29 June 2005

Furious II

In my post "furious" I described my reaction when a fellow EMS Pilot got off into an area he knew nothing about when he compared Iraq to Viet Nam.

Now there is an aside to that story.........

He was on duty last night. In the wee hours, he was put on standby for a "gunshot wound to the head".

A few minutes later the flight converted and he was airborne........a 10 minute flight to the scene.

Four minutes from landing, with the red and blue lights of many emergency vehicles in sight, he was aborted..........the patient was pronounced dead.
He flew back to our base and landed.

Upon landing, the phone rang..........his girlfriend on the phone.
"Your brother just shot himself. He's dead."

Imagine the permutations of this story........

The aircraft arrives and the patient is still alive. The pilot, wanting to help his brother in whatever way he can, insists on loading him and flying him to the trauma center.

If you are the flight nurse and paramedic, do you trust the pilots' mental ability to fly under such circumstances?

If you refuse to fly because of the pilots' emotional involvement, and the patient dies because of the delay in waiting for another aircraft/ambulance, what are the legal, moral, and emotional ramifications?

I'm sure local EMS operations deal with similar circumstances, maybe not frequently, but certainly more often than we "flying ambulance" folks do.

But it's a hard question, and maybe one we should address before we have to do it under EXTREME pressure.

3 comments:

Rubberducky1.0 said...

Three posts in a row of depressing items. You need a hug or something.

As for Harvey. I am not as old as either of you, but at a mild 29 I have had my share of his voice. Growing up, listening to him was part of my fathers routine and it was defenetly looked forward to. I say enjoy his final bit of time, I've always been told its the goodtimes that stick with you. Smile, be greatful to have been part of his era, and for goodness sakes give us something perky to read. (insert smile here)

Greybeard said...

I will take a hug every time it is offered! Did you offer?

Funny, I didn't perceive all those posts as "negative". Maybe it's just my getting older, but I would call the Paul Harvey post one of melancholy.....happy/sad.
I hope you took from it that he has been a bright spot in my day for years. Thinking of those years warms my heart!
And the hearing protection post? If you considered that depressing, I'll save a hug for you!

But your point is taken. Non-depressing post, comin' right up!
GB

medicmom said...

First off....here's a {{{hug}}}. ;)

I don't think I would have trusted his ability to fly had it panned out that he landed and found his brother. As a medic, I would have probably cancelled the flight for safety reasons and opted for ground transport or another pilot/chopper. But then again, it might depend on the individual. Some people are top notch in a situation like that while others completely fall apart. Plus it would be a little different in the air vs. on the ground. There is no room for error while flying I would think.

Fortunatley, I have never had to deal with any of family members on a bad call. I think that I would be able to hold myself together but you just never know.