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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Smell Ya Later

We walked in the front door to a familiar house. One of the tenets, a 55 year old man, rented a room and frequently needed our assistance. He had had a stroke several years ago and now had significant weakness to one side. He was also rather obese. Because of these factors, and sometimes alcohol, he frequently fell and couldn't get up.

This time we walked in and found the patient laying on the floor at the foot of his bed. The room was rank. The patient didn't shower regularly and he had a cat. The cat lived in the room and, because the kitty litter box was full, had proceeded to urinate and defecate all over the room. The patient had also lost control and peed on himself. All of those smells on their own are bad but put together can cause a firefighter to gag.

We talked with the patient and smelled some alcohol. He said that he had simply missed the bed when trying to sit down and that he wasn't hurt. After a quick assessment we helped him to the bed. My engineer and my captain pulled him up by his arms while I pushed/lifted from behind.

Once the hard part was over AMR showed up. We talked with the patient for a few minutes and convinced him that it was in his best interest to go get checked out.

The next day, at various times during the day, everyone on my crew, myself included, smelled the patient from the night before. It came on suddenly and vanished just as quickly but there was no mistaking the stench. It was time to wash our turnouts.
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