Archive for October, 2009


October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Fairly uneventful day several months back, only 2.5 calls (note to self: the ambulance’s antenna works well to jimmy between the window and frame and carefully press the “unlock” button… just in case your partner hits the lock button with the keys still inside…). Had about 5 hours of standby and we get called for a trach patient bleeding from his trach.

Turns out to be relatively minor bleeding, but still, bleeding from your trachea isn’t a good thing. The patient was in his 60’s, and honestly didn’t seem like he should be in a nursing home. He couldn’t speak due to the trach (which he’s only had a month from laryngeal cancer), but clearly he was alert and oriented and was mouthing to us “I don’t want to go”. We reassured him we would get him there quickly and that the hospital wasn’t very busy, and had him agree that bleeding from his trach wasn’t a good thing. He nodded he would go.

As we were doing our assessment, a weird feeling came over me, as if through the 10 minutes of interaction I had with him I could tell he was a nice guy, and way too mentally “here” to be here, stuck in a nursing home full of people who he cannot converse with, and whom have many more disease processes than he does. After transporting enough nursing home patients, you develop a vignette of the type of person that is in a nursing home (usually some combination of demented, paralyzed, smelly, mildly comatose, etc). I guess in my eyes this guy didn’t fit the model. He served as a good reminder that each patient needs to be treated without assumptions, simply because he is from a place that lends itself to quick  stereotypes.

Categories: EMT