Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ride Time - Day 1


It was an awfully long day yesterday. It started when I left the house at 5:15AM so that I could get to Malden, MA on time to do a 7:00A-11:00P ride shift. I got there in plenty of time, which was good. Hooked up with the medic that was precepting me (Rick Hanson - awfully good guy) and away we went.

Malden runs 1 24-hour medic truck and 2 BLS trucks, only one of which runs 24/7. The BLS trucks can go pretty much anywhere to pick up and transport patients, which isn't a surprise; that's the way it is in most EMS systems if BLS trucks are part of the scenery. In any case, things got off to a quick start as within 10 minutes of starting the shift we were out the door. We initially were sent out for an 8 month-old with a fever, which somehow got turfed to one of the BLS trucks. I'm not sure why, but since we didn't get contact with the patient, I likely won't find out, either.

The first real call was a 20 year-old male diabetic with an insulin pump in place who had a glucose of 50 mg/dl and his mental status was altered. I thought this was pretty unusual as I've seen diabetics with glucose levels lower than that who weren't altered, just sick. But since everybody is different, things can affect people in different ways, and our job is to treat them, which we did. A half-amp of D50 woke this gentleman up quite effectively, which was good because he was rather altered. He was verging on being combative with us, and the glucose was appropriate - he did wake up, he didn't quite know where he was, and it turned out he hadn't eaten in just over 24 hours. Because of the pump, we transported him.

Some of the other calls we had include a well-being check on a 32 year-old male who didn't need us to be there (his mother freaked out because he didn't answer his phone when she called - strange story there, but our involvement would have been inappropriate), an end-stage cancer patient who was having difficulty breathing, a dead guy who hanged himself - no way we were working him as he'd been dead for an unknown period of time and was still upright when we arrived, a 27 year-old male who overdosed on heroin (in Malden? No way!!) and was brought back to life by the power of Narcan, and a 90 year-old male with a possible DVT who started complaining of chest pain just as we arrived at the hospital.

All in all it was a very interesting day. It ended at 11:00PM last night and I got home at about 12:15 this morning. I will do it again on Thursday and Saturday in Everett. Next week it will be Tuesday and Thursday in Everett and Saturday in Malden. Hopefully I'll get signed off so that I can work the schedule I'll have in Boston - two 24's, Thursday and Saturday. They tell me I'll be working on the truck dedicated to the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital (the "BI"), but I'll see that when it happens.

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