We responded to an elderly lady SOB (short of breath). This felt like any other call, as we gave her oxygen via mask. I started checking her blood pressure when I suddenly started to feel a funny sensation in my nose.
CRAP! Not right now!
I quickly stopped what I was doing and grabbed some tissue from my pocket. I brought it up to my nose, praying for it to be not what I think it would be. I pulled the tissue back and sure enough, what I didn’t want: BLOOD.
I looked at my patient, and she looked back at me as blood started to rush out of my nose, soaking my gloves.
Great! Now I can’t even touch my patient without smearing blood all over her.
Turning to my partner, I asked him to take over for me.
Now this wouldn’t have been so bad if we were at a quiet location. Unfortunately, lucky me, we were just outside a gate to a very busy event. There were people, literally, A WHOLE LINE-UP of people filing through constantly. And of course we drew attention. At this point, I especially drew attention.
Common! Common! Stop bleeding!
I knew how silly it all looked. I wished I wasn’t in uniform. Who am I trying to kid? There’s nothing professional about a paramedic who’s trying to help someone with blood pouring down their face.