Friday, November 18, 2005

What pattern is your Brain?

Well I picked this one, not sure if it is really me, I am sure friends will let me know if it is not true!

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


This is the Code that came through on Sunday afternoon. This was followed by a message "Two children hit by a car" so we were off, blue lights flashing and sirens wailing through the sleepy country roads filled with the drivers who for the first time this month check their mirrors as we come barrelling up behind them looking like what can only be described as "A Christmas tree on wheels"

As we arrive we see a car half up on the pavement outside a local shop, with a crowd of people standing about doing the usual shuffling from foot to foot. I get out the vehicle and grab the response bag and oxygen whilst my colleague informs the EMDC (Control room) that we are on scene. I quickly look around for the two children, but seeing nothing I look up and a member of staff speaks to me saying that the two children are in the back of the shop. Picking my way through the shop with my colleague following we arrive in the store area and are greeted with two snot/tear faced 6 year old children being comforted. The little boy's mother is there, unfortunately she is deaf and this makes it more difficult to communicate with her, but we manage eventually. The little girl is the niece of the mother and she is more upset and is being comforted by the boy's mother. I start to examine them and find that they have superficial injuries, the little girl has an abrasion on her back and an egg forming on the back of her head, but she is fully conscious and eventually chatting away after we dry the tears etc. Her little friend also has an abrasion to his back and a smaller one on his ankle, like his friend he is chatty and happy to give me all the information I need. A second crew arrive just as I have finished checking the children and they check the driver, who is shaken, but un-injured and does not wish to travel to hospital.

Both the children reel off their full names, home addresses and telephone numbers when asked. I eventually find out that they were crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing, but the button was faulty and therefore failed to active the light sequence, they carefully walked across the road hand in hand to go and buy some sweets (candy).... unfortunately they had not anticipated that the car coming down the road through the green light may actually hit them before they are safe across the road. The car clipped them both, even although the driver had attempted to try and avoid hitting them when he saw them and they were knocked to the pavement like skittles apparently still holding each others hands.

We transported them and the mother of the boy to the local hospital with the father following in his car. They were handed over to the care of the nursing and medical staff at the hospital to get checked out and were discharged shortly afterwards, sore but overall well.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Going Woo Woo, Nee Naw...........

I have just had the pleasure and privilege of attending only the 3rd session on Driving under Police Escort. Now in the Service you are trained to drive an Ambulance at high speed, safely and with consideration to your colleague, patient and other road users, but the one thing that is not covered is driving under escort. The Training Team working with the Police Traffic Unit and arranging a joint training day has now rectified this within my Division.

Basically we arrived at the Traffic Unit at Police HQ and were made welcome with coffee and scones and then we were introduced to the team and shown some presentational material and a training video. We were then split into groups and were taking through the practical aspects of driving at high speed. We looked at working with both Traffic Cars and Bikes and saw the difference between them. Travelling at high speed with blue lights and sirens is not all fun and games, there is a very serious side to it, which, if you make the wrong judgement not just you could suffer...

It was still good to see how well the Traffic Unit handled their vehicles at high speed and WOW those cars and bikes can really move when they need to... who needs a face life when you have traffic cars!!!

First Aid Camp

I have recently returned from a first aid camp, this was the first one I had organised and I have to say to all those involved, especially the Scottish Casualties Network a very very big thank you!

The camp started on Friday evening at 1900hrs and by 2030hrs everyone had arrived and the introductions were over so it was onto business.... we ran some small scenarios which were 4 patients all with the same injuries who had a team of first aiders responding to them and dealing with what they found. The teams were a mix of newly trained first aiders to people who had been doing first aid for many years. The evening flew in and it was time for the children to retreat to their dorms and allow the adults to relax and get to know each other better over a small drink :)

0715hrs on Saturday morning and Kal, A (from SCN) and myself were in the kitchen starting breakfast (well I didn't do much cooking.... but I was there to supervise). Breakfast was well received by everyone, the bacon was cooked, the eggs were scrambled and the sausages were sizzling (to which Dillon the search dog was sniffing out). The second day of camp was mixed between lectures and scenarios, to which everyone seemed to respond with a positive outlook. After lunch it was back outside to do more work, new teams with different skill mixes, radios were introduced and triage of patients was expected to be done on the patients they were now treating. The evening meal came around quickly and people who had been first aiders were given the chance to become casualties for the next scenario, after this finished the children were sent to their dorms again to relax and prepare for bed. At 2355hrs the adults were setting up for another scenario, which was going to stretch their skills to the limit....

