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.


  • Aaron Patton says:

    Wow. A call that a paramedic CANT eat after? lol.When I went on my paramedic ridealong we got a few nasty calls. After we went to eat…this was when I was new to wanting to be a paramedic so I was astonished that they could even eat.Last summer we got a bad near death call when we were doing first aid for motocross. My first big call. Compound fractured femur, could see the bone and muscle and everything. Also a bleeding goose egg above the eye. Probably doesn’t sound gross or traumatic for you and the othr readers but for a 16 year old on his first major call…wow.After the 2 hour call I just broke down crying. It was a big motocross event and we all got fed after. I could not eat.St. John gave me 2 “wonderful” counsellors on that call…I didn’t want no counsellors.Hope you had an awesome Christmas and a great New Years!!!

  • Stacey says:

    Don’t feel bad. I watched Van Wilder about 6 months ago and I still can’t look at a canoli without gagging.

  • Eric says:

    You know, I’ve been calling those things ‘puss filled’ donuts for years now! I did it mostly for the reaction of others, but mebbe not any more…

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