Her Water Broke Right On This Very Spot Just To Annoy You

by admin on September 19, 2011

Recently when at a local shopping center with my 2 children aged 6 and 10, I came across a young woman who was extremely pregnant and looking distressed. Upon asking if she was alright or needed any help, she replied that her waters had just broken!

Sending my kids to a play area (only a few meters away and in sight at all times) I helped the woman to a bench and went to a shop to ask for security (who must have first aid training and may be able to help) and a cleaner to come down. After talking with the lady (Who I will call R) I found that her husband had recently passed away in a car wreck and her baby was her first.

Security called for an ambulance and arranged for R’s car to be kept safe until someone could collect it for her. They couldn’t have been more helpful.

However, the cleaner arrived and immediately started making snide remarks about pregnant women, single mothers and the extra work that R was causing him! As if R wanted to go into labor in public.

As he was complaining R’s contractions started and came on hard and fast. I asked if there was anywhere R could go for some privacy until the ambulance got here. The hospital was 35 minutes away and I was told (and this is a direct quote), “If she wants privacy she should just go home.”  If she could I dare say she would have!

However the contractions were 2 minutes apart and I was quietly asking the security officer if there were any doctors nearby that could help.

Poor R was facing the likelihood of giving birth in public, in a shopping center and with no one qualified to help and a cleaner who had then started to yell at her for making a mess (unintentional as it was) and threatening what he would do if she, “…had that little bastard there and causes more work!”

Fortunately security took the cleaner away before anything else could be said (or done to him be some irate passers-by, who just kept passing by R). The ambulance arrived and took R to the hospital where she safely gave birth to a lovely little girl. I have received a lovely thank you letter from not only R but her parents as well thanking me for being the only person who stopped to help R when she really needed it. I am still asking myself, “Why I was the only one?” 0608-11

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

lkb September 19, 2011 at 5:15 am

OP may you be blessed for all you did to help that poor woman! It’s nice to know there are people like you who care!

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Ellie September 19, 2011 at 7:00 am

Hello. I’ve been reading here for a long time, but never felt compelled to comment until today, although I enjoy reading the articles and the comments of others. Shame on those who didn’t stop to help this poor woman. How frightened R must have felt and I’m sure she was most grateful that someone cared enough to stop and give her assistance. I suppose it’s the old “I don’t want to get involved,” but it really doesn’t take much to call Security or dial 911 for heaven’s sake! This goes way beyond an etiquette violation. Do people think that this kind of thing could never happen to them? Perhaps not labor, but how about a heart attack, or a diabetic problem?

That said, although the cleaner was clearly way out of line (and probably deserved an non-etiquette approved slap in the face for the “little bastard” remark), I sort of understand. I used to work in a Mall, and I used to talk to the cleaners on my break. Anyway, if I had a choice, I think I’d pick working on a garbage truck over cleaning in a Mall. On a garbage truck, you expect garbage. But cleaning up after people? If one ever feels the need to be repelled by human hygiene habits, talk to a Mall cleaner for a few minutes; especially one who works in the bathrooms and the food courts. They tend to be….short tempered at times and too many Mall patrons treat them like sub-humans. So, this one needed at the least, a stern talking to and possibly other discipline, but who knows what s/he had just been cleaning up before this happened?

It’s nice to read the happy ending. Glad R and her baby were OK.

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LeeLee88 September 19, 2011 at 7:12 am

I have a couple ideas: 1). Because a lot of people can’t be bothered, and 2) because you were holding down the situation all right, people may have thought you were with her, and what better hands for a pregnant woman in distress to be in than the hands of a caring companion? I can’t tell you why no one said anything to the janitor (look to #1 for that answer), but I can tell you that some of them may also have been thinking that it would be innapropriate to have too many people around her at that time. If her face is screaming embarassment and pain, it’s very possible folks were trying to give her her privacy by simply continuing on their way. Can you tell I’m an optimist? :-P

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J's Mama September 19, 2011 at 7:19 am

What you did was a nice thing for the poor woman. Not only was she probably embarassed that she was in labor, but I would venture to say that she was in alot of pain.

