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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Update: Car vs. Semi

I found out today that the woman in this story had a left femur fracture, right tib/fib (shin bones) fracture, pelvic fracture, and a lacerated iliac artery. It's no wonder her blood pressure was in the toilet. All that and she still made it. Her infant was fine too.

Sometimes they come to you.

The other day my paramedic and the guys were posting at a fire station in their area. As they're relaxing at the station they hear a knock at the door - which happens very rarely. Apparently, a family was in a minor car accident and refused to call 911. While on the way home from the accident they drove past the fire station and decided they should get the kids checked out anyway (they were perfectly fine). The odd thing is that while they're in the middle of checking out this family, there's -another- knock at the door. This time it's a guy reporting a legitimate concern - an unconscious woman in the bushes around the corner. She was really drunk and had been missing for 2 days in 100+ degree temperatures. They c-spined her, started an i.v., and took her to the hospital. (She should be fine.)


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Car vs. Semi

A woman in a Sentra pulled out onto a 50 mph street without checking for traffic. She pulled out right in front of a semi truck. The truck driver said he didn't even have time to hit the breaks before they collided. When my paramedic got there, the fire department was already working on extricating the woman for him. She had her 3 month old infant with her, in a car seat, in the front seat. Thankfully, the baby appeared to be fine. A bystander pulled the infant out of the car seat before the fire department got there - FYI, if you ever come across this situation, leave the baby in the car seat. It took over half an hour for the fire department to extricate the mother for my paramedic. They ripped the door off, removed the steering column (which was pointing toward the passenger seat = airbag went off toward the passenger seat), and peeled back part of the roof.

My paramedic went in to assess the situation while they were working on tearing apart the car. The woman was alert, but her injuries were severe. She had deep cuts and crush wounds everywhere. She broke the shin bones on both legs and her femur on one leg. She also had a hip fracture and probable damage to her internal organs. Her femur fracture was so bad that her thigh had swollen to 3 or 4 times its normal size. He started an i.v. on her and had a cop standing nearby hold the bags of fluid in the air while the fire department continued to extricate her.

They got her out, c-spined her as well as the baby, and put them on backboards. The injuries were bad enough that they called for the medical helicopter to transport. (My paramedic didn't get to go on the helicopter; the hospital sends a crew over with it.)

Here's the painful part of the whole situation - with an accident that bad, my paramedic can't give ANY pain medication to the patient! The hospital has to be able to ask her where it hurts to get an accurate assessment.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why you should listen to your passengers.

A man and his wife were out driving yesterday. She told him to stop driving so fast. An argument ensued. Sure enough, he lost control of the car and rolled it down a 15 foot embankment in the mountains. It took 25 minutes just for my paramedic to get there, rolling with lights and sirens the whole way. Amazingly, the people in the car were fine. The moral of the story - if you're the driver, leave the interpretation of feelings of impending doom to your passenger. And if you must prove your passenger wrong, don't do it on a rural mountain road. Otherwise, you'll likely be stuck in the back of an ambulance with your passenger telling you 'I told you so' for the whole long trip back to the hospital.

- Katie

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good - only about 4 more weeks to go! Almost there....

The bad - the other day after work, some guy ran a red light and pulled out right in front of my paramedic, causing him to rear-end the guy.

The ugly - my paramedic wasn't driving our car; he was driving our friends' car. They let us borrow it for the internship to save on gas.

More good - they're still our friends, lol. Both my paramedic and our friends have full-coverage insurance so at least the car will get fixed. And, no one was hurt.

More ugly - the driver who ran the red light tried to run. my paramedic chased him down and he finally stopped. When my paramedic got out of the car, in his uniform which looks a lot like a cop's uniform, the guy was suddenly very scared and very cooperative. The driver didn't have a driver's license on him, and the insurance information in his van was old. At least it was a van for a company, so the company and the employer can be traced.

More good - my paramedic talked to a cop right after it happened, and the cop said that he would give my paramedic a hit and run report against the driver if he needs it.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Ok, ok, an update...

Well, everything has been pretty calm on the Paramedic front. The majority of my paramedic's calls are to complaints such as abdominal pain, shortness of breath, that sort of thing. Nothing all that interesting. All he does for those patients is take their history, start an iv, maybe give a breathing treatment, and transport.

Here's a funny little story. One slow day, my paramedic and his partners went to the hospital to help out. My paramedic was starting an iv on a patient and the nurse asked him how his skills were. When he said they were fine, she said 'oh yeah, you're a paramedic.' Then she grabbed the arm of the patient and started shaking it. When the patient wanted to know what the heck she was doing, she said that since paramedics are used to starting iv's in the back of a shaky ambulance, they're not used to hitting a stationary target.
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