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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Streak is Ruined

I have been in EMS for years and managed to avoid something until just recently.

As I walked up the driveway I was met by a middle aged woman that asked me if I was a doctor. I refrained for telling her that she needed a paramedic, not a doctor and just said no. She then informed me that she didn't need the fire department, she needed a doctor. That's why she called 911.

Turns out her neighbor, an 82 year old woman that only speaks Russian, passed out while she was at home. When she came to she threw up. She then felt better and walked over to he neighbors house to seek some help. Luckily for us the neighbor spoke Russian too. While working through the translator I was able to determine that something like this had never happened before. She also said that she had high blood pressure and was taking some over the counter Russian medication. Good luck figuring out what those are. I'm pretty good at puzzles so when the neighbor explained that she was allergic to a red fluid that you put on the skin to clean it I understood that she was talking about Iodine. She denied any medical complaint and was thinking about not going to the hospital. This was about the time that she passed out again. Her head flopped forward and to one side. I was worried about her airway so I quickly jumped in there to hold her head in a neutral position.

When she came around she blew chunks. Despite her earlier mention of this I forgot. She managed to throw up all over my left arm, my watch and into my glove. We're not just talking normal looking vomit. This stuff was stringy like snot. I went years without getting vomit on me in any way shape or form but she got me royally. Not much I could do. I continued to reassess my patient.

About this point AMR showed up. The AMR medic couldn't see my arm because it was behind the other firefighter. She took my report and then I asked if she would take care of the patient while I washed off my arm. Only then did she realize that I was dripping vomit.

As much as I don't like getting thrown up on I can't help but feel bad for my patient. How mortifying would that be throwing up on your firefighter paramedic as he is taking care of you.

1 comment:

brian said...

At least no "sympathetic vomiting" from the crew? You know--when the victim hurls, and the engineer has to walk out of the room before he blows, too? :)

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