Hundred Yards

He's having a heart attack, so he had his wife drive him to the ER. He's forty-eight, no history, but smokes like a fiend and has a drink or three every day. He's pushing 300 pounds, and "knew this day was coming."

They made it to the hospital parking garage where he could go no further. His wife called 911.

It was 0655, five minutes before shift change. The engine company arrived first, waited for the rescue to load him up and take him 100 yards to the ER door. Some of the guys were not all that interested in the patient, shift change and all, and he was in the parking lot for Christ sake.

I decide to work him up, the whole deal, IV, ekg, 02, asa, nitro. Ever his wife thought I was an idiot.

"Just put him in the truck and get him to the "real doctors!"

My own people agreed.

Sometimes it's nice to be a stubborn old Swede. It doesn't hurt to have twenty years either, but even if it was my first day, the patient needed immediate cardiac care, and who better to give it than us?

We had what he needed, and there was no waiting. Ten minutes later, we wheeled a nearly unconscious patient into an ER waiting for him, room ready, cardiac team alerted, cath lab waiting. The patient had two IV's, 02, two nitros, 325 mg of aspirin and a heck of a better chance of survival than if we had scooped and ran the hundred yards.

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Michael Morse

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