Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: SamiHami on April 11, 2013, 07:03:38 PM

Title: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SamiHami on April 11, 2013, 07:03:38 PM
Apparently I missed this one by a couple of hours today.

I work for a small university. Today I came in at noon. Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do. Fortunately he never did show up on campus, but the incident frightened the staff pretty badly. My understanding was that he was angry that he would have to pay for the ambulance ride.  :o

Honestly, what else could they have done? If they hadn't called emergency services for the student there would no doubt have been liability issues inolved-not to mention the risk to the students' health! What other options did they have? They couldn't very well have stuck her on a bus to the hospital!

I'm just curious if anyone has thoughts about handling this in the future, should this student have another incident on campus (or any other student, for that matter).


Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 11, 2013, 07:16:50 PM
My university has its own police department, and we would have handled the incident the same. The attitude displayed by the husband is baffling to me.

My husband and I were once cleaning outside, washing cars and so forth, when we heard a huge crash on the road. We ran to see what was wrong and a group of teenage boys had been joy riding and rolled their SUV. We called for emergency personnel and lent phones to the boys that wanted to call their parents. When parents began to arrive, one of the boys had blood pouring out his ear, and they refused treatment. The deputies insisted that their son had to be medically evaluated.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 11, 2013, 07:20:09 PM
I'm trained in First Aid.  Any time there is a loss of consciousness, it is an automatic call for 911 and a trip to the hospital.  (I'm assuming she lost consciousness with the seizure.)  The only way I wouldn't call 911 is if she was wearing a medic alert bracelet that indicated she was epileptic.  In which case, I'd make her comfortable, clear out the gawkers and wait for her to come to and ask her if she'd like to go to the hospital.

The husband is a whackaloon.  How would anyone know to call him, let alone have his number?  Unless they rifled her purse and/or phone, in which case, he'd probably be complaining that her privacy was invaded.   ::)
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Library Dragon on April 11, 2013, 07:24:26 PM
IMHO they did exactly the right thing.  We have patrons who get upset because we call the EMTs when they have seizures.  They will refuse to go to the hospital, but we call every time.

I had to retrain the staff because the previous director was so afraid that the library would have to pay for the ambulance they were told not to call.  Uh, no.  I asked them, 'Would you rather we end up on the front page of the Pape because we didn't call?' A mercenary approach I know, but it got through to them.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 11, 2013, 07:33:14 PM
Count me with the other posters who said the staff did the right thing. Even if you have someone who knows seizure first aid, no one knew this history. Was this her first seizure or is she epileptic? Someone who is epileptic might not have to go to the hospital (unless something else happens that is not a common occurence, like multiple seizures without waking in between) but they would have to make that known to staff, so even in a case where the person in epileptic, you should call 911.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 11, 2013, 07:36:54 PM
Not to mention people with chronic medical conditions should wear an ID tag or bracelet.

My school has more than 60K students. It would be impossible to know who has what medical condition.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 11, 2013, 07:41:00 PM
Not to mention people with chronic medical conditions should wear an ID tag or bracelet.

My school has more than 60K students. It would be impossible to know who has what medical condition.

That too.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: HorseFreak on April 11, 2013, 08:10:09 PM
I can understand calling 911 is the right thing to do (I'm not doubting that at all!), but I can understand the husband's frustration. I know with some insurance or without insurance that ride might cost $500 out of pocket + possibly thousands in ER bills. It's horribly scary that the decision of how thousands of your dollars are spent are in another person's hands.

Still rude/inappropriate to berate the person who had to make that tough decision because bystanders aren't qualified to decide whether or not a seizure is a medical emergency for that person.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 11, 2013, 09:06:43 PM
Agree staff did the right thing.  A person's health/life should always be the #1 concern.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 11, 2013, 10:00:55 PM
I can understand calling 911 is the right thing to do (I'm not doubting that at all!), but I can understand the husband's frustration. I know with some insurance or without insurance that ride might cost $500 out of pocket + possibly thousands in ER bills. It's horribly scary that the decision of how thousands of your dollars are spent are in another person's hands.

Still rude/inappropriate to berate the person who had to make that tough decision because bystanders aren't qualified to decide whether or not a seizure is a medical emergency for that person.

