Saturday, February 7, 2009

- Lies

Izzy and I were in the unit one day last year. It was a beautiful sunset, the kind that makes cinematographers have to adjust their underwear, and we were deciding on what we wanted for dinner. In our small town, this consists of three options.

1) Wal-mart
2) Chinese
3) Fast Food

I believe we had decided on Chinese when we get a page for an overdose...at a dentist's office?

"A dentists office? Too much toothpaste? What the hell?"

Traffic parts in front of our siren as we speed over. We arrive 2 minutes later (small town, remember?) and get out, ready for action.A cop is standing outside, and as we walk through an open door, we see three large women clustered around the door to a patient care room. It smells like a dentists office, and my teeth ache slightly. I step past the ladies at the doorway to find a perhaps forty year-old female curled, fetus like, around a nitrous tank. A firefighter is poking her in the stomach.

"Look out, bud. You're doing it wrong." I kneel down to the lady, and poke continuously on her forehead.

"Hey. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey. Hey. Wake up."

My technique works, and our little nitrousnaut's eyes flutter open.

"Wh....where's...Tooktook? Where's...bali??"

I shoot a sidelong glance at the firefighter and Izzy, who's trying to suppress a smile. Bali? Wow.

"Ma'am, I'm a paramedic with XXXX, my name's March, what happened?"

She's starting to come around now, and looks at the tank she's wrapped herself around.

"Oh, uh....I...was....um. I work here."

"Oh, ok. Izz, can you get some vitals?" I turn around and look at the three pack of women at the door to the office. They can barley fit all of their faces inside. "Do any of ya'll know what happened?"

One of the pack looks at the other two, "Well, we left the office around two today, and went to have an after work lunch. She said she had to finish some paperwork. We all went home and got dressed, and when we drove back by on the way to the restaurant, I noticed her car was still parked out around the back. I didn't think it was a big deal and we went and ate. When we got done, we were driving by, and her car was still here. We went inside to check her and found her like this, and then we called you."

I check my watch. It's a little after seven. These woman ate "after work" lunch for 3 hours. That's close to my personal record! But, more importantly....a woman has been huffing laughing gas for 4 or 5 hours.

Now, pharmacologists, you may be able to educate me on the particular kinetics of nitrous, but as I recall, it's premixed, and you can't dose yourself too high without dropping the mask. So I'm not to concerned with the potential of this individual to go into respiratory arrest. At worst, she'll have a shit-ass headache. I walk back to the woman, who is now awake enough to communicate effectively.

"Oh, look, I was just feeling...short of breath, so I decided to um...breathe some oxygen. I feel...better."

I bet so.

The dentist shows up, and decides not to press charges.

















For dinner, I have chicken on a stick with steamed rice.

It is delicious.

-MM

6 comments:

nickopotamus said...

The nitrous used pre-hospital is pre-mixed, 50%/50% so it has that self limiting factor you mentioned. But I believe you can get 100% nitrous oxide tanks for anaesthetics, and there's a chance dentists may have that? But there's still the limiting factor of being unable to hold the thing, just the chance of going hypoxic before dropping it.

Still, comedy call of the day :)

Loving Annie said...

People are ever inventive in ways to get f****d up :)

Walt Trachim said...

My, my..... Another case of Sumdumbass, if you ask me..... :)

DocV said...

The nitrous I use is not premixed, however it has a dual regulator that limits NO2 flow and provides a minimum O2 flow that prevents hypoxia. The regulator is has a security lock and the tanks them selves are secured. I have the only keys.

Bad office security....

P.S.

I have had patients "premedicate" them selves before coming in for an appointment and conviently forgwet to tell me, so an OD at a dentist office is not implauisble. There can also be all sorts of nifty cardiac events when you mix chroniuc cocaine abuse with local anesthetic.

DocV said...

Wow! I need to check for typos before I submit. That's what I get for posting early in the morning!

NJ EMS said...

Love this one...lol