Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hat Trick

A hat trick in soccer is 3 goals in one game. For my base a hat trick is the most flights we have done in a single 24 hour shift. I was working with my least favorite medic on my first shift back after a week of being off (family emergency type stuff... everything is fine now) and we did 3 flights.

The first was a lady who had the worst headache of her life (per her daughter the nurse) and had a history of hypertension. Now that should set off red flags... "GO TO THE ER NOW!!!" Nope, she went to bed, got up the next morning, got in the shower and DFO'd. Her husband found her in the shower with the water still running. Ems brought her to the small hospital we are based out of. They didn't secure an airway before Ct, bit after seeing the scan it probably won't make much of a difference anyway. I showed up as the MD was attempting to intubate. He got the tube, I checked breath sounds and then respiratory therapy set to securing the tube. This woman was NOT bright. When I asked her to hold the tube while I taped it she asked "what tube?" WTF?!?!?! So when the tube came dislodged and went into her belly.... she didn't even notice. We (my partner and I) told the doc the tube was out... but it wasn't until her sats were nonexistent, she went into V-Tach... then Brady to the 20's that they would let us pull the tube. What a fucking mess.

The second patient was another transfer out to "my" hospital. An 18 month old with a 1 time witnessed febrile seizure. She HATED my partner and screamed bloody murder whenever he spoke. She seemed fascinated with me, especially when I sang to her. (I always sing to my little patients) I sang 'Twinkle Twinkle, ' 'ABC's,' the Barney the Dinosaur Song and then I drew a blank. I couldn't remember another kids song to save my ass. She started whimpering so I sang the first thing that came to my mind 'Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw' by Buffett. The pilot had to stop what he was doing on start-up because he was laughing so hard.

The last flight was a scene call at 2am. Dude-man rolled a brand new full sized pick-up on the highway. He must have been doing over 100mph. He went over a 5 ft retaining wall, took out a huge power pole... the ones that run by highways with 8 or 10 wires on them... and then kept rolling to the treeline. He was confused, combative and kept screaming "why did you pick me?!?!?" He must have thought he was being abducted by aliens. Hehe... I think that makes me one of the little green men!

My next shift flying with the same medic.... complete shutout!!! Oh well.... I'm into my 5 day break now. The cop and I are going to relax and spend time together....

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hazards of the Job!

Its still hot as shit here. The thermometer in the aircraft hasn't dropped below 100 and I am starting to feel like a microwave dinner up there. Our base is located at a small rural hospital. The cath lab there is diagnostic only, so whenever there's blockage we get called to transport to a "real" interventional cath lab. This occurs on a pretty regular basis...almost like its own bus schedule!!! Some people are actually sick and go straight to the cath suite while others are just being taxied for a scheduled appt. Regardless.... "you call, we haul."

The last one of these we did was absolutely uneventful. Nice lady, beautiful (HOT) day. We were going to the airport to refuel when this motherfucker appeared....
He came from our 9 o'clock, on the same approach, dropped to our 8 o'clock and then started in for the same helipad we were. He was close enough that I could see the pilot and passenger... and they were not backing off. We made the *wise* decision to go around and let jackass go ahead and land since he obviously didn't know what the fuck he was doing.

I was mad as hell and told the medic NOT to let me be the first one out of the aircraft. He could have killed us all. The pilot (wisely) beat me over there and asked (probably WAY more tactfully than I) what had happened. The pilot had no idea that we were even there! Even though we call out our approach at 5,3 and 1 miles out, are SCREAMING YELLOW in color and he has a traffic warning system that far supersedes ours. He just didn't see us! I think he 1) wasn't looking 2) wasn't LISTENING and 3) really could give two shits either way. I took pictures to send to my boss with my 'Close Call Safety Report.'

We got a scene call later that evening. It was still a warm 99 and humid as hell. The firefighters had set up our LZ (landing zone) in a field across from the accident scene. A Ford Explorer Sport Trac had rolled several times and landed up against some trees. The patient was already out and we were to meet the ambulance which was parked next to our LZ at the woodline. During our briefing, fire mentioned that the grass in the field was "a little" high. Maybe 20 inches. (ok, lets get into the male idea of length here as it applies) 20 inches... you mean a little less than 2 feet, right? Cool, no problem. We land, I grab the bag and follow the medic out into the field. The grass..... a bit deeper than 2 feet. I'm about 5 feet on the nose and I DISAPPEARED into the grass. The medic has 12 inches height and a head start. I just kept running toward the trees with a 50lb bag on my back praying for no snakes and a machete!

The patient was a little banged up, but doing ok. I got my head start back to the (still running) helo and was able to snap this picture. I think it sums up my point of view!!!

The tail rotor was actually chopping weeds. Not really super safe. I guess these guys are going to need another LZ class.