Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ridiculous EMS Calls

The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) asked readers, "What's the funniest, wierdest, best, or worst call you've ever responded to?" Here are some responses:
  • "I found out that the little boy had stuck Christmas lights up his nose. He and his brother wanted to see if they could see them blink."
  • "We had one the other day for a woman who called 911 because her nipples were sore. (Maybe from the guy who called with chapped lips.)"
  • "A buddy of mine got a 911 call for an unknown problem. Upon arriving on scene the patient was upset about lint, yes LINT, in their bellybutton."
  • "The first words out of the patients mouth is 'I have gonorrhea.' ... The patient. then said it itched and that the meds were not helping her."
  • "I answered an emergency call this particular evening, with a lady in a remote community (350 km away) [210 miles] wanting condoms as the local clinic was closed. She pleaded with me to get some condoms because sex was fun and she didn't want to get pregnant."
  • "Weirdest call I ever got was for a woman with a hemorrhage from an argument with her abusive boyfriend. So, fire and law enforcement were dispatched. Turns out, her 'hemorrhage' was a result of her 'woman days' and the only reason (as she admitted) was that she called 911 to get a ride to the hopital so she could see her friend, who had her tampons."
  • "Call comes in, 'Send an ambulance, I have an onion in my ear!' Sure enough, that's exactly what it was. 19 y/o male had an ear ache and his grandmother had told him to put one of those small pearl onions in his ear to draw out any infection (old time remedy?). So he wedged the onion in his ear, but when he tried to pull it out the suction caused a great deal of pain to his ear drum.

    Leaving it there for another day...his ear is now really hurting. So why is he calling us now? It turns out the patient is freaking out because he 'just knows' the onion is sprouting roots and heading for his brain. My own thought was that there must not be much for the roots to find..."
  • "I got a call for an unknown injury. Turned out to be a girl 'stuck' on her cars shifter. Needless to say we brought out the rescue truck and had to cut her out. It took a lot to keep from laughing."
  • "As a general rule of thumb, any time you arrive on scene and the first words out of the patient's mouth are 'It's not funny' -- it really is. And personally, I dread calls in which the conversation ends with the patient saying '... and I lost it / lost hold of it / can't reach it.' I don't know about other services, but mine is not search and rescue!"
  • "Dispatch radioed to 'Respond the the House of Corrections (i.e., jail) for a patient with .. something stuck.' Turned out it was an apple and you can guess where it was stuck... After the report 'Blah Blah Apple Stuck Blah, ETA 5, any questions?' He asked 'Was it a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious?'"

Other 911 operator stories are at the blog "911 This Better Be Good"