Monday, 6 April 2009


Sat on base, relaxing in our comfy chairs and watching some TV show on special effects. We're like coiled springs, ready to jump into action. Ready to face anything that's thrown to us. Cardiac arrest, anaphylaxis, heroin overdose, catastrophic hemorrhage or RTA entrapment we are ready! Within seconds the station alerters go off and we are soon in our vehicle. It's to a Psych/attempted suicide call just round the corner from base but no sooner are we out of the garage we get a call on the radio 'Stand down, stand down, we have a higher priority coming through to you.' The job comes through and it's a Cat A hemorrhage/lacerations call but it's 5 miles away. 'Better get a wiggle on' I say to my trainee crew mate.

Winding our way through the bends and through a couple of villages we make it to scene. The call is to a pub, to a male bleeding heavily.

We park up and take our kit in with us. As we enter the pub we are greeted by a member of staff with 'Thank god your here!', another says 'Are we glad to see you, you're like gods.' The pub is busy and I can't help thinking that this would somewhere nice to take the wife and kids for Sunday lunch. There are oak beams, nice pictures and a really nice atmosphere as we walk through. There's no time for that, better get on with the job in hand.

'Right, where's our patient' I say looking round.

'Over there by the table' comes the reply.

'Where?' I'm having difficulty spotting anyone who may need our skills.

'Right there!' says a waitress pointing behind us.

'What him!' I'm thinking to my self (and I know my crew mate is thinking the same just by the look he is throwing me).

We turn and move towards the overweight chap sat tucking into Gammon, Egg, Chips & a side of onion rings.

'Thank god you're here lads' he says.

'What's the problem?' says my crew mate.

'Well, it all started about 2 years ago.'

'Let me just stop you there, what's happened tonight?

'Right, it's my lip, it wont stop bleeding! I can't go on like this, look at it, look it! I've been bleeding all afternoon, it's been gushing.'

At this point we have now both completely lost the will to live but being the professionals that we are we remain focused.

'Where are you bleeding exactly?' I say desperately trying to find anything vaguely resembling a laceration.

'Right here.' says our patient pointing to the middle of his lower lip.

We are now both leaning over the table pulling the 'Bulldog chewing a wasp' face trying to find this wound.

We need a torch as we are still struggling to see anything. Now with a bit of light we can see the cause of the problem...........................a split lip! Basically this guy has a problem with his lips getting dry and then they crack and on this occasion started to bleed. He sips his red wine as he talks and starts saying that he wouldn't of called us unless it was an absolute emergency. After spending what seemed like an eternity doing his obs and reassuring him that he wont bleed to death, we give advice and get him to sign our paper work. We brief the staff who at this point are now getting fed up with him being there as he was worrying the customers. Luckily he has a room booked in a hotel next door so persuade him to go to his room and rest. We walk out shaking our heads in disbelief, although we do joke with bar staff about getting 2 pints of Fosters to take away.

We couldn't believe we had been called to a chapped lip. I think alcohol may have played a part in it and the fact a little bit of blood can often look alot.

We drove off into the sunset knowing we had done our bit. I say sunset, it was actually pitch black.

I'm sorry for misleading you with the title of the post (I bet you thought it was something juicy) but I think it is important to highlight that although we have 8 minutes to Cat A calls, not all are Life threatening. In fact a lot don't need an ambulance at all. It's not the call takers fault, they can only go on the information given to them at the time and then input into the AMPDS system.


Lumo said...

Wow. The day to day misuse of the ambulance service never ceases to amaze me. At least you got a compliment, 'you're like gods', sadly a rarity these days.

I like your blog's new look by the way!

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