You’ve volunteered to look after freshers this week, and had a good night out with the house you’ve been allocated. In fact, it was such a good night that they didn’t notice that you didn’t come back from the toilets, and went home without you.
I get called to you twenty minutes after the event closes, while we’re packing up. ‘Patient, unresponsive in toilets.’ Perfect. Grabbing a kit from where it had been put away, I walk swiftly out to find you. I have a bit of confusion when I notice that the route to the toilets is far from obvious, but get to you eventually.
You’re sat on the toilet, your boxers around your ankles, body lying on your knees. When I open the toilet door, which opens towards you, it presses against your head, stopping me getting in. It also stops me lifting your head up to properly assess you.
I bend down to speak in your ear, a far from pleasant prospect considering that this is a chemical toilet block, the floor is covered with vomit, and I don’t think you’ve showered in the last couple of days. Yelling loud enough to make security jump, I try and coax a response out of you. Nothing. Hitting you firmly on the shoulders, in fact very nearly slapping you, I try to reach out to a more basic level of your consciousness. Nope, you are indeed completely unresponsive.
You’re a big lad, and try as I might, I can’t get you sat up, not with the door in the way. With you like this, I can’t open your airway, and I can’t check that you’re breathing. This is a problem. I can’t even slip around the door so that I am in the cubicle with you. I’m just grateful that the door isn’t locked.
I have only one choice. Turning to the biggest member of security I can see, I ask him to break the door down. Indicating which way I need it to come, I stand back, and he takes great pleasure in forcing the door the wrong way. Outside I can see campus security eyeing up the door. They’ll be getting your name, assuming you are sensible enough to give it, and I hope you get sent the bill.
The crash of the door seems enough to wake you up, though you aren’t impressed. Twice you try to swat me away, but you’re moving so slow I can easily dodge. Besides, you don’t seem to be seeing straight, and only stay upright while I hold you. You are definitely in no fit state to go home tonight, and I’m not happy loading you on to the vomit comet for the easy ride to A&E (the vomit comet is an SU run minibus that takes all our minor injuries to hospital, saving on ambulances).
Up comes the local ambulance service, the crew not impressed that they’re having to pick up a drunk. I don’t blame them. I have no sympathy for you either, but we all know that it’s the safest thing to do. The last thing we need is for you to roll over in your sleep, vomit, and then drown in your own stomach contents. Once we’ve got the basic details out of you, we leave you in the care of the ambulance.
You’ll probably get put on fluids, rehydrated, and have no hangover the next day. You may even go for a repeat tomorrow. However, tonight at least you and your liver are safe from further harm. Perhaps you’ll learn. Can’t say I’m too hopeful…