It was a brisk fall evening when the dispatch tones pierced the quiet station. “Medic 1 respond to 5960 New Haven Road. 79 year old female sick and wants to be transported to the hospital.” Time out 1843.
The medic unit was out quickly and on our arrival we found a female standing on the front porch with her suitcase in hand. She started walking towards the medic unit before the vehicle came to a complete stop.
After the patient was placed inside the medic unit we obtained a history. She stated that she has been feeling bad for several days. Nauseous and neck pain were the two main symptoms. Vital signs were obtained and she was placed on the cardiac monitor.
As the patient was talking to us she shivered. When we asked what was wrong she stated she had a cold chill. Her eyes rolled back and she went into cardiac arrest. After a lengthy resuscitation the patient was pronounced dead.
This case teaches several lessons of importance. One, never discredit a patient. It would be easy to shrug off the patient because she has been ill for several days. Why call us now? After all she had her suitcase packed and she was waiting on the front porch for us. What the heck? Does she think we are a taxi service?
Our job is not to judge our patients but to care for them. Our patient was sick. Unfortunately she waited too long to seek medical attention. Hesitation cost her, her life. Compassion is a trait that defines the great medic verses a mediocre medic. If you don’t care get out of the profession.
The next lesson we were taught is women do not present with the same symptoms of heart attack as men. Here is a list of symptoms that women may have when experiencing a heart attack.
1. Neck pain
2. Jaw pain
3. Epigastric pain
6. Arm pain
7. Chest pain or no chest pain
8. Back pain
9. Braking out in a cold sweat
10. General discomfort
So as you can see women’s response to heart attacks are different. They may be subtle and may appear minor at first. Seek medical attention if you have any of the above signs and symptoms.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another