‘Obviously, this is EMS abuse, and I tell her so.’ A Patient Is Faking Heart Problems, So An EMT Makes Sure Everyone In Her Neighborhood Knows
by Trisha Leigh
Medical personnel are overworked and under-respected across the board. So, when people choose to try to game the system or make their days harder, it’s tough to blame them for refusing to play.
OP is an EMT who was called to an emergency “chest pain.” When they arrived, they found the woman who called out on the curb, suitcase packed.
I was a medic in Salt Lake for a few years.
One rainy day, my partner and I got dispatched to a fairly upscale neighborhood on a call of “chest pain.”
Chest pain means flashing lights and sirens.
We quickly arrive in front of a pretty nice house and find a woman standing at the curb with two suitcases packed (already a red flag!) I shut down the siren but kept the lights going for safety.
They found out shortly after she climbed into the ambulance that she had simply needed a ride to the hospital for a procedure.
We ask if she called 911 and she confirms.
She steps into the ambulance, sits on the bench, and asks us to get going.
I tell her we need to do a full work up before we leave, so we can provide care en route and take her to the right facility.
She says she doesn’t really have chest pain, she has a procedure scheduled at the hospital, and she wants me to turn off the flashing lights so her neighbors don’t notice and ask her questions.
OP said no ride if she didn’t medically need it, so even though she wanted to avoid her neighbors talking, she wanted to get to the hospital on time more.
Obviously, this is EMS abuse, and I tell her so.
Suddenly her chest pain is back! So I say I need to get vitals and start an ECG.
She protests again, mentioning the start time for her appointment in less than thirty minutes, and so I ask her point blank: do you need medical attention or do we need the police?
Except the assessment in the field took so long she was late anyway. Oops.
I proceeded to do a full work up, in front of her house, taking my sweet time, asking enough questions to make her eyes roll, and leaving the strobe lights on the whole time so the neighbors would see.
And she was late to her appointment because we admitted her to the hospital through the ER instead of the front doors.
Is Reddit going to pat this guy on the back?
The joke was definitely on her.
It’s not a profession for the faint of heart.
There’s no such thing as an easy call.
This person has a very good question.
They’re hoping she gets in at least a little bit of trouble.
This guy handled the situation perfectly.
Or at least, as perfectly as he could and still keep his job.