Sunday, April 22, 2007

Another Day at the Office??...

God, what a day this has been!...

It was an ominous start.. I am on-call today, and I was planning to get to the Department, as usual, just before 9am.. At 07:45, my colleague who was on-call Saturday rang me.. He said that he was contacted by the Nurse in-charge about a road traffic crash (RTC) involving three seriously injured people.. As he was planning to head off to London very soon, he wondered if I could start my on-call a bit earlier (we change over at 9am every morning)... Needless to say, I assured him that he can get on his way, and that I will be in the Department within ten minutes..

So I set off bit earlier than I had intended, and got to the Department (breaking every land-speed record known to man!..) before the casualties started arriving, which allowed me time to organise the team and prepare for the reception of the three injured people..

The three casualties came in quick sequence.. All three were quickly assessed, initial resuscitation started, various scans and x-rays done, and a number of emergency life-saving procedures performed.. Within an hour or so, one man was already in Theatre, undergoing surgery to have his pelvis fixed by the Orthopaedic Surgeons. Another was being cared for by the Neurosurgeons and the Intesivists on the Intensive Care Unit, and the third was eventually admitted for observation, after having a couple of minor fractures reset, and several facial lacerations sutured.. It took us two-and-a-half-hours to sort them all out and hand them over to the various specialist teams..

By that time, the Waiting Room was like Central Station.. standing room only!.. It seemed that the whole of Lancashire decided to pay us a visit today.. Suddenly, the week-old cough, the two-month-old back pain, and the ankle sprain that happened three days ago, cannot wait any longer... I guess there isn't much to watch on the telly, so people come to the Emergency Department for entertainment!..

On top of that, yesterday the weather was nice in Lancashire, and we had the promise of more nice weather today, even if not much of that promise did materialize... The morning was grim and dark, but it did brighten up in the afternoon.. and believe me, nice weather does not suit the Brits.. they are genetically designed to have their moronic tendencies displayed, at the slightest hint of sunshine or blue skies.. kids on their bicycles, youths on rugby fields, adults on motorbikes or in fancy cars, hapless DIYers, yobs with too much alcohol on-board, and middle-aged men (but refusing to admit it!..) doing mad things they have not done in thirty years.. the result of this explosive mixture? Accidents.. and more accidents.. not to mention the countless cases of asthma, insect bites, allergy attacks, as well as the 'usual' quota of 'ordinary' illnesses...

The Air Ambulance landed on our Helipad seven times today.. our average is four Air Ambulance transfers a month!!.. Our Prehospital Emergency Trauma Team (lovingly known as PETT) was called out four times.. our average is twice a month (we only tend to go out to RTCs with entrapment.. otherwise, it is better to get the casualty to us).. These are new and unprecedented records, smashing the previous records (for which, incidentally, I was the proud holder!!..) by a long way!.. Well, they don't call me DisasterMaster for nothing!..

Amidst the carnage, there were some touching stories of simple courage, human vulnerability, and pure stupidity!... the five-year-old who fell in the canal, trying to save his dog!.. (I am pleased to report that both child and dog have recovered from the ordeal!..).. the mother who was trying to impress her child with her bicycle-riding skills, but forgotten how steep the the road outside her house was.. (the result: a minor fracture to the foot, and a badly-bruised pride!..).. then the idiot who, after a few pints of lager, wanted to prove to his mates that the fart is flammable!.. (He farted while holding a cigarette lighter close to his bum.. His fart ignited, sending a blast of flames towards a pile of dry leaves they had collected, setting it ablaze.. three of the youths sustained burns to their hands when they tried to put the burning leaves out!.. The human flame-thrower suffered superficial, but very painful, burns to his nether regions... but he has proven his point!..)..

So, after all, this was just another day at the office...
I'd better get some rest.. I am totally whacked, and I have a full day tomorrow... and what's more, today is not over yet.. the night is still young...

(Picture: 'Pandemonium' by Halcyon83, Source:


KJ said...

My God, doc, what a hectic day! I can't say I really know how you feel except if I watch ER - but I salute you all doctors for putting up with all of us oafs on those days!

