Cooried up in the gutter, the rain water running down her neck.
She’d shiver, if she could feel it.
Lumps of pizza in her hair.
A fat lip where she landed, finally.
Kids running from our blue lights like cockroaches in a midnight kitchen.
She stinks of vomit and cider and sugar.
Her jeans soaked with rain and piss.
She barely grunts when I dig my fingers into her shoulder.
We grab her by straggly legs and arms and swing her onto the trolley.
Her purse has a bus ticket and spare change.
No bank card.
No drivers license.
No student ID.
A cop appears at my shoulder.
“I’ve got an ID – her cousin’s over there.”
He points to a young girl on the pavement.
“She’s PatientName – born 18th March, 2001 in Edinburgh.”
I’m concentrating on the biro not smearing in the rain on my gloves when I double take her DOB.
Paeds A&E don’t like it, they run the same tests that we do, blood sugar and temperature and neural responses and ECG and checking every inch for an injury that could mimic being dead drunk.
They find the same as us.
“Am I writing the social referral, or you?”
The registrar sighs, looks at her triage list.
“I’ll do it.”