This is my reaction. Yes you did the right thing, but please just for a moment understand how once he knew his wife's health was ok, his terror was over the years it might take to pay for this. It doesn't make it right he called and berated the staff, but it does make it understandable.

I always call the local volunteer ambulance corps if there is one, personally. And I always have refused 911 ambulances for myself or anyone I felt comfortable driving myself.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Sharnita on April 11, 2013, 10:08:58 PM
I can understand calling 911 is the right thing to do (I'm not doubting that at all!), but I can understand the husband's frustration. I know with some insurance or without insurance that ride might cost $500 out of pocket + possibly thousands in ER bills. It's horribly scary that the decision of how thousands of your dollars are spent are in another person's hands.

Still rude/inappropriate to berate the person who had to make that tough decision because bystanders aren't qualified to decide whether or not a seizure is a medical emergency for that person.

I agree with every word of this.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 11, 2013, 10:29:18 PM
Yes you did the right thing, but please just for a moment understand how once he knew his wife's health was ok, his terror was over the years it might take to pay for this. It doesn't make it right he called and berated the staff, but it does make it understandable.

No, not really. Yes, it stinks that a medical emergency of this sort could put a family in the hole that deeply, but that's the breaks when having a medical emergency. It is not the fault of the people who got his wife medical attention that it is exorbitantly expensive.

Quote
I always call the local volunteer ambulance corps if there is one, personally. And I always have refused 911 ambulances for myself or anyone I felt comfortable driving myself.

Never heard of a volunteer ambulance corps, but in my opinion if someone needs to go to the emergency room, they're likely not fit to drive themselves. While I admit I did drive myself to Urgent Care with one hand after my little knife fight with the Easter Beef, I now chalk that decision up to shock rather than intelligence.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 11, 2013, 10:37:20 PM
Yes you did the right thing, but please just for a moment understand how once he knew his wife's health was ok, his terror was over the years it might take to pay for this. It doesn't make it right he called and berated the staff, but it does make it understandable.

No, not really. Yes, it stinks that a medical emergency of this sort could put a family in the hole that deeply, but that's the breaks when having a medical emergency. It is not the fault of the people who got his wife medical attention that it is exorbitantly expensive.

Quote
I always call the local volunteer ambulance corps if there is one, personally. And I always have refused 911 ambulances for myself or anyone I felt comfortable driving myself.

Never heard of a volunteer ambulance corps, but in my opinion if someone needs to go to the emergency room, they're likely not fit to drive themselves. While I admit I did drive myself to Urgent Care with one hand after my little knife fight with the Easter Beef, I now chalk that decision up to shock rather than intelligence.

I said I turned down ambulances or drove other people, not I drove myself. I have taken cabs to the ER though. Of course in my area, a hospital with an ER is never more then a few miles/minutes away.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 11, 2013, 10:45:54 PM
A good point, although in my situation, I'm not sure what a cab driver would have thought about a passenger with a hand wrapped in paper towels leaking blood. And if I were a taxi driver I would be terrified to be given a semi-conscious patient who had just been seizing to transport. The situation described in the OP is just too serious to leave to non-professionals.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: EllenS on April 11, 2013, 10:57:30 PM
Look, no matter how you slice it, being sick or injured *is* expensive (even if you have National Health, it's expensive for society).  Car wrecks are expensive.  Babies are expensive.  Hailstorms and tornados are expensive.  We are not talking about someone with a really bad cut.  We are talking about someone who started having a seizure in a public place.  That is an emergency, with a capital E. 
The husband may have wigged out, but that is because he is acting crazy.  There is absolutely nothing reasonable about his attitude.  It's his wife I feel sorry for.  Can you imagine being married to someone who freaks out on total strangers because you have a medical condition that is expensive?  Imagine how he treats her at home. 
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ClaireC79 on April 12, 2013, 06:25:33 AM
I have a payment question which is kind of related.

If someone had called an ambulance and then the woman had refused to get into it and go to hospital - would anyone need to pay and if so who?

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 12, 2013, 06:31:48 AM
It depends if it is a private or public agency that was operating the ambulance.

Not to derail the thread, but I know that people taken in an ambulance get priority in the emergency room, also the EMT/Paramedics can provide life saving treatments in the ambulance, so for heart attack and stroke cases, an ambulance is best when available.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: behindbj on April 12, 2013, 07:32:57 AM
It depends if it is a private or public agency that was operating the ambulance.

