Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Way You Like the Call To Go

Last night just before I was set to get off, we got called for a diabetic. Go in the house, find the lady passed out in a car in the kitchen. Cold, clammy. Insulin dependent diabetic. Had been at the hospital earlier for a broken shoulder.

I pull out my IV kit and glucometer. I draw up a lock, put in an IV and check the sugar.


I have to say I am surprised.

I check her BP 80/40. Feel her pulse, expecting it to be low. Its 80.

We get her in the stair chair and by the time we are down in the ambulance, she is alert, dryer, her BP steadily coming up to 110 then 134 then settling around 140/70.

I wish I had checked her pulse or gotten her on the monitor right away. I bet she vagaled and her pulse was probably low. I would have liked to have recorded it -- it would be good to show the hospital -- help them with the diagnosis.

Sometimes you get tunnel vision because 95% of the time your vision tunnels right in on the proper problem.


This morning we were sent for a lift assist. Lady with COPD needs help getting up. She admits to feeling weak. The cops have picked her up, but she has called her doctor and he wants her checked out at the hospital. She doesn't appear in too much distress and since the cops told us to just bring the stretcher in, that's all we have. We get her in the back, and since we are blocking both cop cars in the drive, I tell my partner, its okay to just go ahead, just drive slow. The idea being we won't hold the cops up and I can get my work done on the way.

My partner is a great partner, but he drives too fast like most people in the service who don't ride in back. I assess the patient, listen to lung sounds, put her on some 02, do vitals, get the IV, call the hospital because we are getting close all while trying to keep my balance. I finally get her on the monitor. She's in an afib about 120-130. It takes me a little while to see the strip clearly due to the bouncing. I figure it out, and then for a moment watch the rate get up to 150-160, then back down to the 130s. I'm thinking wow, she is borderline getting Cardizem, but here I am already at the hospital. Not that I would give it to her at this rate but almost. And then where would I be. Giving a drug in the hospital parking lot. Not the way you like the call to go.


Get a call (chest pain at a nursing home) with fifteen minutes to go in the shift, wakes me from a Sunday nap on the couch. I have that disoriented just got up feeling. I stumble to the ambulance, buttoning my shirt. Just then I see a car come careening into the parking lot. It is my relief! He jumps out of his car as I step out of the front passenger seat, leaving the door open for him. I hand him the narc keys. He takes off in the ambulance, while I am left to punch out on time. Whoo Hoo!

Now that's the way I like a call to go.