I would have that cleaner fired, as soon as possible. Like anyone knows when labor is really going to start. When I had ds, I was 32 weeks, and I was in the parking lot of a local grocery store. My water didn’t break, instead I was bleeding profusely. Luckily some nice passerby called an ambulance for me, and also I was a minute from home, so dh was there fast. I was freaking out so bad, I could hardly give the people who were trying to help me, my name. My story ended well though. I went on to the hospital and ds held on for 4 more days, and then was born at 4 lbs. He was perfect and healthy.

This story strikes a nerve with me. OP, you are a kind and wonderful person for helping that girl. I wish I could tell the people who helped me thank you, but I never got their name.

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Erica September 19, 2011 at 7:42 am

How fortunate you were there to help her. You weren’t the only one… you were the one that was needed.

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Aje September 19, 2011 at 7:49 am

What a complete prat! I’d have been tempted to spill a very large can of tomato juice… over his head. In fact, I think I shall carry some in my purse from now on, just in case I meet another e-hell demon.

And yay for thankyous! Such a nice lady. My friend Mike was born about three months after the death of his father. Everyone treated the mother like crap thinking, “Ooooh, single mom, probably had sex out of wedlock should have used protection…” blah blah blah. You can never tell a person’s story by their face.

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counselorm September 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

Good for OP for stopping and helping!

There have been studies done about the effect of crowd mentality when someone needs help. the short answer is that the larger the crowd, the less likely that anyone will stop. The advice given: if you need help in a crowd, point to someone and say, “You — go call 911…” etc. More likely than not, the person will be more than willing to help; they just need direction.

The cleaner’s reaction is horrifying, but sadly, not surprising. I have heard this attitude from others — as if people purposely create work, for which the person is being compensated.

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The Elf September 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

Thank you for being helpful! That must have been a very frightening experience for R. I can understand the cleaner being annoyed – not at R, but at fate – but rambling and ranting on was completely uncalled for.

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josie September 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

Why did others just pass by? Maybe because they saw it was “under control” with the security guy there. Maybe because they weren’t medically trained, so why get in the way? Maybe they just didn’t care or were in a “zone” and didn’t notice. I think most moms have a type of pregnant lady radar where we notice things like this. I do hope the mall management hears about the cleaning guy….he seems to have anger issues and could stand a course in how to relate to clients.

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Lythande September 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

No excuse for the cleaner, but for the passerby… Well, I don’t know how it actually looked, but if I saw R, the OP, a security person, and the cleaner, I would thought that the situation was under control. If I weren’t a doctor, what could I do? I would have passed by as quickly as possible and just kept out of the way. I’m also incredibly awkward and shy, so maybe that’s part of it, but I would never be so forward as to stop and get in the middle of something that wasn’t my business and get under the feet of or be a distraction to the people taking care of the situation.

If I came upon her alone and in obvious need of assistance like the OP it would be a different matter, of course , and all kudos to the OP for stepping up and helping the lady. I am glad everything ended up okay.

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kristin September 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

To answer the OP’s concluding question, it’s a well-documented social psychological phenomena called ‘bystander apathy’, mixed with a bit of ‘diffusion of responsibility’. Basically, when an emergency like that strikes in public, most people will think “Oh, someone else will help.” This is the same kind of situation that occurred when a young woman was loudly stabbed to death, within earshot of all of her neighbors – and no one called the police. Being interviewed later, each neighbor said the same thing: they thought that everyone else was calling, and they didn’t want to tie up the emergency lines putting in ANOTHER call. I imagine the passers-by in the OP’s case were thinking something along the lines of “well, someone else is helping her. I’d just get in the way.”

That isn’t to say they were right at all. I’ve heard the advice from experts that if you’re ever in trouble in public, single out one person and say “you, I really need YOUR help” because that eliminates the diffusion of responsibility. Knowing all of this also makes me more aware of that more likely to jump in to help a stranger. The OP is in the minority of people who would stop to help someone she doesn’t know, and should be commended for that.

I hope someone complained to the management about that cleaner. Sure, it’s probably a messy job, but he was being paid for it and his lack of sympathy for another human being is just disgusting. Talking like that to a customer is just a big no-no in my book, especially one who didn’t do anything intentionally to make his job harder. Like the OP said, it’s not like the lady decided “oh, I think the mall is a lovely place to give birth”!