Not to derail the thread, but I know that people taken in an ambulance get priority in the emergency room, also the EMT/Paramedics can provide life saving treatments in the ambulance, so for heart attack and stroke cases, an ambulance is best when available.

Actually, it's not always true that people coming in by ambulance have a higher priority.  Around here, they are triaged like everyone else.  It's on the FAQ page of just about every local emergency room (and I checked, because I saw it on one page and I was curious).

They tell people this explicitly because some people view the ambulance as a taxi service to the hospital, or they want to bypass ER waiting rooms with minor issues.  It's a big, expensive problem and a drain on Fair City coffers.

As of the original topic - the woman's husband is nuts.  I, too, wonder how he deals with this stuff at home - unless he gets it out of his system by yelling at others (been at the receiving end of that, too...).
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Daquiri40 on April 12, 2013, 08:00:07 AM
We had a student have a seizure during class.  His father works here also.  The father knew his son had epilepsy but was very grateful someone called 911 and his son was being cared for.  The father walked along side the gurney holding his son's hand the entire way.

Epileptic seizures are different for each person.  As a non-medical person I am not going to evaluate the seriousness myself.

The husband was being whacky.  Would he rather no one paid attention and left her alone?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: EnoughAlready22 on April 12, 2013, 08:13:03 AM
I think the husband was worried about medical bills.  It sounds to me that his comment about being 2 minutes away wasn't meant to be threatening, but was his way of saying that he could have been right there and taken her to the hospital.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 12, 2013, 08:41:18 AM
I think the husband was worried about medical bills.  It sounds to me that his comment about being 2 minutes away wasn't meant to be threatening, but was his way of saying that he could have been right there and taken her to the hospital.

How were they to know that? How were they to find his number in order to call him? Look in her school records? How long would that have taken?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: EnoughAlready22 on April 12, 2013, 08:45:28 AM
I think the husband was worried about medical bills.  It sounds to me that his comment about being 2 minutes away wasn't meant to be threatening, but was his way of saying that he could have been right there and taken her to the hospital.

How were they to know that? How were they to find his number in order to call him? Look in her school records? How long would that have taken?

I agree with what you are saying, any reasonable person would.  I don't think the husband was reasonable at the time.  I was just pointing out that he may not have been threatening anyone.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 12, 2013, 08:54:56 AM
I think the husband was worried about medical bills.  It sounds to me that his comment about being 2 minutes away wasn't meant to be threatening, but was his way of saying that he could have been right there and taken her to the hospital.

How were they to know that? How were they to find his number in order to call him? Look in her school records? How long would that have taken?

I agree with what you are saying, any reasonable person would.  I don't think the husband was reasonable at the time.  I was just pointing out that he may not have been threatening anyone.

SamiHami's co-workers heard what he said, including the tone of his voice. If they felt threatened, they did what they thought was appropriate.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 09:42:06 AM
I think the husband was worried about medical bills.  It sounds to me that his comment about being 2 minutes away wasn't meant to be threatening, but was his way of saying that he could have been right there and taken her to the hospital.

Yes, I suppose that he was worried about medical bills. That does not excuse harassing people who tried to help his wife.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: JenJay on April 12, 2013, 09:45:46 AM
DH once wrecked a motorcycle and the woman who lived on the corner where he crashed called 911. It turned out he was basically fine other than some road-rash and the ambulance ride was an unnecessary $750 that took us a year to pay off. Was I mad at the lady? Goodness no! What if she hadn't called and he had suffered a serious injury made even more serious while waiting around for me to come get him and take him to the hospital?

I can completely understand being frustrated over a bill you can't afford for services that turned out to be unneeded, but angry at the person who was trying to protect your loved-one? That baffles me.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: jaxsue on April 12, 2013, 10:14:39 AM
Look, no matter how you slice it, being sick or injured *is* expensive (even if you have National Health, it's expensive for society).  Car wrecks are expensive.  Babies are expensive.  Hailstorms and tornados are expensive.  We are not talking about someone with a really bad cut.  We are talking about someone who started having a seizure in a public place.  That is an emergency, with a capital E. 
The husband may have wigged out, but that is because he is acting crazy.  There is absolutely nothing reasonable about his attitude.  It's his wife I feel sorry for.  Can you imagine being married to someone who freaks out on total strangers because you have a medical condition that is expensive?  Imagine how he treats her at home.

