Paramedics can face many challenging environments during their work. This is due to paramedics working in a uncontrolled environment such as someone’s home, or a public environment such as a public event, rather than a controlled environment such as a hospital which other medical professionals such as doctors work in. This, therefore, means that challenging environments are an everyday occurrence for paramedics and they must be able to adapt to the environment to give the best care possible. One of the most challenging environments that a paramedic can face is a terrorist attack within a major city.
There are many reasons why this is one of the most challenging environments a paramedic can face. For this essay, the example of challenging environments researched is the attack in Paris on November 13th 2015. The attack on Paris was more chaotic for emergency services since within 40 minutes, three attacks had occurred within the French capital. One of the attacks had occurred close to the Stade de France, which was in the middle of hosting a football match.
The other two occurred in eastern Paris within the administrative districts. The first attack at the stadium consisted of three explosions, while another of the attacks consisted of shootings at cafes and restaurants within Paris. The final attack was at the Bataclan concert hall and led to a hostage situation. On arrival at the scenes, one of the main challenge that the paramedics are faced with is the fact that the number of casualties are a lot higher than the usual calls that a paramedic usually gets.
The total number of deceased is 130 with a further 352 injured. This is a challenge because it is much higher than the 1-4 patients that a paramedic would usually be called for. The way that the paramedics overcame this challenge was to locate the civilians with the most severe injuries that wouldn’t survive without immediate medical attention and helping them with things such as stopping external bleeding and managing thoracic wounds. The way this can be transferred to a usual scenario that a paramedic would come across is that it is important to remember that if there are multiple patients in for example, a car accident, then it is important to be able to locate which passengers are in need of emergency attention which could, in turn, save a life. Another challenge that the paramedics faced was the was the overall size of the area affected by these attacks. This coupled alongside the number of people injured meant that often paramedics had to wait for reinforcement teams to find their location and bring extra equipment to patients as the original ambulances did not have enough equipment to treat everybody. This was even though within the previous year, all ambulances were required to have a haemorrhaging in special situations kit which can treat 4-5 people with severe haemorrhaging. To give first aid effectively, good communication was needed to get the right resources to the right people in a good amount of time. This wouldn’t be easy considering the chaotic situation that had occurred. Good communication is always used as a paramedic, no matter the scenario. One final challenge that the paramedics had to face was the evacuation of the football stadium which contained approximately 72,000 people. Ensuring the safety of all those people while treating victims outside the stadium from the explosions that had took place. Once again, this took good communication. However, to overcome this, the paramedics would also have to be calm and composed under pressure to ensure the safety and lack of panic of the civilians within the stadium. This is useful in scenarios when the paramedic has to clear an area to protect the patient or when talking to the patient themselves as to not worry the patient which may cause further panic if not done correctly.