Medical stories that is. EKGs and stories to go with them. However, I won’t have time until the weekend to post it all.
I’ll give you one story to hold you over. At least I hope it will. No, EKGs, but you’ll see why.
We were dispatched for a “Cardiac Problem” to a small street in a residential area. It was at the far, far, end of our primary response area so the fire and BLS got there before us. In fact, the BLS crew was going to cancel us, but the guy I was working with (note, not my regular partner and not a particularly good paramedic) decided to “take a look” at the patient. Who had met the BLS crew at the door of the house and walked out to their ambulance. What was his complaint, you ask? Nothing. Nothing at all. Unless you count that fact that his son and wife were nagging him to go to the hospital.
It seems that he had an episode of tachycardia almost 12 hours before his son decided to call 9-1-1. Similar to the ones that he had been having for over two years, had had a device implanted to record and control the episodes, and was being treated by a top notch cardiologist. He was a very nice, but very put upon, man. Who had no medical complaint, an EKG that was at least as good as mine, and wanted to go back to bed. He had to get up early because his son, not happy that the top notch cardiologist hadn’t “fixed” his 60+ year old dad’s problem had made an appointment at a different hospital where dad had never been to see a cardiologist who had never seen him.
It’s only help, if it helps.
So, we sat in the back of the well lit, air conditioned ambulance and discussed his options while his wife and son stood outside in the dark and humid night and waited.
During the conversation is came up that his cardiologist had recommended an ablation to resolve the issue, but that he had demurred “For now”.
After explaining that we could let him go back into the house (after he signed the refusal), transport him to the hospital where his cardiologist practiced, or to the one to which he had never been. We couldn’t take him to the small community hospital an hour away where he wanted to go, but he actually understood that.
Finally, after realizing that his wife and son were going to insist on “helping” him, he relented and agreed to go to the hospital where he was not known, to be evaluated by a very competent medical staff that would have to repeat several thousand dollars worth of tests because they wouldn’t have access to his medical records, and in the end refer him to the cardiologist he was going to see in the morning anyway.
I’m not sure if he needs a new cardiologist or just less “help” from his family.
Either way, I wish him well.
Coming up when I get the time to scan the EKGs in, the 74 year old sexually active man who had a heart attack, and the 85 year old man with respiratory distress and the strangest ETCO2 wave form I’ve ever seen.