Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dust Collector

So originally the call comes in as groin pain. We arrive at the apartment complex on the third floor and his son answers the door. He leads us through a maze of narrow hallways lined with boxes of long forgotten items now blanketed in a thick layer of dust. As we got closer to the bedroom the smell got stronger.

According to the son, his father (age 76) had fallen on the way to the bathroom three days earlier, and now the pain was to the point that he could not get out of bed. As it turns out his father was in so much pain that we couldn't get his heart rate and blood pressure without him wincing. Poor fellow was in such pain, and we had no choice but to use a sheet carry and a wheel chair until we could reach the stretcher three floors down.

On the way to the hospital I was able to get the man talking, and I even got a chuckle out of him a time or two. Now, here's where I've got some trouble. His son said his father had fallen three days ago, and had only not been able to get out of bed that day because of the pain. But when we were walking down the hallway the smell was obvious. And when we lifted the father off his bed, the stench honestly made me want to vomit. There was no doubt that the man had been laying in that bed, soaked through with his own urine (and such things), for at least a week. And there were three other people in that apartment the entire time, who could have called for help earlier, who could have changed the man's sheets and clothes, who could have done something. Anything. Ugh!

So, questions.
Have you encountered situations like that, in which neglect is obvious?
What is your reaction?
I have heard that you should keep a little jar of Vicks Vapor Rub with you, does it actually help with the smells?

Anywho, I am still awaiting my test results. I hate waiting! But, hopefully tomorrow will be the day. :)


Bernice said...

I have found that Burt's Bees chapstick works almost as well as Vicks and is less obvious. The strong minty smell helps dissuade some of the unsavory things our noses encounter. :)

Anonymous said...

I had a similar incident recently that raised the issue of vulnerable adult so I reported it through the channels. Not a heard a thing since.

On the other important issue here, I find that mints or Vicks just clears my nose and the smells become more potent. It's just part of the job and let's face it every bodies s**t stinks.