And then there are the people transported by helicopter.
A CT scanner table.
I'll pause here so you can reread that last sentence fragment again.
Henrietta had been at an outpatient radiology centre located somewhere very close to the Ass End Of Space and was getting a CT scan of her brain for reasons known only to her doctor (apparently). I asked her several times why she was getting her brain scanned, but her only response was "My doctor told me to". [Note to everyone out there: if your doctor instructs you to get a test done, any test, make sure you ask WHY.]
Anyway, Henrietta had become a bit restless and anxious while the CT tech was adjusting the table and had rolled off and bonked (that's the technical term) the back of her head a bit. She did not lose consciousness, was acting completely appropriately, and had no complaint other than the mild head bonk.The radiologist was concerned (for some unknown reason) that she had a brain injury, so he did the correct thing to do in that situation, which was absolutely nothing different than was already planned. Since she was there for a brain scan anyway, he simply got her up, put her back on the table, did the scan she was supposed to get, and let her go home after reading her scan and making sure her brain was uninjured.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA no he didn't. He didn't do any of those things. No, with a neurologically normal patient and a CT scanner literally at his fingertips, he called a fucking ambulance.
Twenty minutes later the medics arrived and assessed her. It seems they were inexplicably just as concerned as the radiologist, because they also felt she needed a full trauma workup. But because the radiology centre was located near the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, they called for an air ambulance.
The helicopter brought Henrietta to my trauma bay about an hour after the incident. This included the time for the ground crew evaluation, the helicopter taking off, flying, landing, packaging her up, inserting her into the bowels of the helicopter, taking off again, flying again, landing again, and unpacking her at my hospital.
I'd just like to take a brief moment to recap for anyone who may have gotten lost: a helicopter brought a woman from a CT scanner, where she was getting her brain scanned, to me, so that I could put her in a CT scanner and scan her brain.
Incredulity just barely scratches the surface of every single person in the room as the transport crew gave us their report, which sounded a little like this:
"Hi there (sorry) Doc, this is (really sorry) Henrietta. She (seriously, we're sorry) rolled off a CT table and hit her head (so sorry)."
Henrietta was still acting completely appropriately, though she had a slight headache and a very small bump on the back of her head. After approximately 623 confused glances were exchanged among the hospital staff and the helicopter crew ("Hey, they call us, we come", they said in their defence as they left), I did a thorough head-to-toe evaluation and then, you know, scanned her head.
And wouldn't you know, it was absolutely, completely, totally, and in all other ways stone cold normal and gave exactly no indication as to why she was getting the original scan in the first place. About two hours later, Henrietta's husband arrived after navigating traffic from Bumfuck Nowhere. Notably, he had no idea why she was getting the original scan either. Regardless I made sure to give them copies of her scan to give to her doctor.
I also sent a copy of both the scan and our radiologists' report to the referring radiologist at the outpatient imaging centre. I strongly considered attaching a note that said "Here is what you would have seen had you not wasted an absurd amount of time and money and had instead just done the right goddamned thing", but my restraint came through in the end and I thought better of it. Instead, my note simply said,
"Henrietta's brain. Normal".