struggling to get past them whilst performing mouth to mouth and nose on the baby! Luckily another member of the public dragged them out of the way!

I would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to deal with this and if you have come across this culture of selfishness yourself?

Paramedic Attacked in Station…!!!

March 21, 2009


This incident happened in London recently and involved a knife being used on the Paramedic. Luckily he suffered only minor knife wounds but still sustained a head injury after being hit with a fire extinguisher!

For the full story click here.

My thoughts are with him wishing him a full recovery. My other thoughts are that the bastards who did this get caught and receive a lengthy sentence. But somehow I don’t think that will happen in this once great country of ours! We are getting attacked more and more on a daily basis…it wont be long until one of us is killed!

I can see the day when we are routinely issued with TASERs and body armour just to go about our normal duties!!!

Dixon of Dock Green it aint…!

March 20, 2009


Before anyone tries to guess my age by the reference to Dixon of Dock Green I must inform you that I’ve only ever seen repeats of the programme…same as Z Cars…and Softly, Softly…honest…no really…honestly!

The following link will take you into the wonderful world of Ladybird books. I remember these from primary school…and junior school…and the thicko, bad lads in the lowerclass still had them in senior school! 

It was whilst perusing the blogs of other colleagues in public services that I chanced upon this little gem of a Ladybird book on ‘No Offences Disclosed’ blog. Please take your time in reading it and observe the gentleness that was once the hallmark of school reading books. I hope that a Ladybird book will come out on ‘The Ambulanceman/Paramedic/Technician/Driver/Stretcher Monkey sometime.

Enjoy… The Policeman


March 16, 2009


A woman lies dying in her house…

A Paramedic RRV is sent to the scene…

And is then attacked by dickheads with fireworks…

Result…the woman dies!

Will anything happen to the scumbags if they get caught?

What do you think…?!?!?

Going Home…!!!

March 8, 2009

Recently I’ve been in the thick of resuscitations. The 4 month old baby was the mega downer of them all. I seem to have been to a lot of kids in the past year and attended coroners inquests as a result. All very stressful but usually I am able to deal with it in my own time and in my own way. Some take longer to get over than others and some just lurk in the back of the sub-conscious and appear at the most unexpected moments. My temper is getting better now that I realise I’m not infallible. I hurt and cry just like anyone else.

In my last seven resuscitations (all within a five day shift) I’ve actually got four back. (When I say I that includes my crewmate at the time). All four people arrested and presented with VF. Using the new resus guidelines CPR and/or shocks were administered. The biggest driver of them all was ‘minimum time off the chest’. Keep the time between chest compressions and checking monitors/pulses etc short. And it works. Out of the four people resuscitated one died later in A/E, one ended up in ICU to undergo therapeutic induced hypothermia and the other two regained consciousness before arriving at the hospital. All three have been discharged from hospital with no neurological deficit.

To have so many successful outcomes in such a short space of time is bizarre. The survival to discharge of post cardiac arrest patients is very small. The survival to hospital admission is also very small. But since using the new guidelines and been aggressive in cardiac arrest management (not violent but thorough) we are starting to see a difference. And seeing all three patients with their families going home is the biggest buzz ever. So like I said I hurt and cry like anyone else, I also smile and laugh a lot just the same. And at the end of a shift I can go home too!


Highs and Very, Very Lows…!!!

February 17, 2009


The Pathway Back to Life...

The Pathway Back to Life...

The night shift started with our first job…‘male, unconscious, not breathing’. Two minutes after booking onto the shift we were heading towards one of the estates edging my patch. En route control updates us ‘CPR advice being given to the family, RRV arriving scene!’

My crew mate gives it a bit more leather on the accelerator. Blues and twos are helping us to wend our way through the evening traffic but still we come up against the occasional idiot who thinks he owns the road and will not yield. This makes us slow down having to circumnavigate the clown who gives us ‘the look’ as we pass him!

Soon we are at the top of the street but we are further slowed down because of the speed bumps. Eventually after scaling several of these tarmac hills we pull up outside the address. The RRV is parked outside and there are members of the family running around flapping…not a good sign.