Per the bolded: it is expensive. I broke 3 bones in my ankle in January, and to date the costs have topped $45k! I have insurance (how I wish we had a national health system!) and have to pay $5 of that.

General comment: Yes, ambulances are expensive, but that husband was in the wrong 100%.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 12, 2013, 10:44:53 AM
^ It took me six years to pay off a broken ankle when I was uninsured. And that was with me refusing an ambulance and taking a cab.


I don't think anyone is excusing the husband, I simply think some of us understand his anger - this one incident could mean they don't get to buy a house, or have a kid, or any sort of expensive plan they might have had in the works. I get it people were scared, but in the end, all he actually did was yell over the phone. It was wrong, but when people are scared and upset, having a bit of a verbal blow up is IMO pretty understandable.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 12, 2013, 10:46:13 AM
I can understand calling 911 is the right thing to do (I'm not doubting that at all!), but I can understand the husband's frustration. I know with some insurance or without insurance that ride might cost $500 out of pocket + possibly thousands in ER bills. It's horribly scary that the decision of how thousands of your dollars are spent are in another person's hands.

Still rude/inappropriate to berate the person who had to make that tough decision because bystanders aren't qualified to decide whether or not a seizure is a medical emergency for that person.

I agree with every word of this.

I agree the husband was probably freaking out about the bills, but he shouldn't have called and berated the staff.

The staff followed a correct procedure. When the ambulance arrived, his wife had the opportunity to decide to not go to the hospital. I've also seen EMT's arrive at a scene, determine no major emergency was occuring, do some general First Aid, and then not transport the person.

Since neither of those occured, it seems either the wife wasn't in a position to turn down a trip to the ER or the EMT's felt it was medically necessary.

I wonder what the husband really wanted?

***I've had a co-worker insist we call her husband to take her to an ER instead of an ambulance. One factor was to save costs and the other was to go to the hospital of her choosing and not the EMT's.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 12, 2013, 10:53:44 AM
Quote
I agree the husband was probably freaking out about the bills, but he shouldn't have called and berated the staff.

Quote
It was wrong, but when people are scared and upset, having a bit of a verbal blow up is IMO pretty understandable.

Scared and upset about what?  Bills,money.  Not the welfare of his wife.

From the information given it appears that the husband was more concerned about the bills than he was about his wife's condition.  Am I the only one noticing that? 
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 12, 2013, 10:58:14 AM
Quote
I agree the husband was probably freaking out about the bills, but he shouldn't have called and berated the staff.

From the information given it appears that the husband was more concerned about the bills than he was about his wife's condition.  Am I the only one noticing that?

I don't think we know that at all. After all we do know the school didn't call the husband. So either the wife or the hospital did. Which means he already knew her condition. If her condition was "absolutely fine, no problems, nothing to worry about [medically]... oh by the way that will $15k how did you want to pay for this?" then he had no reason to worry about her condition.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 12, 2013, 11:01:46 AM
Quote
I don't think we know that at all.

Then maybe OP SamiHami can answer that if she knows.

Did husband seem at all concerned about wife's condition?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 11:03:29 AM
If the ambulance ride itself was $45K, that's scary.

However, the ER visit, after a seizure, seems to me to be a non-debatable issue, unless the man is more concerned about his wallet than his wife's health or, indeed, life. Even if he did not sound threatening, berating people who assisted your sick wife because the cost of treating her illness is high, is ridiculously entitled. THEY didn't make her have a seizure.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Hillia on April 12, 2013, 11:10:09 AM
What he said to the staff was extreme enough for them to feel threatened and call the police.  That goes beyond a bit of yelling, which is rude but perhaps understandable, and into unacceptable.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Library Dragon on April 12, 2013, 11:16:13 AM
I have a payment question which is kind of related.

If someone had called an ambulance and then the woman had refused to get into it and go to hospital - would anyone need to pay and if so who?

This was the previous director's concern about calling the EMTs.  If the patron refused treatment we would be charged.  After an incident when a patron had a seizure, we called 911, and he refused treatment we called and asked the question.  We were told that we would not be charged.  Our agency had never heard of that happening. 
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 12, 2013, 11:19:24 AM
Quote
I agree the husband was probably freaking out about the bills, but he shouldn't have called and berated the staff.

