I was laughing cuz my partner was moody and not in the mood for trauma, but we had a student, and it was Sunday night in Harlem, so even without riding all over town trying to pick it up, the shit was flying our way. We’d already done a pretty low key shooting, no kinda clusterfuck just a straight forward once in the leg, dude was pretty much chilling in the doorway waiting for us and then we were sitting in Garvey Park, enjoying the firefly show when they sent us solo for a cardiac arrest on 110 and Lenox. Text said, MAN FELL OFFA BLDNG NOT BRTHNG NOT MOVING.
Now, lemme say that even when a cardiac arrest is just your regular everyday 200 year old in the nursing home type of thing, you still automatically get EMTs backing you up AND a slew of firemen and a conditions boss. This is because arrests take a lotta grunt work to deal with. It’s like any job but someone has to be doing CPR the whole damn time, and real CPR takes two people minimum to do. Then add into equation that the patients probably gonna be humongous and humongoloids as a rule only live on the top floor of buildings with no or broken elevators- it’s a production.
But even with this patient being skinny and obviously not on the top floor, another seta hands woulda really helped.
When we rolled up the fire dudes were there running around with the general melee of the building, which had emptied out for the spectacle. People were pointing and yelling- He on the awning, yo!, so we walked in the building, up a flight of stairs, down a windy hallway, through someone’s bedroom and out a window to the cement awning where we found our guy.
He had landed Wiley Coyote-style, face first, arms and legs sprawled out at impossible angles all around him. He was also about 60, skinny and frail and, most surprisingly of all, alive. Not only was he alive, he was talking, or groaning anyway. Mostly all he said was “ow” the whole time, but for an older dude who’d just eaten pavement from five stories up that’s not bad. Most guys like that we just put a sheet over.
Anyway, the bucketheads had brought their backboard up but we had a problem: the guy was facedown and had to be rolled to be placed supine on the board, but both his arms were shattered, loose like spaghetti, one of em with an open fracture, bone and everything out for all the world to see. To roll him like we usually do would’ve rolled his arm over and over underneath him like dough. Fortunately, he was slender and light, so we adjusted the arm, grabbed him all along his mangled body, supported his head and lifted him over his own arm and onto the board.
“ow.”
Then I climbed back through the window and we passed the board and dude through the window and out into the hallway. With firemen helping my partner get the guy out, i rushed ahead to the ambulance and set up our equipment. He was a trauma, so he’d need big IV lines and big bags of fluid. Because of the mechanism of injury he was likely to check out at any dang moment, so I opened up the tube kit and laid out on the little shelf next to where the patients head would be.
The door swung open and they loaded our guy in, sill moaning. He turned out to have a decent blood pressure- 130/70, and a heartrate of 70- that’s ridiculous. No one falls off a building and has perfectly normal vital signs, but who am I to complain? Either way he was still broken everywhere, and crush injuries like that can maintain and look normal right up util they don’t, and then the guy will just die.
So we lurch into motion towards Saint Lukes and find two surprisingly bulgy veins to put two bigass needles in and lots and lots of fluid and our man rolls into the hospital in the same vaguely shocked and irritated, broke ass way we found him.