This Blog Post was originally published on adagia.org.
Note: This post was written almost 20 hours ago. I just didn't have time to publish it right away.
So, although the title is slightly misleading, I couldn’t think of a better one. I’m writing this right in the middle of a paramedic shift and I need to put it down fast. The next mission could just be around the corner.
Anyway. A few hours back my colleague and I were called to a nearby care home for the elderly. “Pressure inside the chest, hard time breathing, female, age 92, signals approved” was the brief description we saw on our tablet. Into the car, blue light on and off we drove.
Luckily the patient was still concussions and besides the pressure feeling, there was only the breathlessness. The local caretakers were already applying oxygen through a mask so breathing wasn’t an issue anymore.
We did a quick check and started to load the patient onto our stretcher. Meanwhile one of the caretakers said the following (freely translated): “You know you must go to the hospital. I had just a similar case recently and we didn’t transport XY (Name of the other person) to the Hospital. Quickly after she/he died”.
Our patient now was looking at me with sheer fear of death inside her eyes and I wasn’t sure what just happened. Did the caretaker really say that? We managed to calm the patient down. I think the caretaker didn’t even realise what she just said.
Of course, that sounds like a funny story and it is afterwards, but I can’t even imagine how the patient must have felt in that situation. I didn’t confront the caretaker about her sentence as we had to move the patient to the hospital quickly. I wonder what her thoughts were.