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Monday, January 6, 2014

Now Is Not The Time To Panic

We got the call at 3 in the morning. My first thought when we get calls at this time of night is who is up right now?!

As we pulled up to the house a woman driving an SUV almost rear ended us. We try to park Big Red just beyond the address allowing room for the ambulance to park a little closer. The crazy driver slid right past us and into the driveway (making access with a gurney more difficult). The woman, who turned out to be the daughter of my so called patient, then ran into the house.

Inside I found a man in his late 80's sitting on the couch eating some toast. His wife was talking extremely fast trying to explain what she believed was going on. The daughter, who arrived by her fathers side just seconds before us, was trying to talk louder and faster than her mother. Both of them clearly having no idea what was going on.

I asked the women to give the information to my captain allowing my to question the old guy. He told me that he had just been released from the hospital at 8 the previous evening. He had had a 6 day stay while battling pneumonia. He said that he wasn't given dinner before leaving the hospital and went to bed soon after getting home. He hadn't eaten anything other than a sandwich all day.

My patient said he awoke and felt hungry. His stomach was growling. Somehow his wife misinterpreted this to mean he was having trouble breathing and panicked. She called her daughter who lived cross town. She jumped into her car and called 911 then tried to beat us to the house.

In the end my patient stayed at his house, eating and drinking some coffee and shaking his head at his daughter and wife.
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