Thursday, January 12, 2006

The flowerpot's revenge

Once again it's early AM and I can't sleep. It most likely because I slept until late this afternoon finally waking up for good at around 1500. I woke up to no water in the house due to a busted water mane at the corner. We were up all night last night running calls. Sometimes I really hate 24 hour shifts. In fact the only reason I didn't stay on 12hour nights was because I like my partner. I told the supervisor in charge of schedules that I would rather work a truck I don't really like but have a fantastic partner that I get along With than the other way around. I have worked trucks that I love, but had shitty partners and it sucks. Anyways we were up all day running calls and changing out of trucks. The off going crew got into a new truck but according to them were to busy to check it off so that job was put on my partner and I. Half the shit was missing and what wasn't;t missing was expired. It was a good three hour check off. Then we had calls all day then after 1900 radio check the radio in the unit decided it would be a good time to quit working. And it being 1900 the radio shop was closed so we had to change out of that truck and into another one. And then this truck was also missing all kinds of crap from Adenocard to a BVM. And then there was a whole nother list of expired shit. When did everyone in the system stop doing a blue book check off? So that was fun. Then we had about a two hour down time until about 2300 then the calls started. Now for the most part all the calls were BS, except for our 0230 call. Assault via flowerpot. Now the call came out as bravo response. (for those not familiar with the response levels there is omega, witch is complete and udder bullshit, Alpha, code 8 bullshit, bravo, the first level of code 7 calls, like fender benders and sick parties, Charlie, delta, and echo. Echo being the most urgent, like cardiac arrest. It more for the dispatchers. But it helps up out sometimes because it can tell us how sick out patient could potentially be.) So this came out as Assault, bravo response...Possible dangerous body area. Pt struck in head with flowerpot. So my partner and I were expecting a woman struck with like a plastic flowerpot and had like a small lac and lots of drama. The fire department assn;t even dispatched with us. So we pull up and there are about five six police officers standing over this woman laying supine in the street. There is thick terra cotta pieces all over the place along with lots of potting soil and one lone geranium. As were approach the patient we come to realize that she is actually hurt. Her face is all bloody and what looks to be a large skull fracture in the side of her head. She is unresponsive but combative as hell. Before we get to her she has struck her head several times on the asphalt. The police know her and are yelling her name. She smells strongly of alcohol and has rows of track marks up her arms. So the unresponsiveness is due partly to the ETOH and partly to the large dent on the left side of her head. My partner and the police hold her arms and head so she will stop fighting and I gather the Long spine board and collar. We get her packaged and in the back of the truck and off we go. I get my secondary survey done during the ride. Unreactive, unequal pupils. I get my bilateral lines. I suction blood out of her airway. We most likely would have RSIed her had we not been 6 blocks from the hospital. I encode the trauma center. I swear sometimes that don;t listen to us. I told them I have a "Trauma Alert. Unresponsive, very combative Assault. Looks to be a skull fracture GCS less than 8. I'm working on IV access and vitals See you in three" The MD gets on the radio and asked "What is the patients mental status?" What did I just tell you? Do you not listen? "UNRESPONSIVE. ETA less than 3." I hang up the radio and finish with the second line. I have made a mess in the back of the box. My partner opens the back doors and sees me in a mess of wires and oxygen tubing and other medical detritus. He just groans and says "I can;t leave you alone for five minutes can I, before you completely destroy the back? You're like a distructive puppy" I just smile, detangle myself from the monitor wires and hop out of the truck "Have we met? How long have you know me. I'm like Pigpen from the peanut's gang"


Anonymous said...

Interesting case. I hane never heard of the response designations you refer to. Good partners can make bad trucks/jobs nice.


Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued to the use of 24 hr shifts. What is the average caseload on one of these shifts? And how are fatigue issues dealt with? We arer rostered to 10, 12 and 14 hour shifts with a mandatory 8 hr break. Workload is around 8 to 15 jobs a shift.