Had an unusual call recently. It came through as a “Chest Pains”, which is normally an MI (heart attack for those not medically inclined).

The bloke involved was less than half my age, and looked more worried than ill. His face was a good colour and he was coherent. (Essentially, he appeared much fitter than I either looked or felt!) The pain, in the centre of his chest, was not constant. He had a little discomfort most of the time and then he’d experience a sharp pain. These were coming about every 30-60 seconds.

His sats were fine at 97-99% but his pulse was variable. It would be at 98bpm and slowly reduce in rate until it was about 78-82, for a while. It would then jump back up to the high 90s or even as high as 106, then slowly reduce. Just by looking at his pulse rate I could tell when he had a new spasm.

Other than when he had the sharp pain, he only had mild to moderate discomfort.

Unfortunately, this chap picked the wrong time to be ill! Not only was it shift change (and our local crew have 7-8 miles to go back to the station from their standby point), but there were a few calls at the same time and there was more traffic congestion than is usual at that time.

I was alone with him for about 30 minutes. Normally, with chest pains, this would concern me greatly. In this case, he was not apparently getting worse so I wasn’t too worried (well, not THAT much, honest). I was more puzzled than anything.

The crew didn’t seem to have much more idea of what was happening than I did, so they decided to take him in.

I’d love to know what the outcome was, but I’ll probably never find out (confidentiality must be observed).

Has anyone any ideas?


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