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Ambulance: Prayer

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

We were nonstop in the morning. Then they sent us to cover a suburban town. From the radio, I could hear the city was still busy. We parked next to a small basketball court that no one ever plays at. Since they shut down all the hoops in my hometown, I have been coming here on off days with my daughter, and I bring my basketball to work hoping to get sent out here to cover the town. I work on my free throws and three point shots while I wait for a 911 call to come in. No sooner did I get there today that the cavalry –the town rec department–arrived and, with apologies to me, they put boards across the hoops, per edict of the mayor. At least they let me make my last shot. I texted my daughter that our court was shut down, and she replied “Noooooooooo!”

My wife is officially on home isolation now. She needed me to get her a thermometer and so my partner and I drove all over town to all the big pharmacy chains, but no one had any. I tried Amazon, but they couldn’t promise a delivery until the middle of April. I finally found one at a 7-11,...

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Ambulance: Radio Traffic

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

“We’re going to need Decon.”

“Main Street, use full precautions.”

“We have an isolation patient.”

“Shortness of breath, fever, just moved here from New York.”

“4th Floor apartment, vomiting, fever, use precautions.”

“We need resupply, out of gowns.”

“Positive screen. Take all precautions.”

Patient on corner, just left hospital who wouldn’t test him because they are out of kits, wants a ride to another hospital.’

“Out at the hospital, give us a decon tag.”

And so it goes.

A guy I have known professionally for over twenty years is on a vent.

My boss at the hospital called and wants me to sit with him tomorrow and go over a “Con-Ops” plan. That means continuing operations in case either he or I become incapacitated the other will know what to do.

I brought a patient to my hospital today.  As I went by the decon room they were intubating another possible COVID patient. 

***

I read this in the Hartford Courant:

“A model prepared by the University of Washington projects that as the coronavirus hits a...

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Ambulance: Close to Home

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I came home today to find my wife wearing a mask.  She works in a couple different health care settings.  I remember a couple days ago, she was telling me about a coworker, who looked ill when he came to work.  She shooed him away from her, and told him to go home, or if not, at least put on a mask.  My wife has been rigid from the beginning in wearing a mask at work, even when her bosses told her it was not necessary.  The coworker is on a ventilator today, and my wife is wearing her mask at home, and taking her temperature twice a day.  Our kitchen and living room smell like bleach.  

557 new cases in the Connecticut today, including 16 deaths, the state’s death total now is 69 lives struck down by COVID-19.

I’m back working the ambulance tomorrow.  I will have my surgical mask on all day.



Ambulance: Balance

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I slept an extra half hour this morning. I was tired from my 12 hours in the city, and trying to get closer to the recommended eight hours of sleep, instead of the five or six I normally operate on. I joked with my wife that most of the signs and symptoms of COVID–headache, malaise, sore joints, body aches, shortness of breath — are the same as symptoms of being a 61 year old.

At work at the hospital, I reviewed the previous evening’s admissions and checked for the corona lab results for patients who’d come in by EMS, and then I made the notifications to the EMS services. Some cases were obvious coronas and the crews documented full body precautions, but there have been others when the call came in not at all like a corona call — a fall from a wheelchair or a psychiatric patient refusing to eat in a nursing home. I imagine an EMS worker getting a call from their supervisor. What’s this about? Am I in trouble? The conversation starts with “Remember that call you did a few days ago…Well, the patient is positive for COVID. You may have...

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Police: COVID-19 LOCKDOWN; MAGISTRATES` HEALTH OR DUTIES?

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Today and for the foreseeable future magistrates of whom around 85%  are over 50 years old and over half are more than 60 will be rechecking their rotas and wondering whether they should be thinking of their own health and that of their families or whether the social good and obligation  of appearing at court has priority.  Considering all are volunteers it is impossible not to assume that many benches will consist of two magistrates and not the usual three for the next few months.  

Whilst I was active video links were in operation mainly for bail hearings for prisoners on remand.  The expansion of video links has been one of the major initiatives of HMCTS in its "modernisation" programme and has been ruthlessly promulgated by its press relations factory deep in the bowels of Petty France.  It seems, however, that such links are hopelessly bedevilled by system failure often at police stations so demonstrating the inability of defendants to be dealt with by the technology on first...