We dash into the house and are met by two women consoling each other and pointing to a door…‘Hes in there!‘  Opening the door we find the RRV pilot doing CPR on a collapsed male. I can see that there is vomit everywhere around the head end. The RRV pilot is covered in it! Grabbing hold of the collapsed male we turn him onto his side and using the #1 suction unit (index finger) we sweep out the worst of the vomit from his mouth.

Getting him onto his back the RRV pilot recommences chest compressions and ‘bags’ the patient whilst we set up the defib/monitor. A quick look through the paddles of the defib shows VF (ventricular fibrilliation where the heart rattles and shakes like a bag of worms) and I shock him once telling the RRV pilot to crack on with a minutes worth of chest compressions straight after. Another look at the monitor and checking for pulses reveals that we have a good cardiac output. 

His heart is beating but he is still not breathing for himself. Whilst my crew mate inserts a line and sets up an IV, I intubate the patients airway first time and connect him to our automatic resuscitator. Although I have to ly in the patients vomit to do this I think that things are looking good. After less than a minute the patient  makes some attempt at respiratory effort.

We put the call into the A/E resus and we take our patient in ‘on the light’. Handing over to the team in A/E the prognosis for our patient seems to be getting better by the minute. It will be a matter of time to see if there is any neurological damage if he does regain consciousness…but the signs are good. The chain of survival has helped.

After cleaning our truck and equipment we grab some fluid replacement in the form of a cuppa and reflect on the job we have just done. It went well…it makes a change to get one back, to deny the reaper his quota for the day. Now its back to station for cover. A couple of minutes later after setting off for our base station the MDT squawks into life again. ’20 year old male, nosebleed’  Its back to normal then!

For the rest of the shift it is a relentless procession of inappropriate jobs that should be dealt with by GPs or even themselves. How hard is it to take a ‘Lemsip’ for a cold?  The nights darkness is tempered by the high spirits we are still in from our first job…plus the job we attend where the ‘patient’ thinks he is having a stroke makes us laugh. He has been asleep and woke up to use the toilet only to find his left arm would not work!  After a few tests and a couple of questions we find out why his arm went dead…hes been sleeping on it! Pins and needles…nothing more!

Coming towards the end of our night shift we are driving back through the city centre heading for base. Only half an hour to go…then its back home to snuggle up in a nice warm bed and sleep. My eyes are closing and my head is doing the bobbing thing as I momentarily dream of dreaming. I’m just glad its not my drive. My crew mate is just as knackered as I am but hes now ‘vehicle commander’ and has to get us both back safely.

‘Squawk, squawk f*****g b******d squawk!!!’ goes our MDT screen. ‘Bollocks! Bollocks! and b******d bollocks!’ go us. The dispatcher comes on the radio….‘I’m really sorry lads but you’re the nearest crew…and I’m really sorry but its a baby not breathing!’  The swearing stops and the complaining from us abates. We switch on and head out to the other side of the city hoping against hope that its a false alarm!  

Minutes later we are pulling up to the address. I can see through the front window a woman holding a baby in her arms and screaming! Another woman is out in the street running towards us! My heart sinks even further, its not a false alarm! All thought of sleep has vanished and the adrenaline is kicking in big time! I grab the resus bag from the truck and dive into the house.

Mum is stood there screaming at me to help and clutching the lifeless, grey baby its eyes surrounded by a bluish, reddish tinge. Trying to control mum and my own emotions I gently ease the baby out of mums arms and place the baby onto the settee. No pulse, no breathing…the baby is dead. But we still try…bagging the baby with our smallest face mask and using only finger tips or thumbs for chest compressions. Mum is falling apart, her other child is being comforted by grandma in the same room. I decide to run for it…the A/E is only minutes away.

Holding the baby with its head in my hand and its body laid along my arm we make our way to the truck. Continuing with the CPR we belt it to the hospital. During the short ride mum tells me that she had the baby in bed with her and found her unresponsive when she got up! That explains why the baby is still warm! Arriving at the A/E I still perform CPR whilst quickly negotiating the inappropriate ‘patients’ hanging around the entrance smoking their cigs.

The resus room is waiting and I hand over the baby to the doctors who carry on with the CPR. Relaying the history to the senior doc I then leave to complete the paperwork. As the adrenaline starts to wear off the tiredness floods in and I have to fight back the tears. The reaper has got one back! I remember thinking out loud…‘I don’t want to do this job anymore!’