Paramedics often spend majority of their day performing routine tasks or transporting routine patients from their nursing homes to the hospital for check ups; however, every now and again, a paramedic gets to see things that most people will never see in a lifetime…
This is a story about one of those rare times in my paramedic career, when I can say that I had a really exciting day as a paramedic. I love my job, and I am constantly learning new things, both medically and just in my ability to control a difficult scene, but like all paramedics, I do particularly enjoy the exciting times.
We had spent most of the morning restocking the truck and performing the weekly drug checks and equipment checks (to make sure that everything was in date and in working order). The phone rang, and we had the first job of the day… a 34 year old male who had crashed his motor bike during a dirt bike race. When we arrived, we found that he had missed the landing for a major jump and had landed on both his legs on the pegs of the motor bike, but without landing on a down ramp, the force had been enough to fracture both his femurs… we managed his pain and immobilised him in case he had a spinal injury, and he was then flown out to a major trauma hospital by helicopter.
No sooner, had we cleared from this job, than we got another call over the radio to attend a 19 year old female who had rolled her car at high speed and was possible unconscious. It was a road not too far from where we had just left the helicopter. We arrived shortly afterwards, and found a few people trying to get into this car that had rolled and was currently on its roof. I found a female, laying upside down (with her seatbelt still on) who wasn’t responding to my voice (query unconscious).
Normally, we wait for a rescue agency (such as Firebrigade, SES, VRA or Ambulance Rescue) to gain access to the patient, but because I was working out in the country at the time, and the nearest Rescue Agency was more than 50 minutes away, I made the decision to use a crow bar and delicately break into the car with the help of some of the bystanders. This is more difficult and dangerous than it used to be, because with the introduction of airbags standard to most modern vehicles, the risk of damaging one of the compressed air cylinders during the process is high (if you have not been trained in Rescue) and this can lead to danger to the Rescuer and to the patient/s. We eventually got this young patient out of the car, and called for the second helicopter that day to assist with a medical team on board. The patient ended up having an enclosed head injury and a heamopneumothorax, which required urgent decompression.
After we cleared this time, we managed to get almost back to station (having mentioned to dispatch that we were running out of stock) before we got the message to attend to a woman who was 40 weeks pregnant and currently experiencing contraction pains. When we arrived, she was already in the bath and her husband was yelling “Its comming its comming” – I think we made it just in time to catch the baby and clean him up.
In that single day, I had the more paramedic excitement than I probably had in the whole previous month put together.