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Thursday, March 24, 2011


We were dispatched to a 50 year old male with abdominal pain. I remember in medic school we were told that there were a lot of potential causes of abdominal pain. Even more vivid was was my recent bout with cholecystitis where I became very acquainted with dilaudid. Needless to say, I'm very sympathetic to my patients with abdominal pain.

We walked in to find our patient laying in bed, in very little distress. He had, in the last week or so, undergone a  duodenal switch surgery in order to lose weight. The patient denied any complications or recent illness. The man said that he had experienced excruciating abdominal pain on four separate occasions today, the longest lasting about 30 minutes. He wasn't in much pain at that point and the only other thing wrong was his BP, which was really high.

While I did my assessment my captain dealt with the mother. She was being rather stubborn. Her son had had the surgery at a hospital over an hour and a half away. 'Mom' had talked to his surgeon and was directed to bring her son to the hospital. We tried to explain that we couldn't take her son past 20+ hospitals that were closer just to take him to the one where he had the surgery. We tried to explain that we'd send him to the closest ER where he would be evaluated for any serious problems and then transferred, if needed, to the hospital of his choice. Evidently she wasn't having any of that.

Meanwhile, while this was going on I simply talked to my patient and explained the situation. Funny thing, he completely agreed with me that going to the closest ER was the wise thing to do. After all, it might be something simple like gall stones.

So while my captain and the B@#$% were arguing (she was simultaneously talking on two cell phones and the house phone trying to find a family friend that was a medic....he later told her we were right) we loaded the patient into the ambulance.

After we were done with the call my captain decided to go back and try to smooth things out. Unfortunately it just made things worse. Sometimes I can't stand family members. At least my captain took that one for the team.


Dom said...

I guess mom never learned to let go, huh?

Firefighter/Paramedic said...


Unknown said...

I have a story of sorts. I was a volunteer basic EMT for four months before getting the boot for being autistic... but I digress...

My mother was (she's been gone for almost two years now) obese, diabetic, and had kidney failure. We had to call EMS (our town's little facility, where I got booted for having Asperger's after 4 months). We had no problems with EMS, but the hospital in the town nearby refused to transport her. My birthdad (he's bipolar) went off at them, then asked a conveniently placed medic from a private facility if they would take her to South Bend, where they've had to admit her before because of her need of dialysis. Her BP crashed on the way, and they got her back. If he'd let them off, she'd have died then. As it was, she only lived a few more months (I think that happened in March, she died in May), but hey, they saved her.

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