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Distress call

vinayakhingane - April 11, 2016 - 5 comments


It isn’t new for me to be called for a medical emergency. We are trained to stay calm and follow protocols in case of an emergency. One becomes immune to the adrenaline rush and the sense of indifference grows with time. You need a brilliant  friend or a colleague to ignite the excitement , make an interesting diagnosis and feel the kick ! I missed my dear friend at yesterday’s event.
It was dark and drizzling with a chilly wind. I had wrapped myself in the jacket and was walking towards the hospital for a  night shift. I was lost in my mundane thoughts when just a few meters outside my apartment I heard someone talking loudly. The language was foreign and the lady sounded distressed. She was accompanied by another lady in Hijab who looked confused. A gentleman came out from their home, said something and ran inside again. This was unusual hustle for our sleepy neighborhood. I slowed down to get a better look of what was happening. The lady in distress waved to me  and called for help. “There’s a man in ma car”. She pointed at the front seat of a car parked there and knocked on the window. I could see a bald person slumped in the front seat of the car. He looked lifeless from a distance. I rushed towards the car. “What happened?” I asked her. “There is a man in my car.” She repeated. “I don’t know what is he doing in my car!”  I had a better view of him now. He was slumped in the seat and wasn’t responding to any sounds we made by shouting or knocking. He was breathing . His respiratory rate was normal and he wasn’t too pale as I had imagined from a distance. There wasn’t any obvious injury or blood. He was very much alive but his unresponsiveness was worrisome. ” Have you called 999?” I asked the lady. “I am already calling them” she pointed to her phone. She was urging to the person on other end to send some help and was getting a bit frustrated while answering more and more questions. I suggested that we needed urgent medical help too. The lady requested for police and ambulance while I inspected the man in the car from outside. He had tattoos visible all over his exposed skin. There was an ECG lead stuck on his wrist. The drawer was open and documents  spilled on his lap. He had  some papers in his fist. His clothes were untidy. His looks were of someone not to be messed with. Some of the things were easy to deduce. It was obvious that he had escaped from the hospital hastily without removing ECG leads. This  meant that he might have had a medical condition. Likely a heart condition and might have suffered from it in the car seat and collapsed! His looks and the fact that he was in someone else’s car suggested crooked intentions.  He could simply be an addict who was being investigated in the hospital, escaped and enjoyed dose of his favorite drug or alcohol in the car seat   which had claimed its effect. I asked if the car door was open. The lady said that she was too scared to check it. It was a valid fear. As the man was in someone else’s car, he must have forced in or was an opportunist. He could have a weapon. He could be more dangerous if he was  under influence of drugs or alcohol. I decided not to try opening the door. He was breathing and didn’t need CPR. I couldn’t do anything more without equipments and medicines until the paramedics arrive. The lady was really scared. The 999 had assured her that police was on the way but she was very anxious. I assured her that the man was alive and  had probably forced entry  into the car and slept there due to excess alcohol. The police and paramedics would sort him out. “You don’t need to worry. I will stay till the police come.” I reassured her. She calmed down a bit. Within a few minutes, the police  arrived followed by the ambulance. We narrated the story briefly. The Officer opened the door. The person inside the car was still unresponsive. He woke up as he was being handcuffed by the police officer. He  didn’t resist much other than shouting the F word a couple of times. The paramedics quickly had a look at him before stating that he looked fine. I left the scene thanking the police officer and the paramedics. They would sort him out but I would  have to wait until I get the full details of the story from them. I have developed a dislike for such waiting since I started  working with Sherlock. I wonder what he would have inferred! I miss his deduction skills.  Let me call him and see.

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