The cinema is deserted when we walk in, just a girl lying on the steps in the centre aisle, Cubics the RRU Paramedic crouching by her, a huddle of concerned friends and a young man looming over the lot of them.
I head up the stairs and, before Cubics can start his handover, the standing man is in my face.
“I’m one of the doctors at A&E.”
Look him up and down. Don’t recognise him.
“It’s a simple enough case for you, this is a female who’s suffered a vaso-vagal episode.”
He pauses while I stared dumbfounded at him, Cubics grinning from ear to ear at his back, not bothering to approach with a handover but instead sitting back and letting the fun develop.
“That’s a faint,” he continues, misinterpreting my stunned silence as incomprehension.
I brush past him and join Cubics at the patient’s side, he tells me she has a history of fainting, that her blood pressure bottoms out a few times a week and she was under investigation for the same.
“Can she sit up?”
“Nup. We’ve tried, she decks out when she raises her head.”
“Fair enough, let’s say we pull the trolley to the bottom of the stairs and scoop her onto it?”
Simple enough manoevure, keep the patient flat and lift her without having her sit up.
Keep ‘em conscious, that’s my motto.
The young doctor interrupts.
“I don’t think she’s a resus case.”
“Ummm. No, I would agree with you there.”
“But you’re absolutely right, scoop and run, scoop and run.”
Cubics is beginning to turn purple, turns his head and stuffs fingers into his mouth to suppress the magma flow of laughter that’s rising, this boy’s been watching too many episodes of “Real Rescues”. ‘Scoop and Run’ indeed. We’re not in a Paris underpass, nobody’s dying.
I let him off the hook.
“Actually, Doc, we were discussing her extrication.”
He doesn’t even have the grace to look embarassed.
We stand in silence, the doctor loitering at the edges of our ensemble while we wait for my colleague to bring the trolley up. Cubics sets him free.
“You know, Doc, you can go ahead and clear. We can handle this.”
He looks at the two of us.
“Are you sure?”
The magma grumbles higher in my throat.
Am I sure? Am I sure I can handle a faint?
A career ending comment is forthcoming, but Cubics cuts in fast.
“We’ll be fine, thankyou.”
He stands, brushes his knees down.
I’m fucked if I’m letting him away with this.
“Before you go, Doctor, may I have your name?”
“For the paperwork…you understand, since you were on scene?”
“Oh…yes…of course…it’s Anderson.”
There’s a beat, I raise my eyebrows.
“Does anything come before Anderson?”
He frowns at me.
Cubics lets out a snort, turns it into a cough. I stare at Doctor Anderson as though he’s a puppy that’s pissed in my cornflakes.
“And does anything come between those two words?”
I stick my hand out, aggressively friendly.
“Sam, lovely to meet you, Sam, I’m Kal.”
He shuffles off into the backgroud, we transport the patient.
In A&E I find a registrar and quiz her.
“Do you have a Doctor Sam Anderson working here?”
She sighs, lays her head on the desk.
“We have a student Sam Anderson here, yes. What’s he done now?”
I tell her the story, she agrees to discuss “Respecting your colleagues in their specific field.”
We leave on better terms than Sam and I.