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Clair Seulement September 19, 2011 at 9:15 am

Good for you, OP. I’m just wondering whether the cleaner was of completely “sound mind”–the library in the town I used to live in employed an older gentleman as a janitor who exhibited some of the rudest behavior I’ve personally ever seen, but after dealing with him once it was obvious that there was something not totally right with him. He would barge into the ladies’ room at the “15 minutes until closing” announcement and try to throw everyone out. He tried to keep people from eating at the public picnic tables by screaming at them from 100 feet away, etc. I was kind of glad he was able to have a job, but he could be a little scary. Of course that might not be the case here, but because the cleaner’s behavior seems *so* over-the-top, I immediately thought he might have some issues.

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Bint September 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

“the only person who stopped to help R when she really needed it. I am still asking myself, “Why I was the only one?”

Because you’re a really nice person?

In fairness to everyone else:
Because they didn’t notice
Because they were afraid to ask
Because you were there and taking charge – why would they get involved after that?
Because R wasn’t asking anyone for help and a lot of people don’t like asking strangers if they are ok
Because they just didn’t want to

There is no etiquette faux pas from anyone else bar the cleaner, but you were brilliant!

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Wheelchair Bling September 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

Wow, what a day! It sounds like almost everyone behaved perfectly from an etiquette standpoint, even the passersby, who needed to move on if they couldn’t help. (Though it is sad we’re so accustomed to ignoring other people, that you were the only one to notice she was in trouble.)

I think one more latter might be called for – to the store, praising their security staff to the skies. And then sadly mention the cleaner, who used bad language to a stricken customer, and spoiled your otherwise high opinion of their staff. :(

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Saucygirl September 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

I think it is great you helped, and that security took the cleaner away. You ask why more people didn’t stop to help. I can tell you why I wouldn’t – I would have nothing to offer. I would make sure she was being helped and once I learned she had an ambulance called, that you had already put out a call for doctors, her car was safe and someone was holding her hand, I would help her the only way I could – by given her the privacy you said your were trying to get for her. Of course, this is assuming you had everything as under control as you portrayed. If you and her were frantic, then it would have been nice if someone stopped to lend a soothing, calm presence.

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Harley Granny September 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

You could take into consideration that you noticed, you took care of the situation and there really wasn’t anything else anybody else felt needed to be done. If I go by situations that are already being taken care of I don’t stop fearing I’ll just get in the way.
And no you weren’t the only one….once security was aware of the situation by your own words couldn’t have been more helpful.

I have no words for the cleaner. Some people are just bitter and mean and nothing is going to change them. I’m just sorry that R had to hear all of that. Hopefully she was so destracted that she didn’t really conprend the troll.

The important part is that you saw a person in need and helped her in her time of need. That was so great of you.

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Mippa September 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

It really sounds like the custodian may have had some sort of psychiatric problem. Not to make excuses for deplorable behavior, but even someone like me (who doesn’t fawn over babies) has the common sense (no less the common courtesy) not to blame people for things like that.

I think there’s more to the story here as far as the cleaner goes, but still, was there no one else around that could have helped this poor woman?

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alex September 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

that is absolutely horrific! What have people come to these days? It is wonderful that you helped even when you had two small children to look after and all these people walked by and that cleaner! I would have complained to management about him! This poor woman was going into labor in a public place and had just lost her husband! I cannot imagine what she was going through! And as a side note lovely manners that thank you notes were written!

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Enna September 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

OP can I just ask what you mean in the last bit – are you saying you are the only one who helped?

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AS September 19, 2011 at 10:27 am

All I can say is thank heavens that you were there at that time!

At least the security and people who called the ambulance were nice too.

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Kitty Lizard September 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

Because compassion and civility (as you discovered on that day) are becoming rare commodities in our society. You were the only person willing to stop and help that poor woman. Good Samaritan laws have had to be enacted to prevent people who have stopped to help in accidents from being sued by those they have stopped to help. You were rewarded by the gratitude shown by this young woman and her parents.
Continue to help those you come in contact with who are in need. I do.
Kitty.

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badkitty September 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

You were a good samaritan and honestly, if I had happened upon a scene like that (security is there, people are already talking about the ambulance, etc.) then I would keep right on moving rather than add more stress and embarrassment to the poor mother. A crowd gathered around and ogling her would not have been helpful. You were the first person to stop, and there might have been people who should have stopped by and asked if the woman was alright before you arrived, but adding more people to the mix after the ambulance was en route would only have added drama. Plus, if somebody like me had stopped to help and overheard the awful things that cleaner was saying, he would have suddenly developed a far more intimate relationship with that mop than he would ever have wanted!

