Wednesday, June 18, 2008

France May Have the Best Healthcare...

...but I'm not sold on their emergency response teams.

Last night I was having dinner with a friend at La Marine in the Canal St. Martin area when I noticed that someone had fallen off of their bike. It didn't look so bad but the person was unable to get up and was bleeding from their chin. Someone called the pompiers and they arrived within minutes.

After they arrived however it seemed like they were moving in slow motion. Two guys were tending to the ill patient, one guy was talking on the phone (I joked that he was talking to his wife but he was probably most likely on the phone with the nearest hospital) and finally one guy was manually inflating what appeared to be an air mattress. Upon seeing this I was absolutely shocked and had no choice but to take some photographs.

Pump pump pump it up

After he inflated the air mattress slightly a white he and another pompier draped a white covering over it. Then the patient was carefully placed on top of it and wrapped and buckled in like a sushi roll.
Sushi Roll

Finally, the patient was placed on an actual gurney and whisked off to the emergency vehicle idling nearby and eventually a hospital.

Actual gurney

The whole process seemed to take longer than necessary and I kept thinking to myself that if I was ever involved in an accident I would probably die waiting for them to load me into the ambulance. Seriously, is it too much to ask that they at least get an electric pump for the air mattress? Seriously! My friend kept insisting that the process seemed to take so long because the patient didn't seem to be in critical condition and my response was "yeah right, this is Paris everything takes longer than it should."


David said...

Don't jump to conclusions too fast.
The pompiers are always very quick and very efficient.
If they went through all of this, it is with good reason. The inflatable thing makes me think that the person had some kind of fracture that would make it dangerous to move him without restraining him first.
Believe me, the pompiers always know what they're doing, and if they were not rushing, it was with good reason.

If you want to worry about emergencies though, worry about the ER in Paris where one can wait hours to be treated (when the injury is not life threatening). It's only in Paris though, not in France, and why is it like this here and not the rest of the country is a mystery to me.

L'Étrangère Americaine said...

Maybe so David but can they at least get electric pumps or do away with the time consuming "air bed"? :)

David said...

No idea...
Budget cuts???