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Paramedic: Roger, Oscar Lima Charlie, we’re with the patient now. Possible cardiac arrest. Stand by, over. Nurse, check his pulse.
Nurse: There’s no pulse.
Nurse: He’s not breathing.
Paramedic: It is cardiac arrest. Give him CPR. I’ll talk you through it, OK?
Paramedic: Give him mouth-to-mouth first. Support his head. That’s it, lift it back. Right, hold his nose closed, then open his mouth and breathe strongly into it. Give two full breaths into his mouth. OK?
Paramedic: Let his chest fall again. Nothing?
Paramedic: Turn his head. That’s right. Put your hand on his chest. Now put your other hand on top of your first hand. OK?
Paramedic: Push down a little… and release… Do it again. One… two… three… four.
Nurse: How many times should I do it?
Paramedic: Repeat the procedure fifteen times… OK. Check his pulse again. Anything?
Nurse: No. Still no pulse.
Paramedic: OK. Don’t wait. Use the AED. Set it at a charge of two hundred.
Nurse: Right. It’s two hundred.
Paramedic: Apply the pads to his chest.
Nurse: Where do I put them?
Paramedic: Put one above the heart and one below. Stand clear of his body. Make sure you don’t touch him. Call ‘everybody clear’ and then press the buttons and hold for two seconds. OK?
Nurse: OK. Everybody clear!
Paramedic: Check his pulse again.
Paramedic: Are you sure?
Nurse: Yes. There’s no pulse.
Paramedic: OK- repeat the procedure. Same charge – two hundred.
Nurse: Right. Everybody clear! Ah hah! There’s a pulse.
Paramedic: Good. Well done. Now set up an IV and give him Lidocaine.
Nurse: How much shall I give him?
Paramedic: One hundred mil over two minutes.
1 – The central nervous system is affected. This can cause changes in personality, and restlessness. In advanced stages, confusion and ultimately coma can result.
2 – Their temperature may be abnormally low (hypothermia) or high (hyperthermia).
3 – Cardiovascular problems may develop. The patient’s heart often beats abnormally fast, but heavy bleeding may cause it to beat too slowly.
4 – An abnormal increase in breathing rate can lead to respiratory distress or failure.
5 – Blood pressure can be high in the early stages, but then hypotension is common as it falls dangerously low.
6 – Gastrointestinal problems arise from a lack of blood supply. The intestines can stop working and can start to die. This can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
I started as a trainee ambulance technician, and trained for two and a half years to become a qualified paramedic. Now I administer life-saving procedures myself. It is part of my everyday work to defibrillate the heart of cardiac arrest, to apply splints to limbs and dress wounds, and set up drips.
I have to make quick decisions – it’s an important part of giving emergency treatment. Situations are often very difficult, especially when we have to deal with people under the influence of drugs and alcohol. But paramedics don’t think twice – we always first at the scene when there’s a suicide, a road accident or a fire. When you save a life, it’s the best job in the world.
Asha Gemechu’s baby was due in a month, but when her contractions started she called for a taxi to take her to hospital. Mr Lawrence answered the call.
The expectant mum was in the taxi for ten minutes when she realized that things were happening too fast. Its head appeared, and Mr Lawrence stopped the taxi to help with the birth.
Mr Lawrence said “I was there when my kids were born, so this was not completely new for me. I spoke to a nurse on the taxi radio and she gave me instructions – I only did what she told me. There’s nothing special about that. One minute I had one passenger then I had two, but there’s no extra charge!”
A midwife at the hospital said, “giving birth on the way to hospital doesn’t happen often, but if you’re there when it does, just support the baby’s head and guide it out – don’t pull. Then clean the baby’s nose and mouth, but don’t cut the umbilical cord – just lay the baby on the mother’s chest, cord and all. Dry the baby on the mother’s chest, cord and all. Dry the baby with a clean towel or cloth, gently rub his back, then cover mum and baby with a dry blanket to keep them both warm, and wait for medical help to arrive.”
“Clive was wonderful.” The mother said later “he did everything right.” Asha is naming the baby Mohammed Clive. Mother and baby are both doing well.