Sayli (saylinara) wrote in bad_service,

Reading through some of the past stories, I was reminded of an incident with EMS a year or so ago.

To start, I'm badly allergic to milk and its by-products. My reactions cause me to pass out, which could be fatal if I managed to stop breathing. Anyways, I'm very careful about what I eat and only eat what I absolutely know is safe.

One night, I'm eating at work, off the clock, where we serve pizza and pasta to-go. I know the recipe to the pasta like the back of my hand, but apparently one of the day-shift workers decided she was going to make that day's batch of marinara sauce with parmesan without telling anyone! (one of the other day girls snitched the next day about it and the accused confessed rather quickly when confronted). I eat it, I pass out, my coworkers freak out and call 911.

I wake up groggily on the stretcher, to this big chunk of man who asked me to call him "Teddy Bear", while he was trying to prep my wrist for easy access to the IV pumps in the ambulance. When we get into the ambulance, he decides he needs to draw blood while we're racing to the hospital. What ensues still boggles my mind, although I laugh about it now. Not so much laughing back then though...

Teddy Bear: "Now, darling, I've only drawn blood like twice. I'm promise I'll rock it though."
Me: "Just so you know, I have hidden veins. They like to hide under my muscles, so it might take awhile."
Teddy Bear: "Oh darling, don't worry, I've been doing this for ten years. I've never missed a vein in my life and I've punched my fair share of veins."

At this point, I give him the dirtiest look ever. Joking about service time in an ambulance doesn't seem too brilliant, but what do I know. The bimbo student "observing" chimed in at this point, telling me he was the best EMT this side of the Mississippi and she was learning everything from him. This should have been signal number two that something wasn't right with this guy because she was way too busy batting her eyelashes at him to properly observe.

Anyways, Teddy Bear pokes and prods at my arm for a few minutes and finally hits the vein. It hurts more then I think it should, having had blood drawn before, and under his breath, I softly hear "Oh shit........" He covers my arm with a blanket, not letting me see my elbow, and shifts to the other side. After a few more attempts, he's finally got the vials of blood he needs.

I ask to see my right arm and he tells me no. I try to wiggle out of the blanket, but he finally restrains my right arm, telling me that its for the best.

We get to the hospital and they set me up in an ER room. The nurse comes in to look me over, takes the blanket off my elbow and yelps. Teddy Bear ended up blowing my vein, majorly, and I already had a six-inch ring of bruise and blood under the skin that went almost around my entire elbow. It took a good month to get rid of that bruise. The other elbow was slightly better off, only having spotty bruises that went out in about inch-in-diameter circles from each of the spots he tried to stick me.

The kicker about the whole situation: They didn't even test the blood. The doctor told me they were chalking it up to a known allergic reaction and that they didn't need to test my blood for something "so trivial".

Needless to say, if I ever need ambulance assistance in this town again and I see Teddy Bear coming my way, he's going to be driving. Even though, funnily enough, a good friend of mine worked the check-out pay desk at the hospital and he told me about three months later that the nurse AND doctor that worked me that night reported Teddy Bear's shoddy work to his superior's and they made him retake some basic EMT courses without pay as they thought he was getting too soft in the field.

tl;dr = I need ambulance assistance, an imcompentent joker EMT comes to my aide, ends up blowing my vein and being stupid about it.
Tags: *medical/pharmacy, allergies, bedside manners, first do no harm?
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