Sunday, September 24, 2006

Cocaine

As I said in my post ‘Thieves’, I am going to tell you what happened.

We were called to a 25 year old male with chest pains. Although this can happen for many reasons, it is not normal to have the sort of chest pains associated with a heart attack.

This young man however had got central chest pains and was sweaty.

When I asked about what he had been doing for the last few hours, he told me that he had smoked about £150 worth of cocaine. He also told me that he had had a similar episode about a month ago.

We took the patient down to the ambulance and carried out several checks that we do on every patient presenting with chest pain. One of the tests is a 12 lead ECG, (Electrocardiogram).

What we saw was not normal, but, it also didn’t look like the trace expected of a heart attack and was beating extremely fast.

We made a decision to take him to the nearest hospital and not a cardiac cath lab, (which is where we can take confirmed heart attacks whilst bypassing the nearest hospital), because the ECG print out was inconclusive and we also weren’t sure if they would take a patient with cocaine induced chest pain.

After letting the hospital know we were on the way, took him in on the lights.

The local hospital accepted him and pulled his notes from the last time he was in. The hospital ECG was the same as the one four weeks previously.

Some people never learn!

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