I usually write about my experiences as a paramedic but this one is from when I was a Physician Assistant at an Upper East Side emergency room.
Nurse "We just got a notification for a heavy bleeder coming in with a 5 minute ETA"
I follow the doc into the trauma room and check the trauma box to make sure all the equipment we may need is ready. IV's, intubation equipment, etc. Everything is there and we're ready. I walk out to the ambulance bay to meet the crew coming in. An ambulance comes screaming around the corner and stops at the curb. Stan, who I spent a lot of time riding with jumps out of the drivers seat:
"Roc, you got to fucking see this!" he says breathlessly tells me I'm in for something interesting
"What's up?" I say excitingly as I follow him to the back of the vehicle
"You gotta see this!" he answers as he swings open the back door of the ambulance.
I look in and seek a patient on the stretcher covered in what used to be a white sheet. It's now crimson colored. From the waist down.
We hurry the patient into the trauma room where the rest of the team is waiting. He's a white male about 50 years old. Slight build, light complexion. Awful toupee still fixed to his head. He's barely conscious. We transfer him onto the hospital gurney and remove the blood soaked sheets. The patient's groin is packed with a tremendous amount of gauze.
"Gunshot?" Doctor Hong asks Stan's partner who I don't recognize. Probably a new medic.
She nods "No" to Hong as she begins to remove some of the gauze. I can see her hands shaking as she works to untangle the mass of gauze which is stemming at least some of the blood flow.
She removes it completely and we all stop to catch our breath at the incredible sight before us. The patient's penis is carved almost in half from the tip down to the base. It looks like a hot dog after its been cooking while and splits almost in half. But the really incredible thing is that through each side of the lacerated penis is a purple metal earing like women used to wear in the 1970s!
The doc, gloved up and gowned to the max goes to inspect the injury and a stream of blood shoots out hitting the low overhead ceiling.
"According to his partner he's been cutting it a little bit each day for the past couple of months. When he got halfway down he put the rings in it. He kept carving until today when it looks as if he cut an artery".
I look back at the patient for a moment. Incredibly his eyes catch mine and he actually smiles a bit causing an involuntary chill to course from my head to my toes.
" He's on Remeron, Lithium, and a bunch of other psych meds" yells Yugo's partner over the commotion.
"Schizophrenic?' I ask Yugo
"You think a sane person would do something like that?" he shoots back. I shake my head and turn away afraid my reaction would seem unfit for the current situation.
"Hey Roc, call Surgery, Urology and get us some blood. I'm going to intubate him" Doctor Hong calls out to me
"Sure Doc", I answer back. "I'll get respiratory too"
"Great. I'm probably going to have to intubate him before long"
I pick up the phone and ask the operator to page the surgeon on call. The phone rings back almost immediately
"Surgery. I was paged"
"He Doc it's Rocco from the ER"
"Hey Roc, what do you have?"
"Doc, wait till you see this!"
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
There was this guy we worked with who was under suspicion of using his position to molest woman. What was rumored was that he would respond to a job and if the patient was young and attractive he would revisit the home 2-3 days later and state that EMS wanted him to perform a secondary examination to make sure the patient "was ok". He would then perform an examination where he would ask the patient to remove various articles of clothing.
Now as a group we weren't a bunch of choir boys but we had a decent sense of what's right and wrong. We also had an incredible sense of pride as Harlem EMTs/Medics. So one day we were awaiting the captain to announce row call. There was about 15 of us in the lobby of the station. In walk, let's call him Lester. Now I could go on and on describing the cretin but suffice to say if you can bring up a picture of Count Chocula , with his narrow eyes, pointed nose and short, squat body then that's him exactly. Well, he comes in and he's standing there a little off to the side because he can tell that its not a friendly place for him. We pay him no mind and keep jabbing away, talking about the shooting we did last night or the bad motor vehicle accident on the West Side Highway where 3 died but the DWI driver walked away without a scratch. No one notice Sammy sitting off alone by the side, not talking to anyone, just sitting mum. Sammy was one of the senior guys at the station. A real good guy, quite but had your back in an instant if there was trouble. Well, Sammy gets up from the couch and starts walking towards the door. I look to the side to say hello to him and all of a sudden he throws a haymaker right hand which catches Lester right on the chin. Lester goes down like a hole opened up beneath him. Sammy, without losing a step keeps walking right out the door and onto the street. We all jumped when Sammy clocked him. Now we're all standing there looking at the bastard crumpled unconscious on the floor. Everyone is looking at everyone else to see what there going to do. All of a sudden Sey lifts himself from the chair, steps over Lester and walks out the door. That's all the rest of us needed. One by one we quietly walk over the wretch and onto the street. Hey, you want to pull bullshit like that you deserve what you get. If it was my daughter I wouldn't have stopped at one punch. Anyway, we're outside on the street looking into the windows. Sure enough he's still out. He's breathing. Then one of the guy's yells out " Hey, Lieutenant Connawton is leaving". Holy shit! She could really be a pain in the ass if she wants. Activist type. We watch from the window as she gathers her equipment, radio and logbook and leaves her office (right next to the lobby where the incident described above happened) and makes her way to the exit door. Without breaking stride she steps over the unconscious molester, opens the door, walks over to her car and leaves!. We all break out laughing as she drives away. She gives a grin as she passes by.
Lester was able to walk over to the ER across the street and be evaluated. He tried to bring Sammy up on charges with first the cops and then with the department but without a witness (and Sammy's 15 people that vouched for him) all was dropped due to lack of evidence. Within a week Lester was transferred out to Staten Island to a unit that cover three nursing homes there. We never heard for the son of a bitch again.
Monday, April 3, 2017
We in America pray for our Russian friends who today deal with the after effects of heinous, cowardly act of terror that has taken the lives of many innocent people.