This was one of the funniest paramedic stories that I can tell you about in my past decade working as a paramedic. What makes it particularly humorous is how serious it all started off.
Despatch: “Car 688 – we have a 92 year old female with a possible, accidental stabbing to the head with a large knife.”
Car 688: “Thanks, we’ll stand off until Police are on scene for this one”
Despatch: “Negative – patient is a 92 year old female, who has accidentally stabbed herself in the head – Police not required.”
Car 688: “Thanks, we’ll be standing off until Police arrive – if this person has a large knife and is disturbed enough to stab herself, she’s likely to stab us.”
Despatch: “Negative, this has now been confirmed as a definite accidental self stabbing to the head – please attend without Police.”
I look at my work partner, as though to ask, is this dispatcher an idiot? “What do you think?” I ask my work partner. He smiles, and says: “They must know something we don’t know… we’ll go have a look.”
When we arrive, we have cursory look around the scene from the safety of the Ambulance. There’s no-one around – so I tentatively approach the front door, with my first aid kit in hand ready to throw at any knife wielding crazy granny, I put part of my foot on the screen door to stop anyone bounding out with a knife. I then knock at the door and state: “Hello, Ambulance… Did anyone call an Ambulance?”
At this point, I’m greeted from behind the screen by a polite, softly spoken, 92 year old lady, with a face covered in blood, and a large kitchen knife stuck 8-10 centimetres into her skull. She smiles and says: “I’m okay, I’d just like someone to take this thing out of my head.” From the position that the knife is penetrating her skull, I believe it to be impossible for her to have done this to herself, so I ask “Is there anyone else in the house? Do you know where the person who did this to you has gone?” She replies: “No, no, there’s no-one here dear… would you like to come in for a cup of tea?” A cup of tea, she asks me? Is she kidding, does she not realise that she has a giant knife sticking out of the top of her head?
Eventually, she convinces me that its safe to come in and I ask her to sit down, while I assess her. My partner has a look around the house and sees a lot of red throughout the kitchen – hmm, that’s not good… fortunately it’s a small house, and my partner is able to quickly determine that there’s no-one else in it.
So, I get to ask the number one question: “Can you tell me what happened?
She then proceeds to explain how: “It’s Australia Day dear… and I never had kids… and Patty, well, she died last week, so I don’t have many people left around… so, I thought, I’m going have a really nice bottle of wine by myself (Grange $500+ a bottle). But then, when I got home, I couldn’t find a bottle opener… so I tried to pry the cork out with this knife… I still couldn’t get it open… so I then got a hammer and tried to hit the knife with the hammer (lightly) so that the cork popped out… but I still couldn’t get it out and got frustrated… so I decided to hit the knife once, really hard and hope it would cause cork to pop out….
Unfortunately, as I hit the knife, and the cork popped out, the knife ricochet off the bench, into the air, and landed directly on my head… and now… dear… I can’t seem to get the knife out of my head!
The patient had the knife surgically removed later that day and was discharged from hospital with no complication in two days time.