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Archive for August 11th, 2008

Emergencies

I was browsing Random Acts Of Reality and found an entry where he was talking about being called to an unplanned homebirth –  “A midwife was called for, and she told Control she would make her way there in her own car. I do have a slight problem with this. If an ambulance crew needs a midwife, it’s generally as an emergency, otherwise we transport the patient to hospital. If it’s an emergency then shouldn’t we pick up the midwife and get her to the job on Blue lights and sirens?” Exactly! Why doesn’t it happen then. Ambulance control have never offered to transport me, or any of my colleagues, I would take them up on it if they did ‘cos I love going in ambulances, especially when ‘blue-lighting’. Make that, ‘I love going in ambulances when they are blue-lighting on flat, straight roads’. Ambulances wallow, it can make you feel rather sea-sick, my old job-share had to be given anti-nausea medication if she was doing any type of transfer, she was never sent if it was likely to be urgent. I nearly, nearly got to do an air transfer once, I was so excited, going in a helicopter. Our NICU was full and we had a woman who was only 27 weeks pregnant but was in prem labour, the nearest unit with a ‘cot’ was 150 miles away and for about 30 minutes it looked as if we were going to have to ‘fly off’ there. Fortunately for the woman and her family a ‘cot’ became available at a neighbouring unit, unfortunate for me as I never got to go in a whirlybird. I have to say that I did have one concern and that was the return journey, as in, would they bring me back again? If we transfer between units via ambulance they will generally return us to the unit, sometimes via calls to other emergencies, but mostly we get back. If we are transferring a woman in to the unit from home we don’t get a lift back to her house, but our car is sitting outside there so we have to hope that a colleague will take us back or we have to make our own way. Wonder what happens following an air-transport?

I have often wondered though why, when we have been called to a woman ‘pushing’ or another urgent call, we don’t have green lights to put on our cars to alert other drivers to the fact that we are trying to get somewhere without unnecessary delay. Imagine it, you’ve just had a call to say that there is ‘a head on the perineum’ or (heaven forbid) a ‘breech delivering’ and you find yourself behind a tractor, or the couple who only take their car out once a month or, my personal favourite, the group of cyclists taking up half the road, if you sound your horn they just assume you are just an intolerant driver and do nothing to expedite your passing them however, if there was a green flashing light as well, they may not understand what it stands for, but I bet they would let you pass. Obviously, I would love to have a siren, or even a large white vehicle with fluorescent stripes but I will settle for a green, flashing, light!

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