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many bells down September 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

It’s certainly not true of all maintenance workers, but sometimes those positions are filled by people who have a mental disability or other issue. This cleaner sounds like s/he wasn’t “all there”. Maybe it’s wrong that I prefer to think someone has a mental disability as opposed to them just being a huge jerk.

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Ellen CA September 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

I agree that the cleaner was completely out of line. As to why no one else stopped to help, my guess is that once you and Security were there and an ambulance was on the way, no additional help was required. In fact, the expectant mother most likely wouldn’t have wanted to attract a crowd of well-intentioned on-lookers.
You did her a great service and she and her family were very gracious.

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Ashley September 19, 2011 at 11:41 am

I once worked as a cleaner, at the YMCA. You would not believe some of the things I have had to clean. Did I bitch and moan about it? No, I didn’t, because IT WAS MY JOB TO CLEAN THEM! I realize that janitorial work may not be the most glamorous thing ever, but when that is your job, and you are asked to clean something, you clean it. Props to OP for being kind enough to actually help this woman, and to all the security staff that stopped to help as well once they were made aware of the issue. Also, an extra special thanks to the security for bothering to remove the cleaner when they realized how rude he was being. You can’t really plan where your water is going to break, is this pregnant woman just supposed to sit around at home all day waiting to pop?

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--E September 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

Wow.
So often there are posts on here that prompt the “What? I don’t even–” reflex.

Security probably would have had to haul me away for what I would have done to that cleaner. I would have had him sobbing and flinging himself at R’s feet with apologies.

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BH September 19, 2011 at 11:54 am

That is such a shame. I hope the cleaner was swiftly fired for such remarks! Such a sad way to come in to the world. I get sad thinking about losing my father 21 years go right before I turned 11, but then I am reminded how lucky I am to have known him.
OP your children should be so lucky to have such a great role model. You did the right thing, my only guess is the other people not helping couldn’t see how they could have helped or saw she was already being helped and didn’t want to be in the way.

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Katy September 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

Thank you so much for stopping to help. That’s awesome!
I recently took my daughter to the zoo while very pregnant with number two. Someone made a snide comment about what would happen if I ‘popped’ and how I’d make a worse mess than the apes we were looking at. I just said I’d rather have a monkey around at the birth than some insenstive jerk like him. That cleaner is lucky there weren’t more pregnant women or women who just went through childbirth around, because one might have dunked him in the dirty water bucket.

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Twik September 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

One truly, truly hopes that the cleaner was fired after this. Or else, faced the next day with a day care field trip of 20, all suffering from acute stomach flu.

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Caper September 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Wow, I hope security or someone at least spoke to this guys supervisor / boss. He was a real jerk !

Yeah, it sucks to clean up messes but what else do you think you would do under the job title of janitor ? And I’m sure there are people out there who would say “Maybe he was having a bad day.” But I don’t buy that excuse. I never do. A bad day to me, is never an excuse for being rude to someone for no reason.

How awesome of that woman though, to send you a thank you letter. You did a really good thing and the people you helped were very grateful.

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K September 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Well, the woman has you and security around her. Why would passer-bys get involved? You can’t have it both ways. Either give her privacy or call attention to her, which one do you want? Besides, it’s just labor. It goes on for hours and there’s no need to get all worked up.

Why don’t you report that jerk to management?

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Leslie Holman-Anderson September 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

OP, you are a true human being! You single-handedly changed that young woman’s birthing experience from a nightmare she’d prefer not to remember to one she’ll look back on with warmth. She’ll tell her daughter how ‘you were almost born in the mall’ and the daughter, too, will know your name and how kind you were. Your kindness has made you immortal.

But don’t be too hard on the passers-by. You sound like an unusually resourceful and take-charge sort of person. Most people are not equipped to deal with messy bodily emergencies — they’ll attack a burning car to drag a person out, but a woman in labor fills them with a combination of repugnance and helplessness. And besides, they could see that someone was already dealing with it: you.

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Jay September 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Pretty sure I would’ve tried to have the janitor fired afterward. Argh!

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--Lia September 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

How old was the cleaner? The only way I can excuse him is if he was in his teens and maybe working as a cleaner as some sort of community service project. That’s the only way I can explain possibly his not knowing how child birth works and feeling like the whole world was against him.

