05 May 2005

It's Best to Be Nice!

We deal with a lot of drunks in my business! More than half the accident scenes we fly to have at least one driver that is legally drunk. We all know drunks can be obnoxious. Scared drunks can be even more so, and drunks that know they may go to jail can be frantic!

Head injured patients can also be combative and obnoxious. Something about getting your bell rung really well puts your body into "fight or flight" mode, and since you are strapped to our stretcher, your only recourse is to be obnoxious. Our crews know this, and take it into consideration.....head injured patients can't help it.

Years ago I flew a 17 year old soccer player that was head injured in a serious accident. This kid was 6' 2" and ALL muscle. He broke a leather restraint on his leg and proceeded to kick the window out of the helicopter! How did my crew handle this?

I love my med crews. They are professionals, and they don't do this job for the money.....you can make far more in the hospital environment! They do this job because they want to give great emergent care to people in big medical trouble! They regularly amaze me with their ability to do their jobs under stressful, changing conditions!

And they know how to handle combative patients. There are wonderful medicines...... succinylcholine chloride........pavulon, that paralzye patients. When paralyzed, patients quit breathing for themselves and my crews have to breath for them manually. With succinylcholine, (sux), the patient is fully concious and aware they can't breathe. Crews using "sux" will normally administer a strong sedative so the patient goes to "La La land".......the patient could care less who is in charge of the breathing! Life is wonderful!
This is great for everyone.......the patient doesn't kick out the window, and my crews have an easier time dealing with other injuries the patient may have.

I had a dream last night:

In my dream! We had picked up an obnoxious drunk and despite the best effort of my crew to rationalize with him, he was still spitting, cursing, and causing lots of trouble!
He raised the ire of my med crew, and after they had administered the "sux", they temporarily "forgot" to give him the sedative.

In my dream! My medic was looking the now calm drunk straight in the eye as he gave him a breath of air....... now and then.....making sure the "spitter" knew exactly who was in charge!

Of course, this was only a dream! Don't think this EVER happens in real life!
(I told you never to think this happens in real life......IT WAS ONLY A DREAM!)

My point is this. If you have been drinking and are involved in an accident, and find yourself in the bright light and extreme noise that describes the cabin of my helicopter ambulance..........be very nice to my crew! They have serious powers and can make your life better, or absolutely miserable!

I'd hate for my dream to come true!

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