Providence Bathhouse isn’t the only place with a drug problems. This happens at least once or twice a week at every bathhouse around the world. Staff will find a patron who is so tweaked he can barely stand up. Or someone has OD’ed in his room. On any given night you will see an ambulance or fire truck parked outside a bathhouse, ready to perform CPR before rushing that patient to the ER.
But I’ve stumbled onto a blog called Rescuing Providence. This is a blog written by an EMS about their daily adventures in the city. They have an interesting entry entitled Black and Blue, about encountering a potential tweaker in a gay bathhouse. Read the blog post below
The nurse at triage gave me the news.
“His CO level is 84!”
“84, well, that explains it, no wonder he’s blue.”
We had found him at one of the gay bathhouses in the city, huddled in a corner, naked as the day he was born. He was confused and uncooperative, soaked with sweat and, well, blue. Men in towels and nothing more, and some without towels hovered around me as Brian got the stretcher from the rescue. Loud music from the strip club next door made it hard to hear or be heard. The blue man tried and failed to run away. I had nothing to grab but slippery skin, fortunately he decided to sit on the sticky floor.
I crouched down to do a better assessment, the view from that level was a sight to behold as the men got closer to the action.
“Step back and give us some air!” they did, a little, not nearly enough. Finally, the stretcher appeared. The usual struggle ensued and I had to call for help. When back-up arrived we loaded him onto the stretcher and wheeled him out. His BP was good, 124/80 or something like that, heart rate in the nineties, The pulsox was the kicker, 84%. He fought the 02 mask, and put up such a struggle I never did get an IV, but the hospital was close and we got him there quickly.
Once I learned about the elevated CO level I got on the horn and called for support at the club with a CO detector and possible evacuation. Meanwhile, the ER staff was busy trying to figure out just what was wrong with the blue man. One of the doctors, after hearing where the man was prior to his blueness put two and two together and figured things out. I was surprised it hadn’t occurred to me, once things came clear.
The patient had been inhaling Rush, or Video head cleaner, poppers as they are known in the clubs, must have overdone it and that was that. I’m sure had I recognized the man’s condition prior to requesting two fire companies respond to the bathhouse there would have been a lot less excitement at the place. I’m also sure I’m not the most popular guy at the firehouse right now.
The guy recovered, but I bet it will be a while before his blood returns to normal. His skin was blue and his blood was black.