Things aren’t always what they seem at first. When people are describing what has happened to them when they call 999 for help, it can be open to interpretation and even a small breakdown in communication can mean we find something completely different to what we were expecting when we arrive. Language barriers, third party callers and bad connections among other things may all contribute to the problem.
Let me give you an example ‘Male cut leg on food blender’ doesn’t sound too ominous does it? In fact maybe this patient should just take a painkiller, pop on a plaster and man up!
Well, when we arrived and found that actually this was rather more ‘Male cut leg on a great big, heavy, spinning, circular saw’ type of injury we realised quickly that a plaster and a couple of painkillers may not suffice. As we peeled off the two blood soaked sweat shirts to see what we were dealing with we discovered a deep wound that had reached the bone, it would certainly need some skilled surgical intervention. So, after we applied a pressure dressing and administered some serious painkillers through a cannula in to his arm we popped him to hospital ‘quick-as-you-like’.
Another patient was described with injuries thus ‘Female hurt foot when she dropped her drawers’ Oh come on, be honest, it instantly conjures up various possible scenarios in your mind, well it did for me! I was eager to see this woman, she sounded interesting…. Sadly, it would appear that this was nothing more than a common or garden injury sustained while putting together some IKEA furniture. This furniture was accidentally dropped on the aforementioned foot and caused some nasty bruising and swelling. I was quick to point out to her that although she had given me ample fodder for jokes at her expense with her unintentional double entendre, I had admirably refrained from doing so - I am nothing if not professional and I think that she appreciated that.
Moving on in my assessment of her injury, I asked her if a she had taking any action to help herself deal with the pain and she replied;
“Well I’ve ‘levitated”
“‘Levitated’ you say?”I smiled encouragingly.
“Yes, since it happened, I’ve been levitating, you know?”
“Really? ‘Levitating’ excellent! Now I’d pay good money to see that, can you show me how you’ve been doing this ‘levitating’ please?” Promptly, she stuck her foot out in front of her.
“Ah – ‘elevating’ Well I’m sorry, but I’m not giving you any money for that!” I said, very disappointed.