101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Tuesday, June 2

I am not deaf, nor do I carry antibiotics


The whine de jour was "My tummy hurts." A stomach bug was going through town, even my own child was sick. At home. Taking medicine. not everyone stays home and takes medicine.

THE EMERGENCY

A mother reports her 5 year old child has food poisoning.

THE ACTION

The report of a child in distress always ruffles feathers. What we learned part way there was that the 5 year old was vomiting, nothing more. What was odd to me was that this call came in at 5 in the morning. Had it been something she ate I would have expected this call sooner, closer to dinner time.

Here is the conversation. I will play the part of HM and she will be Mom.

HM - "Did you report an emergency?"
Mom - "Yeah she's been throwing up for like an hour."
HM - Noticed a 5 year old, fully dressed skip across the room. "That one there?"
Mom - "Yeah she has food poisoning, she needs antibiotics."
HM - "Well, I'll give her a once over, but I doubt it's food poisoning or that she needs antibiotics."
Mom - "Well, I want her checked out anyway."

So we do. She's fine. "I threw up, it was yucky," the little girl tells me.
HM - "Does your tummy hurt now?"
Mom - "I told you, she's sick. Can we please go now?"
HM - "Go where? The hospital? Listen, Mom, she may have vomited, it happens all the time, my own daughter is at home now with a fever and vomiting, but we're giving her medicine for it. What medicine have you given your daughter?"
Mom - "They told me not to give her anything."
HM - "Who? 911? No, before that."
Mom - "I don't have antibiotics to give her! Are you deaf? I want her to goto St Farthest and get checked out."

I did the calculation in my head. The time it would take to sit down and explain to her the workings of bacteria, the intestinal tract and the theory behind unit usage, I could be done, so away we went to St Farthest.
On arrival I gave a professional report to the triage nurse who looked at Mom over her reading glasses and said, "She threw up once? Go home and come back if it starts changing colors."

Awesome.

5 comments:

Music Medic said...

Gotta love those calls.. I remember once we were dispatched because a child had fallen off her bike and gotten scraped up, Of course, It wasn't dispatched quite that way, We thought we had a trauma on our hands. Upon arrival, No Trauma, but indeed we had to transport just so that Mom could be told that all she needed was a few bandages and she'd be fine.

Dani said...

I'm over here cheering for the awesome charge nurse you got. Gotta love it when the hospital tell the patients EXACTLY what you've told them.

Little Girl said...

I agree with Dani!!

Awesome Charge Nurse.

I bet Mom is going to love the bill she gets in a few weeks for that ambulance ride.

Did you at lease give the little girl a teddy bear or something??

Michael Morse said...

In a completely unrelated report from Providence, I just brought an "intoxicated male" to the ER. Before the triage nurse had signed my report the on duty doc released him. They brought him out in a wheelchair and watched him stumble away.

The joke will be on me, sadly, when a passerby with a cellphone calls 911 for a man down next to the hospital parking lot. After midnight, of course.

Anonymous said...

You know HM I long for a call like that just to get back to the routine. I fell like a S--t magnet lately, It ain't gotten much better since my last note to you. Love that charge Nurse, I wish we could rent her for a couple of weeks to let the regulars know there was a new Sheriff in town.
Capt. Tom