It's my first night back to work and the phone rings at 3:15 A.M.
I'm so tired I initially incorporate the ringing phone into my dream. I think it rang three times before I hoist myself up on one forearm and grab for it, dropping the receiver to the floor.
"Sorry! Hang on, I'm gettin' there."
Knowing it's gotta be dispatch I try to sound awake...
"Weather check for B-Ville please. It's a standby for a trauma patient."
A standby. Good. "Let me call you right back."
I jump into my flight suit and go to the bathroom, more to give my head a chance to clear than to relieve myself. After a quick check of area weather I call dispatch and say, "Yeah, we can do it."
"Then your flight is now a go. B-Ville to ******."
In the air we get the report...
"Your patient is a 36 year old female, victim of a rollover MVA, she was ejected. She weighs 170 pounds. She has suffered compound fractures of both wrists, a tib-fib fracture, and possible head injury. She is combative."
Big gal, probably had her bell rung good and is now in "fight or flight" mode. Since she is restrained, her only option is to FIGHT.
The flight to get her is routine but BUMPY... winds 15 gusting to 25 from the South.
She'll need drugs to calm her and keep her from throwing up all over my crew and our aircraft.
As always I shut down the aircraft and walk into the ER after my crew has started tending to our patient. Outside the trauma room I encounter a nurse holding a baby, less than a year old. Our patient fell asleep at the wheel and left the roadway at highway speed, clipping an abutment and rolling her car several times. On board with her are her two children, ages just under a year and 28 months. She is ejected. Somehow the unrestrained children remain in the car and are bruised and confused, but appear unhurt.
What causes folks to drive unrestrained?
Stupidity? Fatalism? "It can't happen to me"?
Whichever, this woman will be away from work for quite some time while someone else tends to her (uninjured, no thanks to her) infants.
Wear a helmet while riding ATV's, motorcycles, or horses.
Don't drive while under the influence.
Put me and my peers out of work.