Thursday, 17 January 2013

Is that a truncheon in your pocket...



A rainy cold Saturday morning and three police officers brought a patient into the Unit...and he was immediately brought from the waiting room into my consulting room.

We make a point of trying to see patients/prisoners as soon as we can and we also do not leave them sitting outside in the waiting room with the other punters giving them the hairy eyeball.

This is done partly because technically, you are innocent until proven guilty and shouldn't be placed in a situation where you can be disrespected....that after all is the purpose of this blog ; partly because patients and their relatives have complained in the past about having to share a waiting room with a criminal....which is always a bit of a surprise to me given how many of my patients have personally been under arrest or who have a close  family member in custody or gaol;and mainly because I want the fuzz out on the street potentially doing something useful, not sitting around in a warm dry hospital drinking coffee.

The patient was some arbitrary fellow who had a sprained ankle ( sustained whilst running from the police);a sprained wrist (sustained whilst 'resisting arrest'); and an exacerbation of his asthma, triggered from the liberal application of 'liquid J***s',-tear gas-,during his arrest.

He was accompanied by a scruffy male PC who seemed both tired and stupid; a thickset and vicious looking female PC who had taken off her muzzle the better to moan about how poorly the police are paid ; and a simply gorgeous , blond-hair-and-blue-eyes female Sergeant who smelt of warm  cinnamon toast.

*sigh*

The patient had already been seen in the custody area by the duty Police Surgeon, who typically, and because he earns about four times what I do, sent him into a nurse-led Unit for further treatment and evaluation.

So I duly gave him the once over...
...firstly ,  I x-rayed him until he glowed in the dark to make I sure that he really really hadn't broken any bones despite his whingeing and bitching...
...and secondly, I evaluated his asthma and lung function...I did that  by multiplying {the number of viable teeth} by {the number of tattoos on his body}, then subtracted {the amount of cigarettes he claimed to smoke}and divided the answer {by the number of times he said, "I'm innocent mate"}.
His chest seemed clear.
I decided to give him some paracetamol for his injuries and a  Ventolin nebuliser for his asthma.

"Okay...I'm going to give him a nebuliser to open up his lungs a little and I'll have another listen to his chest and if its all clear you can take him back to the clink..."

Thank you , lisped Sgt. Gorgeous, as she leaned in towards me.

(Oh be still my beating heart!!)

Can you please fill in our  ' fit to be detained'  form??

"Sure..."

I got Julian to give the patient his nebuliser whist I completed the paperwork and stamped the form with my personal name stamp.

Gosh...you have a lot of degrees and qualifications...said Sgt. Gorgeous as she picked up my stamp and,- frankly-, fondled it.

"Yes...yes I do..."

The nebuliser had finished and after examining the patient I was happy for him to be discharged...although I gave him a fresh Ventolin inhaler.
I explained to him and the police how and when I wanted him to use it; and how and when they should seek further medical expertise....basically, if he turned blue at some point , they should call an ambulance.

So doc, said PC Tired as he idly scratched his testicles, could he have died from the tear gas...?

"Well...its possible he could have had a bad asthma attack and potentially have stopped breathing...but you know...it could always be worse..."

How could it be worse than dying...?

"Well...it could have been me who was tear gassed..."

Oh how she laughed.

Will he really be safe in custody...?

"Jah....he'll be fine..."

If you're sure...?

"I'm sure...but I tell you what...why don't you give me your phone number and I'll call you later and we can discuss the patient if you'd like...?"

Oh that's a good idea...let me just give you my number...

Hey sarge...why don't you just give him the custody number...then he can talk to whoever is on duty with the prisoner...?

She looked at me...
...I looked back at her...
...we both looked at PC Tired...

"Okay...PC Tired...do you not understand that I could care less about the patient..."

The sergeant blushed...
...PC Tired looked puzzled.

"The patient is fine...I would not be discharging him back to a cold and lonely cell if I had any concerns about his health..."

Oh...

"I was attempting to get your colleagues phone number so that I could ask her out to dinner..."

Oh...

"And before you interrupted us, it looked like I had a good chance of getting it..."

Even the prisoner was snickering now...
...but the moment was lost...
...my cunning plan had been revealed...

Oh...

"And that...Constable...is  why you guys aren't allowed to carry firearms..."

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