Phishing, Not Like This

He had a headache. A bad headache, he said, been hurting all morning.

"I have headaches too," I said, not impressed.

"Not like this," he replied.

"Have you had headaches like this in the past?" I asked, half paying attention to his answer.

"Not like this," he replied.

Something about him wasn't right. He was my age, maybe a little younger. His one room apartment was full of computers. The screens were dark, but I could hear them working, clicking and clacking, little blips here and there. The patient noticed my curiosity and started to move toward the door.

"What's up with all the computers?" I asked, visualizing my most recent batch of SPAM as I asked, wondering if this is where the notification that I won the lottery, my cousin was in prison in Bangladesh and needed bail money, my penis could triple in size in one day and I could live happily ever after in a vicodin fueled haze.

"You never mind," he said and started walking toward the door, quickly. We followed him outside, he locked the door and before I knew it we were in the rescue, and he had commandeered the stretcher.

All in a days work, I figured, took some vitals, his blood pressure was high, 170/100, heart rate normal and respirations where they should be. We ran a 12-lead, and that was unremarkable. The usual questions followed, he was on hypertension medication, but was non-compliant, said he couldn't afford to continue taking them.

Bad day phishing, I figured.

We took him to the ER, and I pretty much forgot about him soon thereafter. Monday mornings are relentless, the calls add up, the people making them make an appearance in my life then dissolve nearly as quickly as they appeared.

The phisherman re-appeared a few hours later, being wheeled past me by a private ambulance company as I was busy triaging a different patient. He was unconscious, and intubated.

"I just brought him to the other hospital," I sad to the guys wheeling the stretcher past me.

"He had a massive head bleed, we're taking him to the OR."

I have got to start taking these headaches more seriously.

3 Comments

  • John says:

    My wife had a cerebral bleed at age 27 that started the same way, so I'm always alert to the connection between headaches and cerebral bleeds. But even if you had a CAT scanner in the rig, not much we as paramedics can do for it.

  • JSalow says:

    I had a similar experience last year. Patient was a woman in her early 40s complaining of a headache. Like you I only took it half seriously, we get tons of calls for headaches that aren’t anything close to emergencies. I’m not compromising care but certainly not rushing. Shortly into obtaining her history she screams, seizes, and goes right into full respiratory arrest. Massive bleed.

    As I was securing the airway I knew I would never dismiss a headache offhand again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Michael Morse

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

Recent Posts
Rescue 1 Responding July 25, 2015
Providence Burning July 23, 2015
Up All Night July 22, 2015
un The same but different July 21, 2015
Comments
Gea Haff
Providence Burning
The cover looks great, Michael!
2015-07-25 17:41:22
Susan Sangster
The same but different
Hi Mike- I am contacting you because my Dad, a WWII veteran, a former call man on the Warwick Fire Dept, a 37 year cancer survivor, a husband of 65 years, a Dad of two daughters, a "Poppy" to five grandchildren and eight and 1/2 great grandchildren is interested in obtaining your book "Rescuing Providence."It…
2015-07-21 23:47:44
bernie
The what if we’re wrong-a-thon – Narcan edition
this is a subject that provokes an ethical debate. i am a long time medic and believe narcan should be available to everyone. we didnt make these people junkies, but I suppose everyone has a right to save themselves or their loved ones. your logic about not doing drugs is sound, BUT! do we still…
2015-06-22 10:20:00
Joe
13 things that drive a medic nuts…
Calling from the parking lot or across the street, or even the waiting room because they haven't been "seen".
2015-06-19 14:22:27
Jay
13 things that drive a medic nuts…
That's awesome and so darn true! I got a good chuckle out of the fact that we are truly the only ones that can relate to these type of calls. I read your book it was great! Take care! Jay
2015-06-19 13:47:54

Responding $3.99

Uniform Stories

Visit Uniform Stories

wordpress visitor counter
January 2012
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

Mr Wilson Makes it Home

http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Wilson-Makes-Home-Happiness/dp/1629145734

LATEST EMS NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS