Thursday, June 25
The next 3 posts will cover 3 distinct parts of a rather interesting job.
Round 1 - The Dispatch
1:15 AM and the MDT tells me you've cut your hand. It also tells me you're in your twenties. It doesn't tell me if you're seriously calling 911 for this. I assume you know more than I do about who needs an ambulance and away we go.
A man has accidentally cut his hand.
This was a perfect storm of mystery, intrigue, alcohol and lies. The building is older and has a large partial S staircase leading from the street level to the first floor door. So when we start our trek up the dark staircase, the front door is out of our sight above us and to the right. I stood there at the bottom of the stairs, tired already from the first 16 hours of the shift, waving my arms at the motion sensor light that, apparently, has yet to be installed. Warning flag #1.
The door is open and I hear high pitched voices speaking, nay shouting, in a language I do not understand. As is habit I scanned the floor for blood. I see none. In the next room is Bubba. (See Glossary of Terms)
Bubba has his pants half way down and has a towel tied to his thigh with twine.
"Hi there." I say, hesitant to put anything down quite yet.
He mumbles in response. Even just this slight mumble sends a waft of alcohol breath my way that would have caused me to fail the brethalyzer right then and there.
He's telling a story about opening a can of oysters and missing, hitting his leg. Then, after a few questions he tells a different story about how he got cut. All the while I'm telling him I know he is lying. And all the while the mother and the girlfriend are shouting and won't leave the room until my associate for the day finally convinces them to give us peace and quiet.
His leg is cut, not his hand...warning flag #2.
Using my Happy Medic skills we've convinced Bubba to come to the hospital to have the 5cm wide 2-3 cm deep wound from the chef's knife examined.
Oh, did I skip that part? After arguing with the landlord Bubba thought it would be a good idea to get wasted drunk, grab a couple of knives from the kitchen and wave them around like a child demaning more dinner. Darn it if those things are sharp when you get a little too animated.
His mother and his girlfriend, who hovered over my discussion with Bubba in the room are still shrieking in their native tongue and Bubba is trying to shout back at them as I'm guiding him towards the front door and down the stairs.
Quick aside, the wound is wrapped, not bleeding and he flat out got angry when we tried the chair. Warning flag #3.
Halfway down the dark stairs I have my hand under his arm to help him balance, as I offer to everyone I treat. I have Bubba in my right hand, one step ahead of him and the electronic PCR in my left. I looked away to check the bottom steps. When I looked back up...warning flag #4, a swinging elbow coming my way.
Coming soon - Round 2 - the Struggle
File Under Medical Aid