Unhelpful Friend

I’ve been responded to a man collapsed in the street, and spot you staggering away. A helpful bystander points at you and tells me that you are the person I’m looking for. You continue your weaving way down the pavement, effing and blinding as you hunt for the person who knocked you down.

Before I can even say a word, you’re friend spots me and my partner approaching. He forcibly grabs and leads you to me. I quickly look you up and down. You’ve obviously been knocked about, have a lovely black eye developing, abrasions on your knuckles, a bad attitude and an electronic tag to match.

In an instant I decide that you aren’t particularly child friendly, and while your friend and I lead you to the First Aid unit, I have my partner call ahead to advise the youth member supervisor on the Unit that she and her charge may wish to go on a patrol. Right now. (The young man must have been at least 14, but that’s not the point. Our officer in charge of youth members on duty would have strung me up if I hadn’t done this. Sorry mate.)

So we get you in to the now empty post, and take a proper look at you. You are still arguing with your friend, because you don’t want to be here. In fact, all you want to do is start another fight. In the confined space, I can now smell the alcohol on your breath, and a quick light shine in your eyes shows the slow reacting pupils of the drunk.

You tell my colleague you’ve drunk two litres of cider. He miss-hears you and starts to right two pints. I point this out to him, and he takes a double-take. Two litres is a stupid amount alcohol, about 11 units. Binge drinking in the UK is defined at about 8 units tops for a male. Oh, and it must only be about 11:00.

I do your pupil response again, because something’s bugging me. I might be imagining it, and it might be because your response is so slow, but they don’t look quite equal to me.

I’ve made my decision. I want you to go in to hospital to get checked out. My partner agrees, and so does the ambulance officer who has just poked his head around the corner. There is no way we can rule out a major head injury in this post.

But you don’t want to know. You just want to go, and the only thing keeping you here is your friend’s hand on your arm. I try to calm you both down, and explain what I want to do. You aren’t listening. Your friend is telling me to ignore you. I’m not allowed to do that, so I keep trying to persuade you. You and your friend are getting louder and louder, and eventually security come in and remove your friend.

In the new peace and quiet, we three medics try to persuade you that you really want to go to hospital. We think we’re getting somewhere, until your friend bursts back in. You immediately continue start protesting about being there, and demanding where the person who hit you is.

Eventually, we give up, get you to sign the decline part of the paperwork, allow security to help you out.

Personally, I think we would have got somewhere, if your friend, who thought he was helping, hadn’t got in the way. I just hope you weren’t seriously injured.


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About The WalkingPlasterDispenser

So who is the Walking Plaster Dispenser? Well, I'm a volunteer First Aider, working with a well-known First Aid charity to help out random people I've never met before (or, more usually, when) they hurt themselves. This typically involves walking briskly (never run...) around after people who are silly enough to do sports or some other suitably daft activity in their free time. In my spare time, I am a graduate engineer, working my way through a graduate scheme with a big engineering company.

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