Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Night of Nosebleeds

Everything you are about to read happened after midnight.

It was a rather cold and rainy night, you know, the ones where you of course get a call in the worst location possible.

First up was a little old man and his wife, cute couple, had just come back from a late dinner with the kids when they realized they needed us. Or rather, he needed us. My partner and I schlepped up several flights before the wife let us in and led us back to the rear bathroom. There, standing over a new very red sink was a little old man with his nose poring blood.

And I mean poring. The white sink was nearly invisible under the blood, a trash can had also been graced with blood, and the towel held to the man's face was swiftly doing nothing. Upon seeing the scene I turned to my partner with that look of 'We are going and we are going now.'

A quick packaging, a set of vitals, and another towel later we are on the road. The poor guy said that something similar had happened two night ago but the bleeding had stopped on its own just as spontaneously as it had started. Unfortunately this time it would require a trip to the hospital. I felt a bit bad as I hung out as far behind his head as the bench seat would allow but whenever he spoke I could see the blood droplets leaving his mouth. Did I mention he was coughing up clots too?

Thankfully a quick trip to the hospital and a combination of cautery and packing, the nosebleed finally stopped. And here I thought the dispatch of 'nosebleed' was going to be bogus.

Sped forward to the wee hours of the morning just before the sun rises. Dispatched for a second nosebleed. As we rolled up to this one I refused to believe we would get two real serious nosebleed calls in one night.

I was wrong. Blood droplets were strewn across the house as another poor man pinched his nose in a desperate attempted to get it to stop bleeding. It had started that evening but seemed to stop enough for him to sleep. Well now there was blood everywhere so clearly that was a false alarm. While not as serious as the first, it was another trip to the hospital to figure things out.

This poor man had the added complication of having face-planted in a parking garage a few days early, breaking his nose and looking like he had been in serious fight. It was unknown if the nosebleed was from the previously broken nose or something new.

I may never dismiss a nosebleed call again.

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