It’s like waiting for buses; none come for ages, then you get two at once.
I’ve just had another call where I needed to do CPR. Until recently, I’d done CPR about – er – once in the (nearly) four years I’ve been a Responder, and that wasn’t for long. I exclude the few pushes I may have given whilst the Paramedic was attaching the electrodes.
That’s two in a month, and one in the previous 46!
I was called to a gentleman who had collapsed – ? not breathing. He was at a local rural pursuits area and was an angler. He’d gone into his bivvy and sparked out.
First on scene, I checked for a pulse – not expecting to find one. I wasn’t wrong. I straight away started CPR. After a short while, I tried the defib – “No shock advised”. Back to the CPR.
I was probably going for about 5 minutes before I saw the crew arrive, and was I glad. I’m not usually one for hard work! I carried on whilst they got sorted and then took a spell. The Paramedic took over from me whilst her partner went and got some more kit. When he came back, I did CPR again whilst they did professional-type stuff.
When they’d been there 10 minutes, we had to give it best. This was one we weren’t going to get back.
Just to make matters worse, the patient’s 13yo granddaughter was there all the time. She was in a state of disbelief – shocked, upset but too stunned to cry. Grandma called her whilst we were just finishing and the poor lass tried to explain. The Paramedic took the phone and explained to Gran what had happened. She told Gran that they’d take the young ‘un to the hospital with them, as Gran was going there.
A sad outcome, but I think we all worked to the best professional standards.
Mind you, without wishing to seem to be bragging, I am amazed at how I work in these situations. I’m a bit prone to depression. I had a bad time of it about 7-8 years ago, and some more minor ones since. I’ve been feeling quite down for the last 5-6 weeks, but I do sometimes have a good period.
However, when I’m on a call – particularly a more serious one – any depression simply lifts. I can only think about the patient and how I’m going to treat them. I feel like I’m doing something genuinely useful for a change that is actually appreciated by other people. Even when, like on this call, the outcome is not what we’d want, I don’t feel down about it. I’d done my best, and so had the professionals. Sure, we’d have preferred a different result, but we’d done what we could.