The call is for severe bleeding. It turns out to be a burst abscess in a teenage male, who three weeks ago tore his hamstring. He bled internally , but the blood wasn’t reabsorbed by the body and an abscess started to grow. He was scheduled to have surgery to remove the undrained blood. At first I didn’t know what it was. His friend was holding pressure on it, and had told me about spurting blood. We removed the pressure and then after a moment’s delay this huge bloblike hunk of blood began to flow out of the large open wound. I covered it right back up and held pressure. He screamed. When I uncovered it at the hospital for the doctor, I saw it was just pus. It was like pus from a boil, except it was at first, dark red, then pinky, almost pepperminty in color. The pus that flowed out just kept coming. It didn’t stop.
I go down to the nurse’s station to give my report to the nurse. He hasn’t seen the patient yet. As I am giving my report the nurse is chowing down on these little pastries. He hands me a creme-filled one. I stare at it a moment, then back at the nurse. Then as soon as I am done with my report, I walk around the corner and drop the pastry in the trash can.
“I’m going down to the cafeteria,” my partner says. “You coming?”
“I’ll eat later,” I say.