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Monday, December 31, 2012

A Thank You Visit

Dispatch informed us that we were responding for a 38 year old female complaining of weakness. We groaned a little bit because this sounded like another BS call.


Walking up to the front door we were met by an older lady. She turned out to be the mother of my patient. She said that her daughter had been getting ready for work this morning when she started feeling weak and dizzy. The mom led us to the couch where her daughter lay.

When paramedics approach a patient we are already assessing the patient. We are checking to see if they're breathing and how hard they are trying to breath. We're looking at their skin color, if they're tracking us and appear alert. We are also looking for anything that is out of the ordinary weather that's empty alcohol bottles or a knife sticking out of the patient.

The urgency on this call went from low to high with one look at my patient. On side of the woman's face was drooping. My continued walking assessment showed that she was breathing adequately and had good skin color. I checked for a radial pulse as I knelt down next to her and introduced myself.

I then checked to see if she had equal grips and was able to push and pull with her feet, which she wasn't. Then entire left side of her body was paralyzed. Working while I talked I started an IV. She said that the symptoms had started about 15 minutes ago, well within the window for thrombolytics.

I explained to my patient what my worries were. That she could possibly be having a CVA. I then explained what was going to happen at the hospital. I also gave her the possible outcomes and reassured her that because of her quick action, she gave herself the best chance at recovery.

Once AMR showed up we loaded the patient up. I gave them a brief run down and said that I'd be riding in too. In the back of the ambulance there were no changes, for better or worse. The entire time my patient remained calm. At the hospital I let the AMR medic give the report (he was the one that had the rapport with the MD) and I answered questions as needed.

The next tour the doorbell rang just as we were sitting down to brunch. I slid down the pole and answered the door. It was my patient from the previous week. She stopped by the station with her mom and nephew to say thank you and to drop off a plate of cookies. She has spent a couple of days in the hospital but her symptoms had subsided within a couple hours of our meeting. She had a TIA (mini stroke). We talked a bit about her condition and I answered some questions that the neurosurgeon hadn't. I also gave her nephew a tour of the truck.

It was nice to get a thank you like that. It was great to see that one of my more serious patients had recovered.
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