The scenario was ready and at 0005hrs on Sunday morning the team were called to respond to a "Safe house" which had been raided and the occupants were beaten, tied up and left for dead. There was no lights, it was unsure if there were traps set to explode, after it was found to be safe, and working with torch light only we (the team of 8) were sent into a small 10" by 10" room to triage, treat, transport and deliver further care to the hostages. The scenario went on for an hour, with all the patients removed and treated successfully, with limited equipment, poor lighting and a massive emotional pressure to deal with everyone in a compassionate and caring manner. At 0130hrs everyone was exhausted, but high on adrenaline and after a well-deserved drink we all retreated to our dorms.

Sunday morning came too quickly for some and it was back to the three of us in the kitchen preparing another cooked breakfast, feeding the 20 people who were at the camp, and it was time to start the scenarios again, these passed quickly and it was time to pack up, clean up and go home.

Having spoken with a few people who attended the camp on Monday and Tuesday it was apparent that they enjoyed the camp, but felt mentally and physically exhausted....... I was glad it was not just me getting old!

Oh well not long till the next one :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Life changing

Well I spoke to one of the nurses who looked after my patient with the head injury and it turns out that he will probably be left with permanent brain damage and speech problems and he is being transferred to a brain injuries unit for rehabilitation. It is such a shame that someone who goes out for a few drinks ends up having his life changed so dramatically.

A nice night for a spin

Well sitting in my Ambulance outside A&E after clearing from depositing our first patient of the evening (a female who had 3 seizures in a corner shop) I was on the phone to Kal and my colleague was using the facilities when our next call came in and it was to one of the two motorways in our area, albeit not the first one you would imagine we would be going to. So my colleague quickly hurries back to the vehicle and we start on our journey, now the heavens had decided it was a good time to release all the rain that was stored at once last night, therefore causing localised flooding on some of the roads and some patches of large puddles on the motorways. Now we are updated by the Dispatcher that we are backing up the Rapid Response Unit from the neighbouring area so as we turn onto the motorway we see the RRU just in front of us, accelerating away at a great speed into the rain and spray.

On our arrival at the scene (Lots of blue, red and orange flashing lights gives it away) we are met by a police officer who directs us to a car parked further up the hard shoulder, we pass the car involved in the incident, which is lying on its roof about 100ft up the embankment. We arrive at the second car and the three occupants of the car that has crashed start coming out, the female is covered in blood and resembling an extra from a horror movie. So there we are 3 ambulance personnel (RRU paramedic and my colleague and me) and 3 patients in the back of the ambulance, we pick a patient each and start to treat them, I get the mother, my colleague has the child initially and then helps the RRU paramedic with the father, who is complaining on neck pains. After cleaning up the mother and getting the father onto a spinal board and explaining to the son what is happening we start on our journey to Stirling A&E (As it's easier going there than turning back at the next junction and travelling further away to Edinburgh Royal which is the designated trauma centre for this type of incident). We provide a courtesy call to A&E to let them know that we are bringing in 3 patients so that they have rooms available for the patients. We eventually manage to hand over all three patients to the nursing staff and we start to clean our vehicle, which looks like someone has taken a bomb and set it off with the doors closed over to keep the mess inside!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

2 mid-week males!!

Well I am on nights at the minute and I have had an interesting shift. The workload was nothing to complain about, but two of the calls were ones that have stuck in my mind....

The first call was to a male who had been assaulted in a pub, it turned out that he had been struck across the head with a bar stool by a "Friend". When we arrived we were met by the barman who said "I think he might need a couple of stitches!”

Walking into the bar we were confronted with a male aged in his 30's lying on the floor with a bar towel being pressed firmly to the top of his head by one of the other staff, upon examining the wound it was approx 3cms in length but semi circular, the patient was responding but not fully aware of what had happened (GCS13 for those in the know), my colleague quickly handed me a large dressing to control the bleeding and went to get the chair, whilst she was away I carried out a quick head to toe survey and found no other injuries, speaking to the patient I noticed that he was still dazed and confused, having gotten him into the ambulance I was able to assess him further and found that he was showing a weakness to his right arm and leg. When we arrived at hospital, I handed him over to the staff and explained my findings and gave a provisional diagnosis...Male head injury? Bleed or injury to brain... 2 hours later he was transferred to a Neurological unit for surgery as his CT scan had shown that he had a fractured skull with small air pockets forming around his brain, I was tempted to go back to the bar and let the barman know that he needed more than stitches!

The second call was for a male, once again who was in his 30's and was feeling suicidal, when we arrived he was sitting in a bus shelter swallowing tablets by the handful, when speaking to him he said that he wanted to die, but couldn't manage to get to an area quite enough to hang himself. He was conscious and orientated, but just wanted to be left alone to die. Both my colleague and the two police officers who had turned up with us to find him were explaining that we were not going to just leave him in the street to die and that he was either going to hospital with us in out nice warm clean ambulance or he could travel in a police van, but one way or another he WAS going! Whilst all this was happening I was outside picking up the various packets of tablets and making a mental note of the quantities so that when I called ahead to the hospital they could run the tablets through the toxicology database and see what treatment he would need.