Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You did what?? And why??

In following up on the sentiment expressed in the previous post about EMS' "taxi runs," here's one of my stories. I spent a while looking for the PERFECT one, but after realizing I had SO MANY (unfortunately), I decided to just close my eyes, point my finger, and pick THAT one...

We were en route back to the station from the hospital when EOC dispatched us TO OUR STATION for a “walk-in” having an “unknown problem.” If you’re not versed in this, a “walk-in” is just what it says- someone who “walks-in” or “drives up” to the station for “help.” This particular station I was at for that shift seems to have more than it’s fair share of “walk-ins” for some reason. We were only about a mile away when we got the call.

So we get there and find the fire department sitting in the truck bay with this woman in her 30s. According to her, she had been at home sitting at her computer when she spun around in the chair to get up and became dizzy. Then she threw up…ONE TIME. Now she wants to go to the hospital. Her husband rides in the front of the ambulance with us to the hospital. Know what I did? I took her blood pressure. I took her pulse. I got her O2 sat. I asked her about her medications and allergies. I called the hospital. That was IT. It took me about 3 minutes.

Alright first of all, why do you “need” to go to the hospital because you’ve thrown up ONCE? I’ve spent all day throwing up and feeling lousy, and I didn’t call 911. Never even THOUGHT about doing it. Second of all, if you drove- well actually your husband drove you- from your home to the fire station, WHY couldn’t you just keep on driving to the hospital yourself? I didn’t do anything life-saving for you in the ambulance. I didn’t do ANYTHING for you. A “ride” to the hospital is $400 via our ambulance. Then we charge $8.50 per mile from wherever we pick you up. It’s 15 miles from the fire station we were at to the hospital. You do the math.

The other thing I don’t get- which I didn’t actually think about until later- is what was the point in this woman’s husband riding WITH US? Now someone has to waste the time and gas to come get you both then take you back to get your car and…I just can’t see any point in all this.


EMS Chick said...

Those are the patients that you kind of want to smack with a clipboard. I once transported an 8 or 9 year old that had thrown up once, after eating candy all day. I asked if they had given her any Pepto, the mom (while holding a bottle of liquor) said "I can't give her what I can't afford to buy!"

Yep, but you can afford the liquor oh and the trip to the ER. Okay.

Evil Transport Lady said...

Yeah it's expensive....IF they plan on paying the bill.

I'd imagine they don't.

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