Friday 18 November 2011

It's a Tuesday

"25 year old female, suffering despair, resentment, anger and fatigue"

The first job of the shift, more often than not, sets the tone. It generally dictates the calibre of patient you are likely to expect during the shift. For some bizarre reason shifts often tend to take on a theme. You have maternity nights where everyone is either pregnant with some kind of pain / bleed, in labour and needing a lift or about to give birth on their cream carpet. Other nights you may go to numerous RTC's or loads of pyrexic babies. Jobs come in clusters. Its just the way of the EMS world. This particular night was alcohol. Admittedly its common to have a lot of alcohol related calls but this many? On a Tuesday? I could rant for hours and no doubt I will but I thought I'd share my call log, as they were dispatched to me, to highlight what a massive problem alcohol is and what a huge drain on resources its causing.

19:01 "54 year old male. Intoxicated - unresponsive, been drinking for 8 days solid, patient has had 5 l of scotch, 1 l of brandy, bottles of wine and possibly more, been diagnosed as a functioning alcoholic"

20:13  "36 year old female. High blood pressure, drinking alcohol for 2 weeks non stop / not eating"

21:03  "Female. Potentially collapsed behind closed doors, female is an alcoholic. UPDATE: Patient has answered door but can't stand. Claims to have drunk 18 cans of special brew"

22:21  "Female has knife. Threatening suicide. Patient has been drinking a lot"

23:59  "20 year old male. Intoxicated - states cant move arms, legs or hands. Heart beating fast"

01:17  "30 year old male. ? Overdose, disorientated, agitated, packets of A.M.P. States harmful, not for human consumption"

02:28  "21 year old female. Vomiting. Lying in phone box. Friend states patient has consumed 2 bottles of vodka"

03:36  "46 year old male. Collapsed. ? Ethonolic. Upstairs of bus. Driver won't approach patient"

04:51 "18 year old male. Assault. Head injury. Patient has been drinking. "

05:55  "U/K female. Lying in bush, Shopping trolley on head, making funny noises. Patient has urinated herself"

07:50  "25 year old female, one and a half hours late off, suffering despair, resentment, anger and fatigue"

That was my night. That is why I was suffering despair. That is why I resented all of my patients. That is why I'm angry. And that is why I am tired. How can you stay enthused? How can you remain professional? How can you maintain a high standard of patient care? You can but try but I'd be lying if I said that at 03:36 in the morning I was polite, courteous and full of the joys of spring.


  1. Nice. And sad to say some dayshifts can be like that up here.

  2. @princesschar8922 June 2012 at 08:12

    The '18 cans of special brew' and 'trolley on head making funny noises' made me smile...this blog is the story of my life...I'm a drunk magnet! Crewmate two weeks ago (Sat night) hadn't had a 'drunk' job in town for over a year....6 in the night due to working with me! Strangely I quite like the alcohol related jobs is that wrong!?....

  3. I hear Tuesday is the new Friday. Only explanation for it.

  4. Sounds like a crappy night. But cheer up, it always gets worse :) -tim, NYC Medic


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