The fact is simple. EMS is a dangerous job. On the surface, most people don’t think of the job to be as dangerous as the Fire Department or being a police officer. But it definitely can be.
- EMS personnel constantly get attacked by drunk/high/delusional patients.
- Ambulances have a tendency to explode. The compressed oxygen tanks, if not secured and maintained properly, are highly susceptible to leaks leading to combustion.
- Ambulances roll EASILY. A sharp jerk on the wheel, or a quick slam on the brakes can cause the rig to lose its already-weak-center of gravity. Not to mention, all the people who don’t seem to notice your behind them until your right on their ass.
- Getting Hit By A Passing Car. We are always on roads for car accidents. Just because fire/police try to monitor traffic, things still happen. Standing there, trying to extricate a patient, and BAM!
- Occupational Heath Hazards and Exposures.
I’ve had my scares with Meningitis in the past, that turned out to be nothing. This time it’s different. This time, I know I’ve been exposed. I’ve already read up on the drugs I have to take, and they are pretty wicked. Rifampin seems to be the one that works best for the type of Meningitis I’ve been exposed too, and anyone interested in the side effects, just click the link!
This time around, I’m not scared… for me. I’m worried about the fact that I’ve exposed my family. I know I’ve come in contact with H1N1, MRSA, Hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as HIV/AIDS. Most of which I’ve been vaccinated for, and wasn’t worried about passing it to my family. However, I know that the Meningitis vaccine is one I haven’t received. I’ve mentioned before how I live with my Grandpa and his is in end-stage COPD. He also suffers from CHF and has four stents in his heart from previous heart-attacks. He is on all types of medications, and highly susceptible to anything and everything.
I feel horrible. I know that I risk getting myself sick, and my family. But until this first REAL scare, I haven’t really thought about it. This time, it happened. Its real. I may have put my family at risk to a serious virus, one member of which, if contracted, will not recover fully. If I give him something that ends up being the cause of his death, I’ll never forgive myself.
Like I said, the hospital called today, and tomorrow I should have my doses of medications. I already warned my family and they got in touch with his doctors who are going to give him medications as well. But still, all that trouble… because of me and my VOLUNTEER job. This experience gives me one more good reason to find a job. I can’t put my sick grandfather at risk the way I have for the last almost three years. Not to mention, I can’t see my niece till I get cleared, which means my Aunt and Cousin can’t come by until then. Which sucks. I LOVE MY NIECE!
Well, here’s to this whole mess and to the hopes that the preventative drugs they give me, nothing with come of this situation…