09:30am- Should have written his while ago, just now had the time to sit down and give an update. My last tour was pretty busy. 4-5 calls per shift. Not all of them critical. But at least 1 COVID patient per shift. Sometimes more. Gateway Nursing home in Hayward had an outbreak. I remember taking a patient from there. We had to drive around the outside of the building to the patients room. Instead of walking through the facility, all the rooms have sliding glass doors that face the outside so we take them straight from their room. Older man in his 70’s with his bed literally on the floor had a ground level fall 5 feet from his bed. I think he had dementia/ Alzheimers and would constantly get out of his bed and fall. He had a cast on his left arm and I think his injury was a small abrasion above the eye. So initially this is a non- COVID patient and per Falck’s policy, dose not warrant an N95. I wore my personal one anyway. When we took him he was hot to the touch and had a slight cough but otherwise super stable. We put him in a COIVD room at the local hospital. I later heard they only did a CT scan and sent him back. I guess he goes to that hospital frequently for the same thing.
We ended up taking someone to Summit Hospital. I hadn’t been there since the Pandemic started. It looked crazy! They have this large room that is semi separate from the ER that they call Fast Track. Usually for low acuity patients and the rooms are divided by curtains. Well they transformed that into their COVID rooms. There was white plastic sheeting that divide the rooms and a zipper in the “doorway” of each room. This is just Summit. Pretty much every hospital has their own way of Handling COVID patients. St Rose has a few isolation rooms. But if you bring a respiratory or a code you will be on ‘trauma’ side. Meaning the only thing dividing the patient and the other beds is a curtain. Which is dangerous especially if you are aerosolizing medication. The reason I bring up Summit is because they actually did something about the curtain issue. Making it clear that I can/ should be done. But St Rose has made no attempt in this.
2:07pm- Just got an email stating East Bay Post Acute has been hit hard with amount of COIVD patients and staff there is getting sick. Falck wants to fill 3 “units” at the SNF to help take care of patients. This has obviously prompted so many unanswered questions but for me it boils down to this. Do I want to contract COVID now or later? If we work these shift we are more or less guaranteed to get COVID all for $23/hr. So they are asking these EMT’s/ Paramedics to bring COVID home to their wives, husbands, kids and family they may live with? Some may say that it what we signed up for. I disagree.
Last week I got to transport a homeless guy from one of the Hotels in Oakland. The call was for blood in the stool and I didn’t know it was one of the city hotels that house the homeless. As we pulled up theres staff outside and a few people hanging around and OFD onscene. They didn’t know much about him other than he had been tested for COVID (no one knows why) and is awaiting the results. So I gowned up, mask, gloves and goggles and said “ok what room is he in?”. Staff point to a gentleman standing 5feet away and leaning against the post smoking a cigarette and says “he’s right here”. That kinda startled me a bit but were rollin with it. He’s able to hope in the back and he’s a pretty nice guy. I put a mask on him which he was cool with and says he had been pooping a lot of bright red blood for x2 days. He was in the hospital last week because he kept “fallin out”. Meaning he had multiple syncopes. This was new to him, never happened before. No history of ETOH/drug abuse and no hx of esophageal varices. vitals were fine, not hypotensive and not tachy. So we start transporting and i start asking about the hotel and his experience. He said he was homeless and the city put him in the hotel. It has 2 sections. One for non-sick and the other side is for COVID or possible COIVD. He said its pretty nice, they get TV and 3 square meals. They dont get to choose but he said they eat pretty healthy. People can call for some sweets if they want. He said they have pretty fast response time. As soon as he called with his problem a nurse was at his door within minutes. They dont pass out medication though. He takes Zyprexa but left it at his sisters house so he hasn’t taken it in a couple weeks. He said its pretty calm there. no one really hangs out with each other and everything is pretty calm.
03:22- This East Bay Post Acute thing is still developing. Started a firestorm on the Union page (no surprise there). Still not sure exactly what we will be doing but Royal is apparent putting together a strike team (5 ambulances) to send to the SNF. Again, I don know why we are sending 8 ambulances, 16 EMS personal to this but should be interesting.
On another side note I get my regular partner, Anabella, back this week on Saturday. She left for a month to take care of her dad. She had a really rough time but im glad to see she’s back. She’s a new EMT but she learns real fast. I wouldn’t say she’s emotionally driven either, which is great! What I mean by that is, the first shift he ever had together was for a shooting in Oakland. Kid got shot in the face and everywhere else, and my dumbass almost worked it. OFD hand to kindly remind me we dont work traumatic codes, and this call was no gray area. Unfortunately this kid was gone gone. But Bella did really well with the call. One thing we both agree on is we retain audio memory too well. I’ve been on 10-55’s and the worst thing isn’t seeing the body, its the shriek of the mothers scream when she hears about her son. It doesn’t resurface often but I do hear that scream every now and then.