Quote
It was wrong, but when people are scared and upset, having a bit of a verbal blow up is IMO pretty understandable.

Scared and upset about what?  Bills,money.  Not the welfare of his wife.

From the information given it appears that the husband was more concerned about the bills than he was about his wife's condition.  Am I the only one noticing that?

No, that is also what I noticed. I ran the situation by DH and he felt the same, the person's well being comes first.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 12, 2013, 11:32:37 AM
Quote
I agree the husband was probably freaking out about the bills, but he shouldn't have called and berated the staff.

Quote
It was wrong, but when people are scared and upset, having a bit of a verbal blow up is IMO pretty understandable.

Scared and upset about what?  Bills,money.  Not the welfare of his wife.

From the information given it appears that the husband was more concerned about the bills than he was about his wife's condition.  Am I the only one noticing that?

No, that is also what I noticed. I ran the situation by DH and he felt the same, the person's well being comes first.

But he must have already knew his wife's condition - after she or the hospital were the ones who informed him of the situation and 911 being called in the first place. For all we know the condition was "totally ok".
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 11:35:19 AM
How would she be "totally ok" if she'd just been having seizures? Something was wrong there. Perhaps not something that the ER was able to help with, but they best I presume she'd be told is "you're OK for now".
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 12, 2013, 11:35:28 AM
At what point does someone's medical emergency outside of their home become "totally OK"?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Hillia on April 12, 2013, 11:39:42 AM
How would she be "totally ok" if she'd just been having seizures? Something was wrong there. Perhaps not something that the ER was able to help with, but they best I presume she'd be told is "you're OK for now".

She may have been 'totally OK' by the time he talked to her, but she was not at the time she had the seizure, nor apparently in the time it took to contact emergency services and have them arrive.  Would he prefer that they adopt a wait-and-see policy before calling the ambulance?  This is a school staff, not medical personnel; they have no medical history on her, no way of adequately assessing her physical condition, and no way of contacting him in a timely manner, which in a medical emergency can be seconds.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 12, 2013, 11:55:53 AM
The husband was out of line - big time!

Many times, when my blood sugar drops, I am unable to articulate what is going on.  I appear confused, my speech garbled, I shake and get clammy.  I would not be able to tell someone to call my husband or instruct them on what to do to bring me back to normal.

I suspect this is what happened with the lady in the OP's story.  While I can appreciate his worry/frustration over the cost of the ambulance it doesn't excuse his behavior to the people who assisted his wife in her time of need.

I've been in the woman's place where 911 had to be called for me while I was at work.  DH's only concern was that I was alright.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: TootsNYC on April 12, 2013, 12:54:27 PM
I can understand calling 911 is the right thing to do (I'm not doubting that at all!), but I can understand the husband's frustration. I know with some insurance or without insurance that ride might cost $500 out of pocket + possibly thousands in ER bills. It's horribly scary that the decision of how thousands of your dollars are spent are in another person's hands.

Still rude/inappropriate to berate the person who had to make that tough decision because bystanders aren't qualified to decide whether or not a seizure is a medical emergency for that person.

I come down right here.
This is very nicely worded.


A work colleague smacked herself on the head while coming back to the office from a work errand, and we all thought she'd need stitches. I was going to take her to the emergency room in a cab, and the HR person came bustling down and was insisting on calling an ambulance. My colleague was really upset because of the expense. And I think she DID have insurance.

Maybe we need a world in which the ambulance call is something that can be written off.

Also, the guy probably *was* upset about his wife--hence an adrenline spike.
Then he finds out she's OK, and now all that adrenaline has to go somewhere, so he sends it over to the "I have to pay the bill" category. And that also explains why he was so over-the-top on the phone.

It's probably a classic case of "taking it out on the messenger." Still rude, of course.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 01:00:11 PM
Toots, you're always so nice.

