Sunday, March 27, 2005

British summertime

I like this time of year, it means that we are now officially into the start of the lighter evenings of summer, it is also a nice feeling to be sitting at work and suddenly seeing that you only now have 5 hours left to work because you have suddenly jumped an hour because at 1am this morning, it suddenly became 2am (well we had to move the clocks forward ourselves). I hate this when you are working day shift, as you loose an hour sleep, but on nights it is probably one of the best feelings you can have.

Friday, March 18, 2005


It is amazing to think that someone who is clinically dead can have a pulse and be making breathing efforts some 30 minutes after they collapse, this happened to me last night. I was working with a paramedic and we had a call for a female who was unconscious and having difficulty breathing, as we sped along the country roads with lights flashing and sirens sounding we were updated by the EMDC (Control room) that the patient was now in cardiac arrest and CPR was ongoing. (Now any of you who have red my blog will know I have a kill to save rate of 100% kill so you can imagine what is going through my head) Upon our arrival we are met by the patient's brother who is relatively calm for the situation, we are shown into the house to see the patient's husband bouncing up and down on her chest and blowing air into her mouth whilst talking to someone on the phone in the EMDC to receive further guidance (Telephone CPR instructions is a standard protocol within the EMDC and all staff are trained to give these types of instructions out as and when required). We quickly take over and do our checks, Airway? Clear, Breathing? No, Circulation...? No, I take over at the head and secure her airway with an OP airway and start breathing for the patient using a bag and mask (anyone who has seen ER and Casualty will know what I mean) and doing chest compressions whilst my colleagues connects up our defib, the machine shows PEA so I continue doing CPR whilst my paramedic colleague gains IV (Intra Venous) access for a drug route. We give the woman 1mg of Epinephrine and swap places, my colleague then secures the patient's airway with an ET tube and continues to ventilate the patient whilst I do CPR, I listen to make sure that he has placed the tube in the correct place and I hear bilateral breath sounds and I get him to stop for a moment, he looks at me with that "Oh shit I have not got the tube in correct" face, but I tell him it is in and I can also hear a heart beat, we check for a pulse and yes it is true there is one to be felt. I get the brother to help me collect some more equipment from the vehicle and go back into the house, we get the patient onto our stretcher, secure her and make sure the ET tube is well secured and begin our tricky exit (up a flight of stairs, along a dark path, up another steep hill incline to avoid the second set of tight steps and then into the Ambulance) all whilst breathing for the patient. Once we have her in the vehicle, we check the ET tube again to make sure it has not dislodged and prepare for moving off. The patient's husband and daughter are in the back of the vehicle with my colleague and I request the A&E department resuscitation team be standing by to accept the patient. We arrive and the family are shown the door to A&E for public, my colleague and I take the patient into the Resuscitation room where we are met by the team (2 Doctors, 1 Operating Department Practitioner , 2 Nurses and 1 Senior Nurse) who accept the patient into their care and take our handover. My colleague and I then return to our vehicle and start the task of clearing up and completing all the necessary paperwork. Once this is done we return to the station for our meal break and celebrate with Pepsi and chocolate bars (imagining them to be alcohol and expensive take aways!!!) We checked on the patient some 10 hours later and found out that she had been transferred to the ITU and was still making some efforts to breathe on her own.....

Death Nil Scotsmedicman and paramedic partner 1

Monday, March 07, 2005

British Justice

Well I was supposed to be attending a court case today as a witness (a guy tried to assault me and a colleague whilst we were dealing with a pregnant female in December), so as per normal instructions, I called the court to see if I was still required to attend, fully expecting them to say that I my delight I was told by the nice lady on the phone that I am not required as the person had pleaded guilty on Friday YIPEE!!!!!! now you may wonder why I am happy about this, but I was totally terrified about going to court, I don't really know why, but my b/f was very supportive and gave me lots of good advice last night when he could have just told me to relax. Oh well I suppose I had better get ready for some real work now!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I woke at 4:30am this morning and looked out the window, it was damp outside, but clear, I thought to myself I have another hour in bed before I need to get ready for work. I got back up at 5:30am and got shaved, showered and dressed thinking to myself it would be a 5 minute drive to work at this time of the day.......Oh was I wrong!!!

I opened the door to be confronted by the blizzard which was blowing outside, the same blizzard that had covered my car with about 1/4 of a tonne of snow!!!

Now don't get me wrong, I like snow, I like walking in snow, I like the look of snow on the hills, but I bloody hate snow on roads that have not seen a gritter for days! It makes everyone drive like a blood idiot as well. The first job of the morning was a 30 yes 30 car accident on the M8, we (my colleague and I) were stood down as we were not required, but having arrived back on station and checked the vehicle we were taking for the day (we had taken a spare as our vehicle was not back for our start of shift) we were sent out to an emergency for a 72 year old female who had chest pains, now she lived about 7 minutes away from the station in normal driving conditions, but it took us nearly 25 minutes to get to her because the other drivers on the road did not understand that we could not magically orb past them and that they would have to give us some space in the snow bound roads.

Oh it is amazing how a bit of snow can cause so much chaos to the central belt of Scotland.