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I have had a few close calls lately with 'suddenly' aggressive patients.

My most recent was a few days ago I had a slightly intoxicated 31 year old male who had been assaulted. he was seated on the bench and we were conversing happily enroute to the hospital. My transport time was 30min.

Suddenly he says "look me in the f**king eyes!" I was like huh?

Then he says "just like I thought... You have no soul"

luckily I was able to talk him out of escalating the situation, but it was a pretty scary ride.

Those of you who know me would know I am about 140lb soaking wet, and battling arthritis. I am a great lover (or at least I think I am) but a TERRIBLE fighter!

I wear a vest at work already, and carry a combat pen which is kind of a joke, but I am considering purchasing a nice heavy flashlight or something of the sort. Any ideas?

Here in Canada a collapsible baton is illegal as is pepper spray.

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Maglight!

A trick a retired PD officer showed me. Buy a 4D light, pull the spring from the cap, put in 3D cells add the spring with a piece of foil behind it touching all sides, then add some sand or lead shot behind all that and close the cap. Heavy as all hell but effective, or so I am told.

If you don't want to do that at least get a 4D light, the added length from the end of your hand is usually longer then anyone's reach to your body.

Another trick I was taught by an old salty medic, a blast from the O2 tank to the face (no not hitting them with the tank) is usually enough to stun and or stop an aggressive person.

If the Maglight is not an option try getting a smaller flashlight that has a strobe function. If it is a separate button feature even better. It wont stop the person but will disorient them long enough for you to get out of the area or if in the back of the rig move out of the line of fire so to speak.

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Assault with a 5lb metal object ???? yes that will go over well on CNN when you are sued. There is no easy answer, but the best I have found is "assume that every patient will become violent, and protect yourself accordingly". Use your 5 point seatbelts, have restraints, or at least 3 inch tape nearby, be ready for the unexpected. It is when you let your guard down, in any situation, where you will get bit in the arse.

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If something starts to escalate I would call dispatch and have an officer brought on board. We can not restrain and have nothing for self defense.

I am trained in Martial arts which is a benefit to me, but even that won't always help in a situation where I can be caught off guarl.

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Hey Mobey I have to ask, why was your pt not on your cot?... not trying to be criticle but if a pt is going to switch on you, if they are strapped down you have few more seconds to react. And yes get a flash light and few lessons in personal protection. My father taught me a move that can break someones are with a quick twist and it works. Good luck

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If something starts to escalate I would call dispatch and have an officer brought on board.

This only works in a urban setting. Police are 30min away.

  • "we were conversing happily enroute to the hospital."

Was it something you said ?

Nope: Actually there was a moment of silence and I started to chart.

Hey Mobey I have to ask, why was your pt not on your cot?... not trying to be criticle but if a pt is going to switch on you, if they are strapped down you have few more seconds to react. And yes get a flash light and few lessons in personal protection. My father taught me a move that can break someones are with a quick twist and it works. Good luck

I do not put every patient on the cot.

If they are not sick or injured, I usually put them on the bench with a seatbelt. This leaves me in the airway chair with rapid access to the side door.... if the unit is stopped.

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