I've spent the past two days on an RRA transfer ambulance. Overall, not terribly exciting, but I have had better tours than the one I had yesterday. In Nashua, working on ALS-7. We did nothing - absolutely nothing - until about 1430. Then we got calls. Three of them in a row. I didn't get out until after 1900 (when shift ends at 1700), which is not terribly unusual in itself. And I have to say that the third patient we transported made it worth getting out late for.
A 31 year-old male with multiple contusions and abrasions across his extremities and his back - especially his back - was at the doc in the box that is affiliated with one of Nashua's finer hospitals (okay, there are only two, and the choice is relative at best). He needed to be transported to the affiliating hospital for a CT scan of his spinal column to rule out vertebral fractures. While in itself that doesn't sound like such a big deal, his mechanism of injury was such that it made me believe that some people are more deserving of a Darwin Award than others. This one was one of them.
The Friday night prior, he and a friend of his, both staying at an area campground, decided they wanted to see how fast they could get a golf cart to travel. From what I'm told, the friend weighs in at somewhere around 400 pounds - keep this in mind. Plus, the friend modified the golf cart's motor so that it would put out more power.
Once they got the golf cart up to speed - approximately 25 miles per hour - they lost control and the cart attempted to roll. But remember the 400 pound friend in all of this; he provided enough ballast for the cart not to roll, but it made a hard right turn and crashed sidewise into a tree. Our patient was thrown off of the seat and slammed back first into the tree's trunk.
He was lucky; his injuries were not life-threatening. No loss of consciousness, no cervical spine injury, no loss of sensation in his extremities. But he was having back spasms from the muscle injury he sustained, plus he'd been given multiple doses of Dilaudid for pain, and all that happened to him was that he had an allergic reaction to it. So he got some Benadryl for that, and he was still itching when we arrived at the hospital.
Someone please tell me that this is a true Darwin Award candidate.....