Badass, 1/2

Like every other creature on the face of the earth, [he] was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo–which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn’t a stupendous badass was dead.

Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

“Medic 9 respond for the stabbing. BLS on scene requesting.”

Hmm, Ambulance 9 responded to that address for something so minor it didn’t even register in my consciousness. It wasn’t something that should require ALS backup. It definitely wasn’t a late night stabbing.

We find the patient in the back seat of a car. He’s not the one Ambulance 9 was looking for. That explains a lot. He’s lost a lot of blood, but he is still conscious and talking to us. We need to get him out of the car and into our rig NOW.

Shouting. Lots of shouting. Orders and instructions fly back and forth among us and the firefighters. The police are very interested in the who, why, and how. The patient’s friends are split between those who want to ride in the ambulance with him and those who loudly vow revenge.

In the ambulance we expose the wound, and I see things I’ve never seen before. It’s like something from the children’s game Operation; I could reach in with at least three fingers and pull things out. These are sights no one other than a surgeon should see.

Hopefully a surgeon will be seeing them soon.

The occlusive dressing is like a tarp on a broken window. It bulges in and out as he breathes. Oxygen, large bore IVs, and a Rapid Diesel Infusion are the treatment orders of the night. He’s still talking to us, and his vital signs are pretty good. Big City Trauma Center, here we come.

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