Here in Dubai it is always sunny, and when it rains everyone goes into that craze you talked about. So many accidents and so many odd stuff happening around. Especially since the sand dunes harden up with the water, regular cars start climbing the dunes and either get sutck or tumble down when some patch is not wet enough and the car loses balance. Sigh.

Anyway, go rest... sleeping is the best part of the day, and soon it will end with that cursed alarm clock

Rime said...

Salamat Disaster Master and compatriot who makes us proud! I love those stories of yours, I wish you had more time to give us more.

I absolutely loved the part about Brits being "genetically designed to have their moronic tendencies displayed" ... (when I'm fed up with life in Britain, which is admittedly increasingly often, I will quote you but without the reference to sunshine).

Last weekend I took the baby out for a walk in one of the "greens" near my house; you could smell the alcohol in the air. The only spots of green not occupied by half-naked red people were littered with glasses and bottles and pitchers and cans ... beer, lager and Pims as far as the eye could see. Lovely atmosphere for a baby of course.

But I digress. :)

So good to read you, as always.

Lujayn said...

I enjoy your stories tremendously, Syrian Brit. You weave the narrative with background information and your perspective on things so beautifully. I agree with Rime, wish you had more time to write.

Hope good health settles over your county soon, and you can get some rest.

abufares said...

No wonder you are a fan of M*A*S*H!
You see Doc, the general consensus is that you should write more often. Once a week seems plausible enough and it's the minimum we would take.
Loved your story, enjoyed your narrative, but wait a minute, no mention at all of the sexy nurse(s) we have come to expect in medical soaps!

And Rime, they are all red or pink, you're right. I'm going to get into trouble here but I have to say it anyway. When I was a little kid on the beach, we could always spot the Damascenes or the Homsis... They were very white with red necks and pink arms. At the end of the day, they all looked like a Farrouj 3al Sikh (Badly sunburned) hahahahaha: that was a hysterical laugh by the way.

Yazan said...

I have to agree with everone else Doc, brilliant writing, that we need more of.

Abu Turath said...

You have guts doing A&E or is it orthopaedics/trauma? Obviously you are cut out for this kind of thing!!!

How are you and your department dealing with MTAS/MMC fiasco?

The Syrian Brit said...

Thank you all for the kind words.. I am truly flattered to read such complimentery comments about my writing, coming from such accomplished writers like yourselves.. I am humbled and flattered..

Welcome aboard, my friend.. I guess what you describe is a 'mirror image' of what happens here when the sun comes out!.. Thanks for dropping by..

I know exactly what you mean when you say: 'Lovely atmosphere for a baby, of course..'.. I am sorry to be the harbinger of doom and gloom, but the real worry is when the baby is a teenager or a young adult!!..
Thank you very much for the lovely compliment.. I, too, wish I have the time (and the material.. and the imagination.. and the style.. and the stamina..) to be able to write more often...

Abu Fares,
Sexy nurses??.. I wish!.. The joke we have around here is that our nurses have been recruited and hand-picked (for their looks) by a committee comprised of all the wives!..

Thank you for the kind words.. I will try to oblige..

Abu Turath,
My friend, I am in Emergency Medicine (Careful!.. Not A&E anymore.. our Speciality is now known as Emergency Medicine, not 'Accidnet and Emergency Medicine', and certainly not 'Casualty'!!...)..
As for MMC/MTAS, it is a fiasco.. and what we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg.. We have no idea how things will pan out in August.. but neither does anybody else!!.. God help us all...

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Great post SB, we've been missing these interesting entries!

Philip I said...

SB, your dedication is truly inspiring and stories fascinating. Amid all the tragedies you always seem to find some absolutely hilarious real-life stories, but they are only funny because of the way you tell them. All of this makes your blog a great read, so I would certainly endorse the popular demand for more!

The Syrian Brit said...

Thank you very much for the kind words, Philip I.. Again, I am flattered and humbled by such kind words coming from a writer of your stature..
I so wish I could oblige.. but I promise I will try and do better..