On Monday morning, I started a 36 hour shift. 24 Hour on Monday was my normal shift, 12 on Tues was Overtime. Now, normally these shifts are pretty decent. Being in the position I’m in, I don’t need to go out to all cases that occur in the area. We don’t have a dispatch centre and no callout criteria as the Emergency Services do. Market the hospital, liaise with the ambulance services and assist wherever possible. Sounds relaxing and easy? Should be and normally is, except this Monday Murphy decided to play with me. Monday started off decent, a few cases here and there, nothing to hectic. Then the sun went down... well! I was called for assistance at a motorbike accident. When I arrived the rider, early 20’s, was very critical (P1). As we started treating, his injuries, flail chest, amputation just to mention a few, was too great for him, and he “crashed”. Despite very aggressive resuscitation, he died on scene.
From there, raced out to the highway, where I found two cars had collided at high speed. Two P1’s entrapped in one car on one side of the highway, and two P1’s on the other side. With two ambulances on scene, and 4 very serious patients, I decided to call the heli. Fat chance... usual red tape and beaurocratic nonsense saw these patients going by road to hospital. So there I was cleaning VERY dirty equipment at the hospital, to be called out to yet another serious accident. I arrived there to find 5, yes, 5, P1 patients. Give me a break PLEASE... So after serious stress and hard work, this lot won themselves a ticket to theatre and ICU.
The next morning started out with two more MVA’s (Motor vehicle accidents) with P1 patients at those as well. If you start a morning like that you know that Murphy is without a question a wake and planning to “play” with you. Sure enough, I get called by plenty panicky people to go out to a motorbike accident. The patient (16 yrs old) ended up in the resus bay at hospital after colliding with a truck. Without revealing too much, we worked our asses off to stabilise him, to no avail, and ended up dying two hours later. Very emotional for all involved, and I commend all involved in the management of this young man, as we really worked hard.
So I thought that we were over. Say what... not so fast. Three P1 cardiac patients and a P1 poisoning to finish the day off. I was very glad to drop the car off and go home.