Saturday, November 05, 2005


I am so glad I am off tomorrow because I am wiped out. Had a runny nose this morning, but that seems to have gone away thankfully, but I still feel tired.

Only two calls so far today with lots of napping before and after.

An old woman with epigastric discomfort and an acidy feeling in her throat and a nursing home patient who had a burgandy colored stool.

I managed to write the respiratory section of our draft new regional protocol exam.

Other than that I have been prostrate on the bed in the back bedroom.


9:30 P.M. A half an hour to go and the damn tones go off. The one problem with my suburban post is that they can't pull you in early like they do in the city as crew change approaches. You have no protection. A call comes in at 9:59 and your relief doesn't come in until ten, well, sucks to be you. Maybe I need to just view my Saturday night as getting off at 11 or 12, instead of 10, but when I have worked 80 hours in six days, I want to have a couple hours to raise a beer, play some music, and unwind from the week, instead of coming home to find my girlfriend asleep on the couch with the TV still on.

Tonight it's a girl with asthma, who is hyperventilating. She is drenched with sweat and can barely sit up she is so tired from breathing so fast. She has an expiratory wheeze, but seems more panicky, than truly suffering from constricted airway passages. Since she is sitting in a parking lot, we get her on the stretcher quickly and into the back. I tell my partner to go on a priority. I don't like to waste time on respiratory calls(But maybe also in the back of my mind is my crew change and the late hour?). En route I give her a treatment and encourage her to breath deeper and more slowly. Her SAT goes from 94% to 99%. Her lungs are clear by the time we hit the hospital. She is no danger.

But I have to ask myself would I have gone on a priority if it was two in the afternoon? Maybe. I didn't have a handle on what was going on with her right away. But maybe not. I don't know. Maybe I would have taken the extra minute to try to calm her down more before we left. But then maybe, I might have upgraded us. I don't want to risk a patient's life by not acting quickly in a potentially life-threatening moment, but at the same time I don't want to put a patient at risk by going lights and sirens when it is not indicated. It was a coin flip. I guess I'd be curious to see the results of a research study on my calls. Statistically, do I go to the hospital more on a priority the closer it comes to my crew change?