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Police: Keeping the rainbows coming

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week we marvelled at the British public, often reserved yet always showing their thanks for the big moments, come out for a huge round of applause for the amazing nurses, doctors, ambulance staff and indeed all the staff of the NHS. I would include social care staff too who are doing an amazing job.

You will have felt some of that love in the rainbow pictures, sandwiches and thanks from the public we have received too. We need to keep that love coming as we have some tough weeks ahead. Thank you for this card from Joshua on behalf of St Edmund Campion.

I say this because last week we set about encouraging people to follow guidance and enforcing some the most restrictive laws we have seen in our nation. We are doing this because of an emergency and our need to save lives and protect the NHS by stopping the infection rate. The purpose is more important that the powers.

You will have noticed the powers don’t quite cover all the government’s advice. The government has issued quite a lot of advice on social...

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Ambulance: Beginning

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

My wife met me at the door when I came home from working in the city last night. She made me strip in the foyer, dropping all my clothes – my jacket, my work shirt, my work pants, my tee-shirt, my socks—in the laundry basket she placed next to me. Then I was marched, clad only in my briefs, into the bathroom to shower. If it had been summer, I expect this all may have taken place in the backyard where she would have decontaminated me with the garden hose.

I did four possible COVID calls, gowning up in surgical mask, googles and large yellow paper napkin gown, and gloves. Two of the patients were hypoxic, one was burning up and had rigors that seemed to almost shake the back of the ambulance, and made it impossible to get an ECG tracing. The other two looked fine, but they had verbal complaints of fever, cough, body aches and malaise. At one of the hospitals I went to, they had us go into a decontamination room where we transferred the patient onto a hospital stretcher, and then a nurse came and wheeled that stretcher away while we...

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Police: Day Four Lockdown

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

I don’t think I fully realised last week what a privilege it actually is to have to physically go to work – I get to ride 10miles there, get out of my home for a bit, see other people outside my family and then ride back again in the fresh air.  I’m now on my fourth rest day (of four) and very much itching to get out on my bike for a quick lap of the lanes; and perversely looking forward to my 4:30am alarm call to get out of the house again and off to work.  Mrs B and Master B are working / schooling from home and I can see the restrictions taking effect on them in small ways.  I’m also conscious of my elderly mother living on her own in the North-East who is pretty much locked in and being supplied by others, as required.

So what does the law say (on Monday 30th March! – because it may change later if tougher restrictions are brought in, as may be considered potentially necessary).  There are various reasons I’ve decided to write-this, but all of them rotate around the frustration of misinformation and...

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Ambulance: Eerie

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

It is just eerie. I hear about what went on in China, what’s going on in Italy, what’s happening in New York. Covid is up here too, no doubt. But it is just his advance spies. The battalions haven’t reached us yet. At the hospital my office is on the left as you come in through the ambulance doors, just past it on the right is the resuscitation room. I watched EMS wheel in a not old patient with no medical history other than contact at a large gathering with people who tested positive for COVId. From my desk, I could hear the ED doctor call for the intubation tray. I watched them ready to take the patient up to the ICU. More and more of the stretchers that go by my door have a masked patient and gowned EMS crews. But the thing of it is, there aren’t many stretchers going by my door. Call volume is low. No one is coming to the hospitals unless they have to.

I walk out through the ambulance doors There are only empty parking spaces. We have a huge tent erected in the lot. It is to be used when we are past capacity. It hasn’t seen a...

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Ambulance: Closed Down

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

A couple weeks ago, they cancelled my daughter’s basketball championships.  Her team was in the state semi-finals and had a good shot at winning it all.  The championships were going to be in a high school gym where maybe fifty people would come to watch her sixth grade Catholic league  team play.  The NBA was still playing then before packed crowds.

I was supposed to speak at a conference in Washington D.C.  about Connecticut’s opioid overdose surveillance system, which I helped set up.  The federal government was going to pay for my trip.  I just had to submit the receipts.  I was a bit worried about the COVID things so I bought insurance on my air flight.  Good thing.  Because the head of UCONN banned university employees from going on out-of state trips.  I had 72 hours to cancel my hotel reservation, but unfortunately, I was between 72 and 48  hours and since I had to reserve the room with my credit card, I got stuck with a night’s fare.  I was a little annoyed because at the time, the UCONN basketball team was still traveling and...

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