Truth is stranger than fiction. Have I said that before? Well it's true. I can't make up some of these stories, because I'm just not creative enough.
Three of my four trauma patients from overnight deserve special attention here. The first is a 16 year old kid who was skateboarding at midnight. In freezing temperatures. In the woods. How the hell does one skateboard in the woods? Poorly, apparently. He fell and hit his head, and he fractured his skull and bled into his brain. He will most likely be fine, but chalk it up to the stupidity of youth.
The next patient was around 1 AM, a young motorcyclist who passed several cars on the interstate like they were standing still. A few minutes later they came upon his motorcycle lying in the middle of the highway on fire. He was found about 75 feet away, pulseless and not breathing. He stayed that way, unfortunately. Coincidentally (and quite amazingly) I actually saw him in my trauma bay about two years ago after he had had a much more minor motorcycle accident. It seems he failed to learn anything from past experience, and he paid the ultimate price.
The final patient deserves a special spot here because he's a double-whammy. Dumb patient, dumber paramedic. A woman brought her 25-year old husband to the fire station after he deliberately cut his forearm. They took a look at his abdomen and saw some fluid coming out, so they thought he had stabbed himself in the abdomen also. Had they actually asked him what it was, they would have easily found out that he had an abscess (a boil) there about 8 months ago which was lanced, and he had been draining a bit of pus ever since. When I told this to the paramedic, he actually said, "I'm going to leave now before I feel any more stupid," and he walked out.
But here's the really strange part - I saw a lot of dried red stuff on his forearm all around his scratches (that's all they were...scratches). "It's just blood, Doc!" I hear you all screaming. No, it was actually hot sauce that he had poured on the scratches so he could feel the pain.