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Blood, Sweat and Tea


3
Returning to the patient my colleagues had started to 'bag' the patient (this means using equipment to 'breathe
for' the patient and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR), which is the procedure to keep blood
flowing around the body in the absence of a pulse. Attaching the defib' pads I saw that the patient was in 'fine
VF' (ventricular fibrillation) - this is a heart rhythm which means the heart is 'quivering' rather than pumping
blood around the body to the brain and other vital organs. Technically, the patient is dead and without
immediate treatment, the patient will remain dead.
We 'shocked' the patient once and his heart rhythm changed. It changed to asystole (this means that the heart
is not moving at all, and it is much more difficult to restore life to the patient with this form of rhythm). We
decided to 'scoop and run' to the nearest hospital. The paramedic secured the patients airway by passing a tube
down the windpipe, and we got the patient onto the scoop, all the time continuing the CPR and giving
potentially lifesaving drugs. We then carried him, with the help of his team-mates to the ambulance and
rushed him to hospital.
Unfortunately, the patient never regained consciousness, and died in the resuscitation room.
Thirty-four years old, normally fit and healthy - and he drops dead on a football pitch. Despite our best efforts
there was nothing more we could have done for him; the treatment went according to plan and the
resuscitation attempt went smoothly. This was a 'proper' job, but one job we would have happily done
without.
Why Won't They Let Me Do This?
Here is a moan about something that I am not allowed to do. I'm not allowed to run people over in my job. I
could really clear the streets of a lot of stupid people if I was able to do that.
Picture the scene: there I am, driving through the streets of London in big white van, with blue flashing lights,
loud sirens running and the word Ambulance written in rather large letters. As a pedestrian, what would you
do? Would you think 'Hmm, being run over by that would really hurt, I think I'll wait the 12nanoseconds that
it takes him to drive past before I cross the road'. Or would you, as most of the people in my area apparently
do, think 'Hmm, an Ambulance on his way to an important job, I bet I can run across the road in front of him
before he can hit me'.
During the last job, three people tried to dive under my ambulance. If I was allowed (by government grant or
some such) to keep driving and splat them across my windscreen, that would mean three less idiots being
allowed to breed tonight.
Oh well, I might get lucky later tonight.
Dear Mr Alcoholic
...Can all alcoholics please just get drunk in their houses and fall asleep there? Why do you insist that you
drink your Tennent's Super in a public place where some do-gooder will think you are ill and call for an
ambulance.
...Can you also have a bath once in a while? I know it's nice to roll around in the road while drunk, but it
would be nice if you were at least a bit clean to start with.
...Would you mind awfully if you don't swear at me, take a swing at me or expose yourself to me. I have quite
enough abuse from the non-drunks out there... Still at least your fists are easy to dodge, and if I stop holding
you up, you fall over.
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