Esperance community paramedic Paul Gaughan says no one likes advice

We recently saw a patient who was said to be having stroke like symptoms but when the ambulance crew arrived the symptoms had subsided.

The ambulance crew suggested the patient come to hospital for further investigation but the patient insisted on staying home.

Unfortunately, the warning signs were ignored and the next day the patient had a serious stroke.

Another patient called for indigestion type symptoms.

Once again the crew turned up but the symptoms had subsided and once again the patient refused to go to hospital.

The next day, the patient suffered a near fatal heart attack.

Both of these patients did the correct thing initially by calling an ambulance, or having it called for them, but they both did something which could have cost them their lives or quality of living – they chose to ignore the advice of the ambulance officers.

Every month ambulances turn up to scenes around Esperance but leave without patients in them.

This happens for a variety of reasons, but among them are patients who attempt to down play the seriousness of their symptoms.

By minimising how bad the symptoms are a person can lower their anxiety in the short term, however in doing this they may be dicing with death.

Some may consider it a waste of time to attend the Emergency Department for several hours but for some, those few hours turn out to be the best investment of their lives.

At other times, patients are intoxicated and can’t understand all the fuss about some blood pouring out of their head wound.

Others have just been in a car accident but insist they are alright even though they can’t clearly remember what happened.

A variety of medical reasons can sometimes cause confusion and interfere with a person’s ability to make sound decisions or take medical advice.

In many of these scenarios, if people just took the advice of the medical professionals everyone would be so much better off.

Ambulance officers care about people, and they don’t want to leave a person behind if they need help but are refusing to go to hospital.

So it wastes everyone’s time but it also leaves patients at risk.

The best thing always is to accept the advice of the ambulance officers.

At worst, you lose a couple of hours, at best, you get your life saved.