As for the people who didn’t stop to help, that’s more understandable. As soon as they knew that an ambulance had been called and she had someone with her, there wasn’t much more they could do. They may have thought the best way to give her privacy was to keep walking and not gawk.

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Shiksagoddess September 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm

You did a great job! I volunteer as a part-time first responder, and I could not have done a better job. Kudos to you! I cannot imagine how frightened and alone that poor young woman must have felt.

There are several psychological studies that indicate in an emergency situation, a person is more likely to help out when they are alone, than when there are many people about. Sort of a “YOU handle this” or “let someone else handle this” mentality.

The cleaning person should be beaten severely on the head and posterior. However, karma usually has a way of dealing with such cretins. I don’t care how many messes need to be cleaned up, there is no call to be that rude to anyone. (‘Scuse me while I pull up a chair in my designated-for-life parking spot in Ehell.)

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Asharah September 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Hope the cleaner had a wife who chewed him out when he came home and vented about the inconsiderate pregnant woman who made a huge mess for him to clean up when her water broke. What a jerk!
As to why nobody else stopped to help, well OP was already there and then security showed up. The bystanders might figure things were under control and it would be less than helpful to get in the way.

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Just Laura September 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I cannot imagine how utterly alone that poor woman felt. Thanks, OP, for stepping up.

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Abby September 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

What a jerk that cleaner was! I have no idea what it’s like to go into labor in public, but I’m sure that wasn’t helping R’s stress level. Maybe he was having a bad day, but still, he should have kept his opinions to himself while he was still within earshot of R.

Good for you and security for being so helpful though! As to why the rest of the shoppers passed by, I’ll say that personally, I would have assumed the situation was under control if R had another person (the OP) as well as security already helping her. I would have felt like there wasn’t anything I could add and I’d just be in the way. It would be like stopping on the side of the road to help a stranded motorist when there’s already a tow truck there, in my opinion.

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Jaana September 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I try not to wish bad things on others but I hope the cleaner was fired for that horrible behavior. That poor woman was probably extremely embarrassed and he just made things worse for her by behaving so rudely. I have to agree with the writer in wondering why no one else was kind enough to help but kudos to the writer for having such a kind heart.

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Erin September 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

That cleaner sounds like a real piece of…well, let’s just say “work” to remain polite. And OP, it’s wonderful you were there for the young lady when she really needed someone.

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Joley H. September 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

THANK YOU for being there, for caring, for helping. It is a wonderful thing and without you she would have been in a bad spot.
Have you (or would you) consider writing a letter to the shopping center detailing the rude and nasty behavior of the cleaner? Use phrases like “in order that you may have all the facts in case a lawsuit should potentially arise from this situation…” :D

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Noodle September 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

R is very fortunate that someone like you (OP) was there to help her out. I am pregnant now and can’t stand the thought of having the baby without his father. I’m glad R also had her parents to support her, even though they weren’t present with her at the moment.

I really hope that someone got the name of that janitor and reported him. The single mother comments were especially off-base–as if single mothers are the only ones who go into labor in public? Then he had the nerve to call the baby a bastard? Her situation was bad enough, especially having been widowed, without his asinine comments. I rarely say this about anyone but he deserves to be fired.

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Janos September 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Oh wow “Have the little bastard and make a bigger mess” What is the MATTER with this guy!? Not only does he taunt a woman going into labour he decides to mock the fact her husband is dead too?

Wow… I hope HE lost his job for that

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A.L. September 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I agree with PPs that the passers-by probably saw the OP already there and thought the situation was under control, and possibly assumed that the OP was there with R and not just a stranger who stepped in to help.

Also, some PPs have commented that singling out a specific person to ask for help can be better than hoping someone in a crowd will help you. I would like to emphasize though, if you do this, please try hard to be specific about what you need. If you are in distress and tell me, “I need your help,” that really doesn’t give me enough information to actually do anything.

