Reflection on Ankle Injury

My colleague and I were called to a 35 year old male at a petrol station who had fallen and was reported to have sustained some kind of leg injury by the caller. As we travelled to the location I was thinking about what severity this leg injury may be as the details given were limited. I was making a mental plan of action for all the possible types of leg injury I could think of, from a minor abrasion to a severe penetrating injury.
On arrival at the petrol station we were directed into a room by the cashier’s desk to find the patient sat with his right foot resting on another chair. He was conscious and breathing but clearly experiencing some degree of pain. I began to gain a comprehensive history from the patient to establish the mechanism of injury. He informed me that he had just got out of his car to refuel when he slipped on a patch of spilled petrol and in the process of trying to regain his balance his ankle twisted under him.


Initially, I felt that the man’s injury did not warrant the use of an emergency ambulance and a taxi would have been more appropriate but as the story unfolded, it transpired that the staff at the petrol station had seen the man fall and called for us before assessing his injury. After this information was divulged I was glad that I had given the man the benefit of the doubt before expressing an air of dissatisfaction at being called to this job. I was also mindful of my duty to act in a professional and courteous manner toward patients at all times (HPC code of conduct).

This incident was easy to deal with as the man’s injury was not life threatening and relatively easy to manage. He was apologetic that an ambulance had been called and said he was somewhat embarrassed. I reassured the man that he had done nothing wrong and we struck up a good friendly rapport. I believe my assessment and treatment of his injury was accurate and performed to a high standard.
The petrol station staff...