101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Wednesday, January 21

...for the unknown medical...9:13


The ever exciting Unknown Medical Aid. We just cleared a very unhappy bicyclist and were on our way to an "unknown bleed, getting interpreter." Great.

THE EMERGENCY
There may be blood.

THE ACTION
Not getting any information about people shouting or blood from, say, a bullet passing through living tissue, we proceed into the basement unit in an older part of town. As we enter we see the religious artifacts that tell us our patients are from south east asia and looking at my partner, who is whiter than white bread, I know we'll have trouble communicating.

The little old woman meets us first, pushing past without so much as a glance, simply shouting something about "tongs" and "has." We continue back through the hallways of the unit to find a computer room inhabited by 12 year olds playing games.
"Who wants to be a hero today?"
Not even a glance. They're not even playing a game I recognize. No Halo, no Super Mario Brothers, not even a Circus Atari.
"Who's the oldest here?" Hoping I can get someone to rat out someone else.
A hand rises and we grab him as an interpreter.
Turns out grandpa has had a nose bleed for a few days and grandma wants him to go to the hospital to get checked out.

Thing about nose bleeds is, they tend to bleed either from trauma or hypertension and keep bleeding as a result of...trauma or hypertension. Blood thinners aside, and since he gets all his medications at the local pharmacy, labeled in Chinese, I'll assume both to be true as we enter the bedroom and find him.

And no blood.

No bloody towels or tissues, even his nostrils are clean. His shirt is clean, his pillowcase is clean. I ask the kid to tell me when it stopped bleeding and he relays the patient's answer.

"Yesterday."

"Why am I here today?" I'm interrogating a 12 year old about a 70 year old. Only in EMS, right?
"He needs to get it checked and no one here can drive him to hospital."
It dawns on me then that we've been activated for a ride. Taxi 99 responding...
Not in the mood to argue the merits of the situation through a 12 year old, we grab grandpa and get moving. I was staring at the strange shapes on his medication bottles and wondered what they were, homeopathic or engineered.

Didn't lose a drop on the way in.

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