Saturday, 13 September 2008

3 X 3 part3

I'm working with a trainee and we get a call to a fall. Details come through that it's a 3 month old fallen from a height. We had difficulty locating the correct addressbut when we eventually found it we were greeted by a man in his 40's who was the baby's father. He smelt of alcohol and I immediately became suspicious. He showed us in and up the stairs where we could hear a baby crying. This wasn't your usual cry, it was a cry of pain. Trust me I know the difference. In the bedroom the mum has the baby in her arms and is rocking her back and forth. It turns out that the dad had her held up high with out stretchedarms and she slipped causing her to nose dive into the wooden flooring. I asked all the usual questions and quickly attempted to check the baby over. Difficult when the patient can't tell you where they hurt. The dad even offered to carry the baby downstairs but then muttered that it wouldn't be a good idea. His wife told him to stop being so bloody stupid and that it was only an accident. The alcohol on his breath was whiskey, his wife said that the whole incident had shaken him up so much that he had to have a couple of drinks to calm himself. That taught me to jump to conclusions. They were a decent family.
On board the ambulance I get the paediatric longboard out and we secure the baby to that. Even the paedi board with huge blanket rolls dwarfed the baby. Again the basic stuff such as O2 by tubing and monitoring equipment are applied. I decided to put a call in to the hospital so she could be seen straight away. With dummy in situ the baby fell asleep en route. It was like watching maggie simpson, quite comical really.
We got to hospital to be greeted by a full trauma team which I didn't expect. They started off OK but when it came to assessing the neck and back they were a bit stumped. The baby was conscious and now crying again. They could roll her and check for deformities but couldn't get the baby to tell them (obviously!) whether it hurt when the DR pressed along the spine. After a brief chat they decided the baby was OK.
After doing another call we found ourselves back at the hospital. Apparently after saying the baby was fine a DR later decided to get a c-spine X-ray which turned out clear. If they had missed a serious neck injury especially after we alerted them then there would have been hell to pay!
I walked past the resus room and saw the mum feeding her baby whilst sat on a chair. She saw me and beckoned me over. 'Do you think she will be OK?' she said. DOH!!!, another homer simpson moment. I mean she had DRs from all specialties fussing over her, had an X-ray and they said she was fine. And she's asking me! 'Well if the DRs are happy then I'm sure everything's fine' I said. With that we left and then on to the next job.

1 comment:

Ambulance Mommy said...


I learned in EMT class from a EMT who has been doing this for 20 years that for some reason, folks believe the first person who makes contact with them. So if we walk into a scene, and tell the patient they are going to be fine, and they aren't, the family feels like they were betrayed by "those ambulance people" I guess the mom lives by the same rules. tons of docs telling her the baby will be fine, but she wants to hear it from you.