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Monday, October 5, 2009

Twisted Ankles, Twisted Paramedics

We get toned out at about 2300 for an ankle injury. Thankfully I was not yet asleep. I'm embarrassed to admit that when we get a call like this my first response is usually to grumble that the person is calling 911 for a twisted ankle. It's hard when I know people that refuse to call 911 when they amputate a body part to think that the person with a broken ankle really needs me. Once we arrived on scene we were greeted by the husband who said that his wife had tripped and fallen down the two steps to the living room and they couldn't get her up. He was embarrassed to have to call us.

We quickly did an assessment and found that she had no other apparent injuries other than the ankle. While we worked on her ankle, the couple told us that they were watching "Nurse Jackie" and laughed that they now had to have their own encounter with emergency medicine. We joked around as we splinted her leg with a vacuum splint and put an ice pack on her ankle. I offered her some morphine but she declined. Our patient was one of the nicest patients I've ever run a call on. That's what makes the arrival of the AMR unit so bad. Some people in the EMS field are burnt out and should get out. They hate their job. the medic that showed up showed all the signs of being one of these people. So we had to load up our nice patient into the back of the ambulance with one of the grumpiest medics I've ever met. Afterward the husband made it a point to come shake all of our hands and thank us for being there.
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