Early in my shift I was sent to a young man who was complaining of feeling faint. When I arrived at the grotty estate I took a glance at the seedy block of flats with its boarded-up windows and was rather wary about going in. I called up our control room and asked if they would ring me back to check I was ok in a few minutes. I needn’t have worried though, because no sooner had I hung up than the young man himself appeared from the main entrance and walked over to me.
He looked pale – very pale – so I sat him in the back seat of the car with the door open and fetched some equipment from the boot. As I was beginning to take his blood pressure I asked him what the problem was. He told me that he had been at a party the night before and taken Ketamine; he had no bad feelings during the night but when he woke up a short while ago he felt terrible and called for help. As he spoke to me he started to look really dreadful; he began sweating profusely and then passed out completely.
So now I had an unconscious young man half in and half out of the back of my car! I laid him back and swung his legs and feet up onto the top of the door frame to help restore his blood pressure, then I quickly called control for backup and put some oxygen on him. Luckily I managed to get a cannula in to a large vein in his arm and ran in a bag of fluid.
The ambulance arrived promptly and the young man was just coming round as they pulled up. He still had a very low blood pressure so we transferred him on to the trolley bed and elevated the foot of the bed. He was blue lighted to the nearest hospital and once we handed over to the staff he recovered well enough for us to begin chatting with him. He told us that the last time he took Ketamine it gave him serious heart trouble and he ended up in hospital! It begged the question – why on earth did he do it again then? Sheepishly he promised this was the last time…