Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Honestly, sometimes you just don't have to go very far to get plot ideas. They are in the news every day.
This news story totally shocked me-- and honestly it takes a lot to do that for me these days.
Very early in my nursing career, a man was transported to us via ambulance. He had passed out and cut his head open on a rock mowing the lawn in the Midwestern heat and humidity. I mean, who wouldn't, right?
Now, if you know head lacerations-- you know they bleed pretty severely. Even small wounds can bleed impressively and this man had a significant laceration and blood was everywhere. He wasn't all that coherent when we tried to ask questions and get a history so we bypassed that and began his medical treatment. The physician and I were gloved up and raking through his hair when his sister arrived and we began asking her his history.
"Does he have any medical problems?"
"Yes, he's HIV positive."
I mean-- we both just froze and I remember thinking I wish I'd been in the habit of triple gloving. The physician and I were fine because, as healthcare providers, we assume EVERYONE is infected all the time and we should be using precautions based on that assumption. Always assume the worst case scenario.
Which is why I can't reason this officer's actions for the following reasons.
1. Every responding officer should assume they are going into a volatile situation until proven otherwise. I don't think it's routine to put on Kevlar after you get on scene.
2. People aren't good at disclosing details that may be pertinent to your job when they are having an emergency. They are thinking of only a few things. "I need help." "Come as quickly as you can." "Did I say fix this now?" It's up to us as emergency responders to ask for the information that we need yet realize even then-- the answers may not be accurate.
3. This is a workman's comp issue. If you're injured in the performance of your duties-- this becomes a workman's comp claim and I have no idea why a police officer thinks suing her for money will engage the public trust.
I am a HUGE supporter of the police. My brother is a police officer. But, we don't want civillians worried about getting sued when they truly need help. I hope the courts throw this case out.
What are your thoughts?