Friday, November 21, 2008

Game On

Highs in the upper 30s and below-freezing wind chills can only mean one thing: hockey season is finally upon us.  While I'm looking forward to the last football game of the season tomorrow, my true love will always be trauma on ice.

Watching a victorious home opener last weekend reminded of one of my all-time favorite patients.  I work as a volunteer EMT for Big City University, covering mainly club and varsity sporting events.  On standby at a game last winter with my partner and a PA from the ED, we were approached by a cop who said he had someone who needed help.  Curious, as we had just finished a conversation about how we never had real patients while covering varsity hockey (club at least can be a litter rougher around the edges), we followed the officer to the patient.

Turned out to be an 8 year old kid decked out in his very own Big City University hockey jersey looking very angry about missing the action.  General impression was unremarkable until Dad revealed that Junior was suffering from a nasty splinter courtesy of the wooden bleachers.  Slightly embarrassed, I explained that we didn't carry tweezers in our gear, and the PA realized that he didn't either.  Unwilling to let our fan suffer, however, he ran out to his truck and brought back a suture kit.  Offering me the tweezers from the kit, I was able to perform my first successful splinterectomy before returning to watch another home team victory. 

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