Wednesday, January 14, 2009

(Covering Mouth)

I like to think that I have a decently-strong stomach for various medical situations.

I've helped patients with large cuts and gashes, crushed limbs, skin avulsions, loss of bowel/bladder control and other such incidents, with no major issues in the gross-out department. However, there is one thing that always turns my stomach, rendering me fighting to not add to the problem: Vomit.

I have dealt with vomiting patients in the past, including people close to me, and have found it a struggle not to become sick myself. I don't know what it is about this particular subject, but it is not a pleasant one to even think of, let alone respond to. I fulfill my obligations as always, and never let on my feelings to the patient or anyone else, but this is one of my least favorite situations to deal with.

So when I arrived at the scene earlier today, and saw that two of my team members were well handling the patient and the three-foot radius of emesis around him, I gladly took up crowd control away from his cube.

It was a pretty bad scene; the patient had missed the inside of the trash can entirely, and had instead sprayed the floor, cube walls, side of the trash can, and -- inexplicably -- his own hair, with the contents of his stomach. I felt really bad for the poor guy, and also for the first two responders who assumed patient care.

It was all I could do not to puke myself, but I managed.

Driving home tonight, I swore to myself that I was done with vomit for a very long time. Done. No more. Can't take it. My vomit quota for the year 2009 has been met. That's it.

Until I arrived home, to a solid line of puke, the size of a cat's stomach, on the laundry room floor.

Today, was not my day.


Anonymous Rakesh said...

I must have totally missed that call.

I had that combative, drunk patient puke on me at Burning Man this year.

Remember the three rules of a good EMS shift:

1. You're still alive.
2. Nobody got into a fight with you.
3. Nobody puked on you.

I only got one out of three that day!

January 19, 2009 at 4:51:00 PM PST  

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