How do you tend to a sick or injured child? TV3's Paramedics offers some advice
TV3's Paramedics returns to our screens on Wednesday night and the opening episode deals with every parent's worst nightmare: an injured child.
Fly-on-the-wall show Paramedics goes behind the scenes with the HSE National Ambulance Service giving viewers a glimpse into the action with the emergency medical service.
Paramedics in Cork tend to a child who has badly injured himself after falling off his trampoline. In fact, his injuries are so severe that his bone has cut through his skin.
How do you deal with a child in that situation?
Paramedic Imelda O'Shea, who has plenty of experience dealing with children, explains:
“The big thing with paediatrics is to get down to the same level as the child. Talk simple to them but be truthful as well, because if you tell them something isn’t going to hurt and it does hurt, they’re not going to trust you and they’re not going to cooperate with you”.
Paramedic Denise Ford adds: “I think I speak on behalf of all my colleagues around the country, not just the ambulance service but the Garda, the fire service, the emergency departments, the kids are the ones that will floor you. We’ve had kids that have died on us and they’re the ones that, when I’m finished this job, I will never forget”.
In Dublin, the mother of a 14-month-old baby becomes frantic when her son takes a seizure. She's so frightened and hysterical that she's unable to provide an address for the ambulance.
However, quick-thinking Alastair is able to get an Eircode off the woman so an ambulance can be dispatched.
Speaking about the situation, Alastair says: “Once you can calm the situation down [with the caller] you know you can give good care to the actual patient themselves. At the end of the day, if you can’t get a phone number and an address, what use are you to them?”
In Galway, a five-year-old boy suffers a severe asthma attack and Air Corps 112 is called for urgent assistance.
Paul Traynor, Air Corps Paramedics explains: “I try not to get too emotional. You need to keep your professional distance. Dealing with children is difficult because doses [of medication] change.
"Children, depending on their age, doses get bigger or smaller so you need to keep a clear mind for that. Also, dealing with a child, you’re definitely going to have concerned parents, guardians and carers so this adds a lot more to the call”.
Paramedics airs on Wednesday, November 23 at 8.30pm on TV3.
Paramedics is produced with the help of the HSE National Ambulance Service.