|9.12: World First Aid Day|
September 12 is World First Aid Day and on the occasion, I made a visit to the 120 Emergency Center of Jinhua’s Central Hospital to experience the neverending race of life saving.
8 a.m. is when the switch between night shift and day shift happens. Just after arriving at the emergency center, I ran into medical staff who had just gotten off the ambulance after an emergency call and a tiring night shift. Everyone’s face was weary.
At the beginning of his shift, Dr. Shi Xuexin explained that the day shift is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the night shift is from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. of the following day. Each doctor works at least two night shifts a week. On average, for each shift, the ambulance responds to about a dozen emergency calls, while at the busiest, the ambulance is called over twenty times each shift. While talking to me, Dr. Shi would move downstairs to check the equipment and medicine in the ambulance, “The first thing we do at the beginning of each shift is to check the condition of the ambulance, like the possibility of equipment failure, medicine shortages, and other problems.”
The hospital rules dictate that every time an emergency call is received, the ambulance needs to be ready to leave in no more than three minutes.
After responding to a call, the medical team arrived back at the emergency center at around lunchtime. However, there was no time to finish lunch because the phone rang again, and they hurriedly put down their lunchbox to rush downstairs and go on a rescue mission. “Working at the 120 Emergency Center, it is inevitable that we will run into all sorts of unexpected situations. This is what we do.”
“The situation that most impressed me was a car accident in which a car and a big truck collided. The entire front of the car was flattened, and the driver was seriously injured and trapped in his seat. We had to ask the fire brigade to free the victim. The victim’s blood pressure was decreasing, which would have quickly resulted in a shock. We had to break into the car to give the victim an infusion. We could not find his documents, but the hospital allowed a green channel for him, and eventually the patient was successfully rescued.”
Dr. Shi is pleased anytime he is able to apply his own strength to save the lives of others. He started to study medicine because he thought being a doctor is a very noble profession; being an emergency doctor and working at the forefront of the hospital to save patients and to evaluate their symptoms is very important, because it can reduce unnecessary examination, saving time in the race to save people’s lives. Anytime he sees another patient pulled back from the line of death, he thinks of the patient’s family, which has moved from the edge of desperation to a happy union. In moments like this, he feels that the gravity and pressure of his work are worth it. (By Jiang Xinyi, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Mariam Ayad)