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Monday, May 28, 2012

Back Stabber

The gate to the back yard was open and we were being waved down. The woman ushered us into her backyard where we found her elderly father laying on the ground. It was apparent that he had been gardening but had DFO'd for some reason.

My patient was laying face up, half on the walkway and half in the bushes. I stepped into the bushes and grabbed his head, protecting him from moving it and possibly aggravating a spinal injury. I asked the daughter about her fathers medical history.

He was a diabetic, had hypertension and a fairly recent onset of seizures. She said that they had been gardening together that morning. She went to answer the phone and came back after a short conversation. That's when she found her dad laying where we found him.

While I continued to question the daughter my engineer started a head to toe assessment. Other than a couple of cuts and bruises there was nothing obviously wrong. He checked a blood sugar which came back WNL and placed the guy on some oxygen.

As a precaution we placed the old man on a backboard. That's when things got interesting. The patient started coming around, appearing to be postictal. Then he started to get combative. Understandably so. Can you imagine waking up confused to find several men strapping you to a board all while trying to tell you that they were there to help you? I'd be confrontational too. We enlisted the daughter to help calm him down and between us and the AMR crew we were able to get him strapped down.

By the time he reached the back of the ambulance he was lucid and answering questions. He did have head and neck pain and didn't remember what happened. At least the backboard and C-collar were justified.

After the call was over I had my captain pull a couple of thorns out of my back. The bushes that I had to crawl into to take care of my patient had been rose bushes. I was fine and careful until I had to struggle with the patient. Then the bushes stabbed be in the back. Ouch.

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