Nah, I wasn’t having a barney with an akward patient.
I got a call saying that there was a 60++ male “collapsed” at an address. “Police notified – they will attend”.
This is unusual for me, as we’re not normally sent to cases where there is any chance of violence (unless we really cock up!). However, it turns out that the patient lives on his own and the door was locked.
On arrival, there were two PCs having a go at the door with a large crowbar whilst trying not to cause too much damage. We did think about shoving the crowbar through a small glass pane in the door and opening the Yale lock, but the bigger of the two PCs (who was holding the crowbar!) thought differently.
After a relatively short time the door was opened – though it wasn’t in quite the same state of health it had been before it met the large PC. They invited me to precede them into the house, and go into the living room. (Incidentally, why is only one room for living in? What are we supposed to do in the other rooms – the opposite of living?)
There was a chap – 80+ I’d say – in the armchair looking like he was having a good nap. He hadn’t gone particularly pale, and just looked reasonably peaceful. The carotid pulse was non-existant and there was a stiffness to his neck that was very unusual, though his arms were still very flexible, having no muscle tone.
Although I can’t carry a thermometer (don’t ask me!), I thought the patient was a bit cooler than I’d expect from someone with a pulse who hasn’t been out in the cold for a while.
Essentially the patient was K13 – dead. Although I can’t actually say this, in such a situation I’m not going to dive in with all guns blazing.
Very shortly a crew arrived and I told them what I’d found. After a short check, the Paramedic agreed with my thoughts and called it.
It was a shame, but the chap looked as if he simply fell asleep and died in his sleep. Forget the “60++”, I’d have put him in his late 80s to early 90s. Not a bad age, and not a bad way to go – though that probably won’t help his relatives much.