Who Mash Me Up!

I carry a small digital camera in my pocket. I’ve written about it before in New Frontier. It is great for taking mechanism of injury shots – the smashed up car, bent steering wheel, picture of the roof the patient fell off showing the height of the fall. The trauma team loves to see the pictures at the ED.

This afternoon we were called for an 88-year-old Jamaican man who had been drinking and fell, tripping over his walker and cut hit head in multiple locations. He was bleeding from the ear, nose and forehead. He swore he was okay. “Why you bother my peace!” He shouted at us. “I’m awwright. I’m in my own house. I not sick. Leave me alone!”

We tried to explain to him that he probably needed stitches, that his nose might be broken, and that he had a huge hematoma on his forehead. He denied it. “I’m awwright,” he said.

I took out my digital camera. I asked his wife for permission to take his picture to show it to him. She said fine. I photographed his ear, his forehead, and then a picture of his entire head and face.

“This is you,” I said. I showed him the shots. He stared at the last one, recognizing himself.

“Who mash me up!” he shouted. “Who da bad man?”

He didn’t resist when we put him on the stretcher. “What hoppen?” he shouted. “Who mash me up?”


  • JTD says:

    “I Wish I Had a Camera: Legal & Ethical Implications of EMS Photography”, August 2002 JEMS If you have access to the 8/2002 issue of JEMS then this article may answer some of your questions regarding cameras. I haven’t seen the article so I’m not really sure what it contains. I found a link to it on the JEMS web site but the link went to a blank page so I guess you need a hard copy of the magazine.P.S.- I enjoy reading your blog and I am thinking of starting my own soon. Thank You.

  • PC says:

    Thanks for the lead. Sounds like an interesting article. I will definately try to get a copy.I did follow up with a supervisor and he told me as long as I wasn’t taking a picture of patient without their consent, I was alright. Mechanism of injury shots are fine.I’m curious what the JEMS article has to say.Good luck with starting your blog. They are a lot of fun and very rewarding.

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