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Friday, October 16, 2009

Complicated Call

While in paramedic school you participate in scenarios. It's a way for the new paramedics to practice their assessment and critical thinking abilities and how to put all of their new skills to the test. The interesting thing about them is that the scenarios usually aren't your run of the mill calls. The instructors are usually medics and they give you calls that they went on that were different or interesting in some way. Quite often they contain some pretty severe curve balls. This call was just like one of those scenarios.

We were toned out for an 83 year old woman that had fallen. This is a fairly common call but there are a lot of ways it could go. While we were responding I started thinking of how this could play out: Slip and fall, weak and dizzy then a fall, hip fracture and fall, CVA and fall, heart attack and fall, syncopal, low blood sugar and fall, attacked by a dog and a fall...I think you get the idea.

When we arrived on scene we were met by the daughter of our patient. She said that her mother was in the bedroom trying to get back to bed after using the bathroom when she fell down. She was able to get her mother back onto the bed but that was all. When we got back to the bedroom we found our patient laying on the bed. She was looking at us when we walked in (a good sign) but didn't say anything. At this point the daughter informed us that her mother was deaf (I guess that slipped her mind). So now I was trying my best to communicate with my deaf patient (the daughter was trying to help with translating) and it wasn't going well. The daughter was saying that her mom could answer our questions but something wasn't right. Out patient kept saying that she was weak. I decided to check a blood sugar. Bingo. Her sugar came back at 31. Seems the daughter forgot to tell us that she was diabetic too. I started a line on her and gave her some D50. That seemed to perk her right up. As soon as AMR showed up we sent her on her way to the hospital. Not your typical scenario.
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