Related to both those points:
I was once sitting on a bus (in a foreign country) when a woman in a power wheelchair was having trouble maneuvering out of the bus. Another woman was helping her, and I assumed this woman was a friend or caregiver, since the lady in the wheelchair didn’t seem able to manage the chair by herself. The woman helping looked at me and asked me (very firmly; almost a demand) to help. The problem was, I had no idea *how* I should help. I’ve always understood that you don’t touch someone’s wheelchair or other assistance devices unless they’ve specifically told you to and what they want you to do, and I wasn’t fluent enough in the local language to formulate the sentence “I’m willing to help, but you need to tell me specifically what you want me to do” on the spot. So when I got up but hesitated, trying to figure out what to do, I was practically yelled at to help. After the wheelchair was off the bus, her helper got back on, and I realized she was probably just a bystander who jumped in to help, but from my perspective, I had seen a woman in a wheelchair being helped by her companion, who practically yelled at me because I didn’t magically understand that I should help and how I could be useful.

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WrenskiBaby September 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I wish I had been there. To take the mop from the cleaner and wield it at him, then assist the most capable OP by mopping up the floor.

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Daniela September 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Quote “This is the same kind of situation that occurred when a young woman was loudly stabbed to death, within earshot of all of her neighbors – and no one called the police. Being interviewed later, each neighbor said the same thing: they thought that everyone else was calling, and they didn’t want to tie up the emergency lines putting in ANOTHER call. I imagine the passers-by in the OP’s case were thinking something along the lines of “well, someone else is helping her. I’d just get in the way.”

This is not true – several people that night did call the police :Records of the earliest calls to police are unclear and were certainly not given a high priority by the police. One witness said his father called police after the initial attack and reported that a woman was “beat up, but got up and was staggering around.”[9]”

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kelly September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Unless someone was a doctor, it would have been out of line for them to stop when the situation was alreayd under control. I hate it when someone has a medical event such as a seizure and you get peopel gathering around just to stand there looking concerned (i.e gawping).

The cleaner should be fired plain and simply, he was really sexually discriminating against this woman and being downright unpleasant and threatening her! What business of his was it that she was a single mother, she was a widow but it is none of his business, and she should not have to explain herself to the cleaner at the mall. My response to him would have been “do not worry about the work, after this I am speaking to your employer and making sure you do not have to do any more work here EVER!!!

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LovleAnjel September 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Awesome OP for helping the woman out.

I can’t figure out where the comments about single mothers came from. Because there was no man with her? No wedding ring? I know lots of pregnant who A) are in public without their SOs and B) don’t wear their wedding sets because of fat fingers. That’s a big mess of assumptions he vomited up. I hope he got fired or at least written up for that.

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Angie September 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Kudos to you for stopping and helping! As others have said, probably nobody else stopped because they saw she was already being helped by you and the security staff. That cleaner definitely needs a rap on the knuckles! I had a similar experience when I was in the hospital having one of my kids – but it was a NURSE! She was helping me change my pad – TMI moment coming up – and a big glob of blood dripped on the floor. She made no effort to conceal her annoyance. I was embarrassed enough without her clicking her tongue at me.

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Jack September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm

“Unless someone was a doctor, it would have been out of line for them to stop when the situation was alreayd under control. ”

Unfortunately, people these days are so sue happy that medical personnel are advised NOT to get involved unless they absolutely must, and rather than do something call an ambulance. The reason? A lay person is covered under the good Samaritan law which means that they are protected from litigation if they accidentally hurt someone trying to save their life. A medical professional is NOT covered under these laws the same way, as they are acting in a professional way and should know better than to hurt someone *rolls eyes* because clearly as a professional nurse I stand any less of a chance of cracking someone’s rib when giving them CPR. In that vein, if you DO crack someones rib, or something had happened to R’s baby, malpractice insurance would likely not have covered it, because although you were acting in a perceived professional way, it was not in a professional setting…..make sense to you either? THIS is one of the main reasons why doctors, nurses, emts, etc. do not respond when they are out and about and someone calls for medical help. Unless that person is actually dying and other help is not on the way/already there/not actually helping, they could get into more trouble for helping them, than NOT helping them (although, in a catch 22, if something happens to a person and you are available to help…you can get into even MORE trouble for not doing that same thing which will inevitably get you into trouble…It’s enough to make you pull your hair out, no?)

Personally, I work with pregnant women. If I had seen R, my first instinct would have been to stop and help her, but even though I am well aware of how to care for a woman in labor…I could not legally have done as much as the OP might have! Ex; the OP could have told R to do her breathing exercises or to sit a certain way to alleviate labor pains. I would have been wide open to litigation if while sitting the way I instructed, R began to bleed profusely…Did her sitting somehow cause the bleeding? likely not, but clearly since I have a degree, I should have known better! or, something.

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