Sunday, August 23, 2009


The job was given as a 'simple' "Diarrhoea and Vomiting" run. A GP had been out to the lady and had requested that a non-emergency ambulance take her into hospital.

We turn up at the address, and I start talking to the patient. Firstly, turns out there's absolutely no history of diarrhoea. So where that came from, I just don't know. Secondly, it's been over 10 hours since the GP was on scene, even though they only booked the ambulance transfer 2 hours ago. Why it took them 8 hours to book the transfer, I don't know.

But the fun doesn't stop there.

I'm talking to the patient, and thinking to myself, "God this lady looks pale."

I ask where the pain is.

"In my chest. Right in the middle."

On further questioning, it turns out to be a central crushing chest pain, radiating into the back, rated 8/10. There's no history of cardiac problems in the lady's family, but rather upsettingly, it turns out she was a grey/blue colour this morning while the GP was on scene. She's now either pale or starting to turn jaundiced (it's hard to tell in the poor light!)

Maybe that prognosis should have been, "? cardiac problems which I'm going to leave at home for 10 hours so she can slowly die whilst in pain." That would have been more accurate.

We scoop and run with the patient, and the nurse at hospital looks appalled when we turn up with the patient at A&E. I think the sanitised version of he said goes something like: "That's no £$%^&*@ GI tract problem! £$%^&*@ GP!"


Spara said...

Hey Nick, interesting job, saddly this is almost becoming a daily occurence. Sometimes the fault lies with the GP sometimes its control. I have been dispatched to a lady on the RRV who was a GP referal from 3 days previous which the Dr had requested a PTS transfer for. Although some how our control got it into there heads that a Red Call response would be most appropriate.

Also another incident similar to this I am finding we are coming into contact with on an almost daily basis is patients rining up NHS Direct and asking for some medical advice. Describing their symptoms and immediately being dispatched an ambulance because thye mentioned the word chest and pain in the same paragraph lol.

PT had actually been suffering from flu like symptoms for past 3 days which hadn't improved. Pain on Expiration, productive cough of green sputum and pyrexia. LoL the system needs reviewing because its putting a rediculous strain on our resources!

Sorry I disgress...

Back to your PT, did you ever find out whether it was cardiac related or does the GP get to keep his job for another day to continue miss diagnosing and underestimating his PT's conditions? Not that they would get struck off anyway, that only seems to happening if your a Paramedic and sneeze in the wrong direction!!! :-(

Nicholas Hough said...

Hi Spara,

Firstly, sorry for the delay in responding (assuming you even see this)! I don't know, but I doubt that anything would have happened to the GP...