First Do No Harm - Part 3
Location: Sickbay - BS Solaria
Timeline: MD 15 - 19:50
"Action stations, action stations."
Since joining the Solaria, Jamie had grown accustomed to the regular announcement of condition one being set throughout their surviving fleet of ships.
The first few were chaotic - no one knew each other, responsibilities had been loosely allocated, a serious lack of efficiency and thus effectiveness in their work. But now the entire process felt streamlined, and the constant practice had consolidated a crew that, despite having been brought together only several weeks ago, operated like they'd been unified for years.
Sickbay sprung to action. Most of the work required to bring the department to full readiness was to do with staffing - calling in off-duty personnel as required, ensuring everyone understood their roles, team assignments and resource allocation.
For Jamie, it meant reporting in at the medical dispatch office, gearing up and awaiting orders to be sent out to any part of the ship to assist in any medical emergency. Most of the time he and his fellow paramedics spread out and be designated to one of several 'triage points' throughout the ship, as a way to ensure faster response times and to minimise the distance between them and a casualty. If no casualties are reported, they would remain on standby for further orders.
Jamie looked up to find Dr Ashley Callahan chasing him as he was rushing down the corridor. He slowed down. "Yes, doctor?" he acknowledged.
"Just wanting to update you on that boy you brought over from the Mah-Jong, Taron," she said. "He's septic, but doing a little better than yesterday. He's still got quite a high oxygen requirement. Hopefully the antibiotics will start to kick in."
"He's young," Jamie suggested. "He's got a good chance."
"Well... he's chest X-ray looked pretty nasty. Nearly a complete white-out of the left lung, and some consolidation in the right middle lobe. We did an echo last night as well. His heart's trying to keep up, but it took a hard hit with the rheumatic carditis he had as a kid. His baseline ejection fraction is about 50%. Should be higher for someone his age."
The paramedic shook his head. "It's tragic, really," he said. "That there're crazies out there that don't believe in science and medicine. Taron's lucky. Turned out less brainwashed than his psycho parents." He paused, realising that his language was perhaps inappropriate in front of a superior officer. "Sorry, sir," he added.
"It's fine," she nodded. "I know how you feel about the issue, because I think the same way as well. But sadly, that's the way it is with some people." The doctor continued by focusing on the clinical aspects. "We're hitting it with the strongest antibiotics we've got, and we aren't very well-stocked on those. We should be able to narrow down our treatment once we get culture sensitivities back."
Jamie simply nodded.
"I better let you go," the Callahan said. But before dismissing the Specialist, she said, "And oh, just... make sure you don't speak to anyone about it. Medico-legally it might be a tricky one. We've decided that the kid's competent to make his own medical decisions, despite being a minor. A couple of things we need to think through first before contacting his father, if that's what we end up doing. Legal advice, that sorta stuff."
Jamie felt a small knot twisting in his gut. It had only been moments ago when he had discussed the 'hypothetical case' with the random lawyer he'd met at the mess hall. He was curious, after all, and it was more for his own reassurance that the kid's father wouldn't have anything against them. But word could travel fast, and he now wondered if bringing it up with Mr Kendrick was a bad idea. Still, he'd kept confidentiality, didn't he? No names had been mentioned.
"Of course," he quickly replied, hoping he hadn't shown any hesitation.
The doctor nodded, and Jamie quickly scurried off, his mind now filled with thoughts of how a simple conversation at the mess hall might unravel a whole lot of mess.
Spc Jamie Perth
Critical Care Paramedic
Colonial Fleet Reserve
Lt Ashley Callahan