13 February 2007

The Mystery Patient

"Your patient is a 21 year old male. He has severe trauma to his right hand, including fractures, lacerations, torn tendons, and glass and metal contamination."

We arrive to find a red-headed kid that looks like "Butch" from "Our Gang's Little Rascals" waiting for us.
Dad, (also red-headed), is sitting, concerned, in the room with him. Right now "Butch" is frightened with the prospect of losing his hand. But he looks like the kind of kid that would otherwise seek a fight, or, if necessary, start one himself just for the entertainment.

My paramedic asks, "How'd this happen, partner?"
- Looks at his Dad... "I ain't sayin'."

As usual, alcohol is involved. He's not falling down drunk, but he's gonna feel more pain in a couple hours... maybe a little headache too.

His injury is serious. Several bones are broken, two tendons are completely severed. His hand looks like roadkill, and is peppered with shards of glass, rocks, and small metal bits. He needs a specialist, and quick.

We load him aboard the aircraft and get started toward the help he needs. Over the intercom I ask my crew the first question that comes to mind:
"Did he and Dad steal a car and wreck it?"
During the 25 minute trip, he offers no clue.

I land at the receiving hospital, unload crew and patient, and head to our main base to refuel.
When I return to pick them up, my crew is smiling- away from Dad, sobering up a little, Butch had spilled the beans:
"You guessed it, Greybeard! He and Dad stole a car and wrecked it. He had his hand out the window, and the car rolled over and crushed it."

Oh well.
Even the "Butches" of the world deserve and get good medical care.


The Old Man said...

Glad I don't have excitement like that where I work. Learned ~35 years ago that excitement can be over-rated.....

clint said...

we never think about the fact that you guys help not only those who deserve it, but those who don't...thanks for what you guys do.

mkquilts said...

What a bunch of fools. Imagine a father dumb enough to help his son steal cars. Plus there's a reason why one is not supposed to hang one's arm out of the window of a moving vehicle.....
Thank you for risking your life to help others - even the idiots who pull stunts like this.

Aviatrix said...

Impressive guess, Greybeard. A llifetime of experience, I guess.