Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why I should Never Let My EMT Cert Lapse

Years (something like 5-6) ago, when I first became an EMT my first call was a fatality. I just got my cert finished (yes, I passed my computer test, go me) so, just to keep things tragically symmetrical, so was my first call as a RE-certed EMT. At first when we were toned to a "male, unresponsive, no pulse" I assumed the bystander just didnt know how to take a pulse. Happens ALL the time, and if he was RIGHT, we'd be doing about 45 minutes of CPR. Instead, upon arrival, it was clear that there was nothing we could do. The patient had been crushed by the weight of his stupid toy, and was beyond help.
That was bad enough when I thought he was an adult. It got WAY worse when I was informed that he was only a kid, not even a teenager. Just HUGE. And then the police notified his mother, who was just down the hillside, in her house. And the day got MUCH worse from there.
I've never been to a death notification at somebody's house, only been there incidentally in the ER, and by the time people make it into the ER after being told "there's been an accident", they're sort of prepared for it to not be good. This woman was COMPLETELY blindsided by the fact that her son, whom she'd just seen an hour before, was not coming home again.

I'm really not good at the "comfort the parents" part. My way of dealing with other people's grief is to feed them. Not an option here, so i was a bit out of my depth. RIP kid. Motorized toys for children are SO not a good idea.

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