Friday, March 19, 2010


Its 2300, maybe closer to 0000 on a dark but clear night in early December. Call goes out for a motor vehicle accident with one injured. Its back in NY so ambulance and engine are separate but everyone is going lights and sirens to the scene.

Its behind the college, two cars involved, a CRV T-boned a sedan. It doesn’t look bad, though the radiator has sprung on the CRV. The engine and PD are already on scene with one guy in the back of the CRV holding C-spine on our patient. Its a bit odd that its the passenger in the back of the CRV, not the driver of the sedan who got hit, that is our patient. Everyone else is out of the cars, looking a little dazed and the mother rather worried about her daughter now held in C-spine. The police officer and fire department are checking on the driver of the T-boned car and mother who had been driving the CRV who hit the sedan.

“I think I am kneeling on a cupcake,” comes the voice of the fireman in the back as the medic starts talking to the patient. And indeed, there is an empty plate sitting perfectly on the raised and folded seat that is the other side of the CRV. The smell of deployed airbag is strong as I can hear a bit of conversation from the passenger, saying how they didn’t know how the plate got there, just that they had been holding it before the crash, and yes they had a seat belt on. It seems that it was hard for them to breath because their chest hurt so much but they otherwise looked stable. No blood, no broken bones, no distressed breathing.

We get a collar and a KED on her before getting her on a backboard. There is back pain in addition to the chest pain, though its not midline or spinal, probably just muscle injury from whiplash or the likes. Its cold out but the patient is quickly moved to the ambulance so that the medic can finish his assessment. We quickly get a 12-lead on because of the chest pain and he listens to her heart. He doesn’t hear anything unusual though the 12-lead is virtually unreadable because she is shaking so much. Mom is in the front as we head to the hospital.

The medic strikes a friendly conversation up with the patient as we go, quickly establishing that the patient is okay mentally, rather shaken up and still has pain in their chest. They are sorry because in the end they are probably just freaking out over the chest pain but they are an EMT too and had just taken ITLS and of course the first thing through their brain after the accident was injuring their heart.

The patient is an EMT.

The patient is me.

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