Alright, now that that bit of nastiness is out of the way . . .
Football is not usually a dangerous sport. Some of the tackles may look a bit violent, but serious injuries are fortunately rare. However, considering the commonness of the game, I get plenty of football players in my trauma bay. Most of them have collided violently with another player and thankfully suffer no more than a concussion and some bumps and bruises at worst. But I do see the odd tibia fracture from someone getting kicked in the shin (usually during a "friendly" game where shin pads aren't being worn), but they are few and far between. So recently when my pager told me I was getting another football player in 10 minutes, I figured it would be another quick workup, another minor injury, and I could get back to reading A Game of Thrones.
I didn't know just how right I would be.
Morris (not his real name©) was playing a friendly game of football (striker, if you're curious) when he was kicked in the thigh. He immediately fell to the ground in agony, and emergency services was called. They felt he had an "obvious femur fracture" (so they told us over the box before they arrived), so they placed a traction device to stabilise his leg and help his pain. When he arrived, his thigh looked . . . completely normal. He wasn't in that much pain; in fact, he looked rather comfortable. Actually, he didn't have a scratch on him, despite the pre-hospital report, so I started wondering why the medics had seen fit to deem him a trauma patient. And then things went directly from "Strange" to "What the ever-loving fuck" when I asked him what happened to him and he started his story with "Well, six weeks ago . . ."
Wait, wait wait . . . six weeks ago? "No sir," I said, "not six weeks ago. What happened to you today?"
"I was getting to that, doc. So six weeks ago I was playing football, and I got kicked in my right thigh. It really hurt, but I played through the pain. I took some pain medicine and it got better and it's been feeling ok since, until this morning when it started hurting a bit again. But I decided to play through the pain again. Then I got kicked in the thigh again during our match today. It really hurt again, so here I am."
This seemed utterly ridiculous. He hadn't struck his head, he hadn't lost consciousness, he had no lacerations or abrasions or ANY other injuries, and was an otherwise healthy young man. Why did the medics designate him a trauma?
I had no idea, and by the time I realised I wanted to ask the medics what the fuck they were thinking, they had left. In a bit of a hurry, I would say. I had even less of an idea when I saw his completely normal femur X-ray.
"Yeah, I didn't think it was broken either, doc," he told me. "But they said it looked bad so I should get it checked out."
Fifteen minutes after he arrived, he walked out of the hospital with a prescription for ibuprofen and instructions to avoid football for a while.
I'm used to caring for people with life-threatening injuries. I take care of shattered spleens and lacerated bowels and eviscerations and gunshot wounds to the heart. These are the injuries that I typically deal with. So I should have been glad he wasn't seriously hurt. I should have been happy he didn't need surgery. But instead I was merely annoyed that the medics brought this kid to me unnecessarily and thoroughly wasted his time. And mine.
For a bruise.
For a bruise.