Posted by: medicblog999 | May 13, 2010

Sods Law!


Definition of Sods Law:

“If something can go wrong or turn out inconveniently it will. Also known as Murphy’s Law”

So, I’m working with a brand new Student Paramedic. It’s his first shift on the road and we are checking the vehicle together.

Medic999:   “Have you checked the response bag yet?”

Chris:   “No, not yet”

Medic999   “OK, I’ll do it”

As I do my usual checks of the bag, I ensure that all of the essential equipment is present and in working order, before moving onto the ‘soft items’.

Someone in their wisdom, has decided to stock the bag with enough bandages and dressings to care for at least five patients at once, so I go about emptying at least 50% of what is in the bag back into the store.

I also decide this is a good learning point to share with Chris, my student for the shift.

“You know, sometimes overstocking the bag can just be as troublesome as under stocking. If you put too much in here, then you have trouble finding what you want and inevitably something’s go out of date or the packaging becomes damaged. I mean look at all of this I’ve just taken out of the bag!”

I waft my arm across the array of dressings now lying on the stretcher in a grand sweeping gesture.

I can see he is suitable impressed with my years of knowledge and practical experience……

The radios go off and the terrafix computer greats us with its ‘siren’ alarm, alerting us to a new emergency.

Into the cab we go and off on blues to the address flagged up on the screen.

For this detail we are going to a middle aged man who has self harmed and cut his arm. Nothing too strenuous or taxing to do for this one then.

We arrive on scene and walk into a bloodbath. There is blood up the walls and clotted blood in the sink. Probably close to 1000ml in the hall way and the kitchen alone. After walking into the front room, I see Bill sitting on the sofa with more deep self harm cuts than I have ever seen in my career. 2-3 inch cuts along both arms down to muscle, both on the inside and outside aspects, then the same down both of his legs. Some of which are still bleeding.

I open the first response bag and look at the selection of dressings that I now have……..

I’m sure that Chris was smirking when I asked him to go and get some more dressing from the vehicle for me!!


  1. You're absolutely right though. You can't stock the bag for every eventuality. If you did, it would way as much as the flying piano. Personally, I stock enough equipment to handle about 90% of what we run into. Once in a while, I'll need to go or send someone back to the truck for something else, but I still have enough equipment to at least initiate treatment.

  2. No matter how much you stock of anything, there will ALWAYS be that one call that you don't have enough of it. There are no exceptions.

  3. Dineen's commentary on Murphy's Law: “Murphy was an Optimist!” Nice to know things like this happen to everybody and not just me. Hope the rest of the day was better. 🙂

  4. I have worked at several different units- single provider chase car, medic/emt transport, dual medic transport, and critical care transport. In both the single medic and medic/emt transport units everything was in one “Drug/first in bag” (meds, fluids, airway, some dressings) with a separate O2 cylinder, and Trauma bag was avalable. In the dual medic transport truck we had a airway/O2 bag, Drug bag, and Trauma bag; the nice thing about that was if it was a car wreck you just took the airway/O2 and trauma bag you don't need the drugs urgently in most cases. Incidentally though the dual medic truck sees much more penetrating and other trauma then the other units. But being of Irish decent Murphy tends to follow me around so I would have been on the single medic chase car waiting for BLS to show up. I hate when that happens.

  5. Mark, you were planning ahead appropriately since you “knew” you had a preceptee along with you to jump and fetch. Very astute of you! lol

  6. Lol. I haven't ever had a student along, but me and my old partner have done something similar 😛

  7. Lucky student! I'm sure he'll learn a lot from you. Also, that irony is amazing.

  8. Lol. I haven't ever had a student along, but me and my old partner have done something similar 😛

  9. Lucky student! I'm sure he'll learn a lot from you. Also, that irony is amazing.

  10. […] Medic 999 relates a tale about how Murphy’s Law jumped right up and bit him recently HERE.  (they call it Sod’s Law in the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: