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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There And Back Again

It was right out of the commercial. Out patient had fallen and couldn't get up so she used her call button to summon help. The operator even informed us that the woman had a key hidden in one of her flower pots. Seemed like this was going to be an easy call.


Not so much.

She lived on the second floor of her apartment building. As we made our way to the front door we started looking for the specific flower pot. Carefully looking around the fake plant we spied the key. The wrong key. It wasn't even the right type of key. Although if we wanted to take her Toyota for a joy ride we could. Fortunately for our patient firefighters aren't easily discouraged. Getting into her home was now a challenge.

The first thing we did was to check the kitchen window. We were able to do this just by leaning over the railing. It was locked. The next step was to check the balcony on the back of the apartment. Of course to do this I needed the ladder. Off the the rig I went.

On my way to the rear of the building my captain stopped me. He said that a neighbor had a key. The poor guy had to wake up at 1 in the morning, get dressed, find the key and give it to us. So back to the rig I went to put away the ladder. On my way I ran into the AMR crew that had just shown up. I pointed them in the right direction and then put the ladder away.

Meanwhile, back at the front door, my captain tried the newly found key on the door. After getting the security door open he was unable to unlock the front door. Perhaps it was a different key. So while he continued the frontal assault I decided to go get the ladder.....again.

By the time I made it to the bottom of the stairs the front door clicked open. It had just been a sticky lock.

Inside we found the 84 year old woman laying on the floor at the foot of her bed. She was alert and oriented and said that she just stumbled and fell. She denied any loss of consciousnesses but was complaining that her left hip hurt really bad. After the AMR medic cleared C-Spine we discussed how we were going to get her out.

I suggested that we use a KED device around her hips to stabilize them (her left side was dislocated or fractured) and then try to move her on a carry all (a large tarp with handles). I watched as the AMR crew started to move the old lady. She immediately winced in pain.

The AMR medic looked at me and said that she didn't think this was going to work and then asked for ideas. I suggested that she start an IV and give her some morphine before we move her. That way we have done everything we could to make her comfortable.

After a couple of doses of the narcotic was placed the patient in the KED and moved her downstairs to the gurney. Needless to say after all that I had a tough time falling back to sleep.
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