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Head And Shoulders, Ouchie Toes

, , , , | Healthy | October 15, 2022

When I worked in an ambulance, we had a patient call in for a stubbed toe. Now, as painful as that is, I think most of us agree that it’s not worth tying up emergency resources.

When we arrived on the scene, the fire department was already speaking to the patient. 

Patient: “I stubbed my toe moving furniture. It really hurts! I want to go to the ER in the ambulance.”

Fireman: “Sir, the ambulance crew is happy to take you, but that’s gonna be a pretty big charge, and all they can really do for a stubbed toe is a bandaid and an ice pack.”

Patient: “It’s okay. I have Medicaid; they’ll pay.”

Fireman: “Not unless it’s a true emergency like a heart attack or stroke.” 

Patient: “Oh, I guess I’ll call a cab.”

I will add that we were genuinely happy to take him but would have hated to see him get the ambulance bill and end up in debt over a stubbed toe, and we wanted him to be informed so he wasn’t blindsided by it later.

I did ask the ER if the guy ended up coming in, and they did say they had a patient with a stubbed toe. I’m pretty sure they sent him home with an ice pack and instructions to wear shoes while moving furniture in the future.

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