Medic Team Responds to Same Patient Twice

Repeat offenders

 

 
 
 

Guy H. Haskell | | Monday, December 13, 2010


As the years go by in my EMS life, there are fewer and fewer unique experiences. There are endless variations on a theme, of course, and enough variety in the human condition to keep it interesting—even after more than a quarter of a century. Lurking in the hamster-wheel of EMS, in the groundhog day of life in the big city, is still the occasional first. Last week I had a first: I actually got to witness a "patient" in the act of calling 9-1-1.

Poor Barry. I don’t know what his diagnosis actually is, but it manifests itself in almost daily calls to 9-1-1. Nasal congestion, mental anguish, self-harm, whatever. Every service has its regulars. Many systems have their regulars, their frequent fliers, their dailies, and every big city has its many-times-a-dailies. My personal record was a hat trick: the same guy three times in one day. That guy’s MO was to eat at a restaurant; then, after eating and drinking, he’d fall on the ground and have a "seizure."

One of the mysteries of the many-times-a-dailies is their ability to mysteriously transport themselves around town, so they can be picked up by different units in various locations. We would take this chucklhead to the hospital, he would leave AMA, then he’d do the same thing a few hours later on the other side of town!

Every EMT knows that we're virtually helpless to do anything but load 'em up and ship 'em out. Dealing with such system abuse is above our pay grade, and those above our pay grade seem unwilling or unable to solve the problem. A quick search leads to scores of articles, plans, solutions and ideas for tackling the problem. Some systems have taken strides in this direction, some have not. Most are stuck.

Barry was the first call of the day on Saturday. He took a seat, and we were off to the hospital. On Sunday, we were returning from a call and there he was, standing by the gas station two blocks from the firehouse, on the payphone.

I said to my partner, "Hey, there’s Barry. He's on the phone."

My partner muttered a few expletives and said "I'll bet you anything he’s calling us."

Sure enough, we hadn't gotten half a block when the tones dropped, "Medic 11, respond to mental-emotional on … "

"Hey Barry, what’s up?"

So if you can beat my record of three in a day, please write in and tell your story. For the fur-lined bathtub award of the day, let's see who's got the record.
 




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Patient Care, Special Patients, repeat 9-1-1 callers, patient, Guy H. Haskell, frequent flier

 
Author Thumb

Guy H. HaskellGuy H. Haskell, PhD, JD, NREMT-P, has been an EMS provider and instructor for more than 25 years and in four states. He is a paramedic with Indianapolis EMS, Director of Emergency Medical and Safety Services Consultants, LLC, firefighter/paramedic with Benton Township Volunteer Fire Department of Monroe County, Indiana, and Clinical Editor of EMS for Gannett Healthcare. Contact him via e-mail at ghasell@indiana.edu.

BROWSE FULL BIO & ARTICLES >

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Anchorage Chief Proposes Shifting Fire, Medic Crews

Officials debate ways to reduce paramedic burnout.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kansas City Woman Thanks EMTs Who Saved Her Life

CPR save highlights community awareness program
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >