Monday, May 18

You Make the Call...Level Zero...What Happened

Do I really need to tell you how I felt at THIS run?

Wandering through town with a man I've taken before, simply because the lawyers who tell the doctors what to do won't hire someone to actually help him, let the civil servants handle it, I was upset. Why should his private insurance company spend the money to treat him? We'll do it at a discount.

He is not injured, he is not sick. But he is a human being and "pushing him aside" for any reason is not the right thing to do.

So I asked him what to do. Boiling it down, it's his decision what hospital to goto and when, so I let him decide. I told him of the situation and the option we kind of had, but not really, but I wanted to be open and honest.

He tried to get off the cot by himself. He told me if he could help someone else, he wanted to.

We redirected to the trauma patient and were at the scene in minutes.

They indeed needed us. A woman had a seizure, fell forward and struck her head, then fell backwards down a flight of stairs, tangling with the bike she had been carrying. It was a mess, the suction unit almost full, the airway a gurgling nightmare. It was a tough tube we eventually got. (The King tube would have failed miserably on this airway.)

The EMT driver and the fire officer assisted our initial patient onto a scoop stretcher and onto the bench, which is designed to carry another stretcher if necessary and the engine medic and I went to work, now code 3 to the trauma center.

I kept asking our original patient how he was doing and if he was OK and he just stared at us. I don't think he had ever considered that we actually provided a service other than moving people from A to B.

We were starting lines, jumping like monkeys over one another from equipment to patient, the emesis was everywhere.

On arrival at the hospital I looked over to tell our original patient the EMT would stay with him and we'd be right back with the stretcher to get him checked in. Before I could tell him that he told me,

"Take her first."

In the end we got a stern lecture about the billing nightmare legality of transporting two patients from two different scenes, all the while waiting for the part where they actually show us the law, rule or order that states we were wrong in doing what we did.

Still haven't seen it. Nor have they written one because of us.

If you said care for both within your abilities, you made the right call.


Anonymous said...

HM, in my heart you made the right call.

For one of the agencies I dispatch for - a native reservation - its a normal day to day operations when they transport 2 'sick' patients from two different pick up points to the same drop off point.

They just packed them in the sardines. Maybe it because of the 'free health care' or the 'federal funding' but as soon as there is one call out there, a 2nd call is not far behind.

Anonymous said...

Great multi tasking!