Tuesday, March 10, 2009


For some reason when people call for a medic in the jail on the radio they feel the need to scream like someone is dying. Occassionally this is the case, the other ninety eight percent of the time it is not. Screaming "MEDIC!!" on the radio because some inmate just told you the toothache they've had for seven days is still hurting, is not warranted. I guess this just annoys me because I work on a squad and I have a little clearer picture of what is and is not imminent death. My fellow corrections officers however, may need a little bit of a first aid refresher.
The medics employed in the jail have come to realize that if I call for a medic, someone is dying. Some of these guys work on neighboring departments, so we're pretty good about working with each other. They've also come to realize if they need a spare pair of hands during a jail incident, that I can be sort of useful.
Case in point: chest pain during tray pass. I was a "floater" amongst housing units yesterday (this morning, whatever) providing breaks, doing transports and general gopher work. I was monitoring med pass with the medics to assure no insulin needles went AWOL when we heard the dreaded "death call." "MEDIC!!" After a lengthy radio conversation, it was determined I would go with one medic to the other end of the jail for "chest pain" while the other medics did med pass. Upon arrival we found a male in his early thirties with chest pain. Not especially troubling except for the prior history of cardiac problems and surgery. Crap.
So since he's maximum security I shackle him, bellyband him and transport him to the medical housing unit with the medic. After vitals were taken, 12 lead performed and all the other stuff completed the jail doc came in. General consensus? Call a squad. Great. The city fire department already hates us, and they had already been there twice that night and once to another facility. Just before the squad gets there one of the medics who is my friend goes to start an IV. The guy flips out and then passes out. Nice. And urinates all over. Even better. So by the time the guys from the bus roll in with their buddies from the truck, this guy looks like he's at death's door.
The medic and I just look at each other. The guys from the squad are like, "Wow. He's pale, diaphoretic, non-responsive and he's urinated." Well, yes and no.

1 comment:

  1. "General Consensus" makes it sound like you did all the work and the MD wandered in, sandwich in one hand phone in the other and said, "Looks like you have everything under control here."
    I'm still giggling.
    Great stuff.
    Hows about picking a favorite learning moment from one of your many specialties to be featured in the next Handover Blog Carnival?
    Nothing major, just a nugget you want to pass along to others.
    Let me know at thehappymedic@gmail.com