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Friday, July 30, 2010

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea by Tom Reynolds

An interesting look at the experiences of a London paramedic

Tom Reynolds (a pseudonym) is the writer of a blog about his experiences as a paramedic in London. There are 212 entries that read like they were lifted from his blog, perhaps given a little editing and some re-arranging and then printed. If you like the television show Cops than this format may be of particular interest to you.

There are things to be gleaned from the book:

You learn that a blanket is the most important tool in an ambulance.

You learn that, like on the show COPS, alcohol creates a lot of trouble.

You learn that Britain's NHS is seriously overburdened. Reynolds discusses hospitals filled to capacity, ambulance services that make people wait for over an hour (not always but it does happen), hospitals without basic supplies like pillows and blankets, a boy with a history of collapsing waiting for weeks for an MRI scan (I have had two on an emergency basis in the last 3 years for one I had to wait 15 minutes and for the other I had to wait 45 minutes).

You also learn that some people are just nasty. Here's a quote from Reynolds. He is calling his dispatcher: " ' Control, I need to return to station to clean out the back of our motor - we've just transported one of our 'local legends'. Is there any infection control policy for patients who are infested with insects?'

'Erm...'"

Gritty, disconnected, worth the read.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on March 22, 2010.

Other works referenced in this review:

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