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One Response

  1. Scene is a trailer house. In a bedroom a 20 some year old injects heroin. In another part of the house are his 5 children. In the room with him is his pleading mother.

    The shooter becomes unresponsive. EMS is called. They do their meds, and et tube etc. He is dead. Mom becomes hysterical. Collapse and becomes unresponsive. We are called as a 2nd crew.

    I am able to wake Mom. She has not much to say. She does not want to go to the hospital. Police say we must take her.

    During the transport I tell her I am not a counselor but a set of ears that can listen. She is angry. Why didn’t the first crew save her son? I don’t bother with telling her how heroin can kill. She wants to know who sold her son his lethal does. She cries, but is largely stoic.

    Our role was minor and for one too late. Lots of things go thru my mind: damn junkies, poor mother, what about the kids, how could a child do that to a mom, the power of addiction, what could have been done to prevent this.

    I compartmentalise pretty well. You do your treatment protocols, and that is what you control. This one leaks out of the boxes of my mind.

    Is it the drug that triggers my angst? What about the guy with liver issues and bands to prevent bleeding from esophageal varices from drinking? How different is he?

    Police were on scene they will try to find the source of the drugs. At a drunk driving scene why don’t they go looking for budweiser, jack and coke, the box of wine?

    We’re EMS the last resort. There is nothing as a paramedic i could’ve done to prevent this.Still the thought lingers….

    There’s catch and release fishing. Really we treat and release. The guy I had last week was a probable OD. Got him breathing to the ED where he is released.

    Yet I like the challenge of calls like this- if not medically at least emotionally. They get me to an aspect of life in a direct experiential way. They get my brain ticking. There is not a filter, a newspaper story, or a brief TV news video. I am on the scene fully as can be.

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