I'm a little more cynical. I think that someone who would be so abusive that the staff feel threatened is not just reacting out of adrenalin. I think he is the sort who figures if he yells aggressively enough, someone will say, "OK, OK, we'll cover the cost of the ambulance. And her treatment at the OR. Just stop screaming!"
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 12, 2013, 01:16:08 PM
Three Stories:

When I was at work (Borders in December 2007), I slipped/tripped over a display, flew into the open aisle where people could move in and out of the cashier bay, and was stunned.  It took a few minutes but I was able to say that I wanted a family member called instead of an ambulance.  It turns out that I broke the tip of my tibia and had to walk around in a removal cast boot.  I'm still glad that my supervisor decided to not call 911 because I didn't hit my head or anything.

Now, fast forward to August of 2012.  I was working on taking things down to the basement and the stairs to the basement were coming out of the wall.  I didn't notice it, save for feeling that the top stair was sinking.  So, I step down on the first step and boom - I fall with the stairs.  911 was called and I was checked out by the paramedics.  I refused to go to the ER because I knew I didn't lose consciousness.  Also, at the time, I felt fine.  It turns out that I sprained my shoulder pretty badly but otherwise was fine.  We did not get billed but, if we had been, we would have paid for it.

The third story comes from this year when my grandma had a stroke and I called 911.  It was the absolute right thing to do and I'd do it again.  We did get something in the mail because they couldn't get her insurance info.  We promptly filled it out and sent it right back.  Whatever bill we get, we will be paying it. 

Bottom line - the husband was out of line and the wife needed 911 called for a reason.  We can assign everything we want to try to put the husband in a better light, but I don't think he deserves it.  What if his wife had died because of a complication of the seizure due to 911 not being called?  I'm pretty sure he'd be suing the university what quick.

ETA: I have stroke on the brain.  Apologies.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 12, 2013, 01:18:26 PM
I remember years ago I went to work in the morning and planned to leave at noon to attend a funeral.  Well, about 11am I opened a file cabinet door too fast, hit my head pretty hard, got a nasty bump on the forehead and was dizzy/disoriented for several minutes.  Supervisor asked if I wanted EMTs or co-workers could take me to ER to be checked out.  (A head injury can be very serious.)  Co-workers took me to ER, tests were performed, Dr. cautioned me not to drive for awhile, and they took me home to rest.

The reason I didn’t want EMTs was I didn’t feel it was necessary and I also didn’t want a family member to be called (things were hectic that day because of funeral that afternoon).  I really wasn’t thinking about the cost (although insurance would have paid most of it).

Quote
We can assign everything we want to try to put the husband in a better light, but I don't think he deserves it.  What if his wife had died because of a complication of the stroke due to 911 not being called?  I'm pretty sure he'd be suing the university
Oh, you can be SURE of this.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 01:21:07 PM
Basically, if the wife was concious and coherent, she could have refused the ambulance. Since she didn't, I suspect she was still in a non-coherent state. Not getting her prompt medical attention at that point would be negligent. You don't bundle up someone who can't give you their name straight, and push them into a taxi to go to a walk-in clinic.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Just Lori on April 12, 2013, 01:27:33 PM
Epilepsy is usually a chronic ailment - seizures may show up out of nowhere in otherwise healthy people, but epileptic people know there's a chance they're going to have a seizure, and they have to know there's a chance they might have the seizure in public.

I think the general consensus in society is that when someone is having a seizure and not regaining consciousness, you call 911.  If the man in the OP doesn't want 911 called, perhaps he should outfit his wife with a medical bracelet that says "In case of seizure, do not call 911.  Call Joe at 555.555.5555."  Not everyone is going to look for a bracelet before calling 911, but it might make an occasional difference.

Calling and yelling is inappropriate.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: perpetua on April 12, 2013, 01:34:19 PM
May I just point out that not everyone who has a seizure needs to go to hospital every time?

If the woman was a known epilepsy sufferer, for example, and the seizure was typical for her.

My partner has epilepsy. We don't need to call 999 (UK) unless he's fitting/unconscious for longer than five minutes or has one right after the other and doesn't come round in between.

Even if that was the case there's obviously a possibility that whoever called 911 for this lady didn't know that, but that could explain the husband's reaction. That doesn't make him the uncaring person that he's being made out to be here.

I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

Basically, if the wife was concious and coherent, she could have refused the ambulance. Since she didn't, I suspect she was still in a non-coherent state.

That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital. People who have epileptic seizures are often very confused when they come round.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 12, 2013, 01:39:01 PM
Epilepsy is usually a chronic ailment - seizures may show up out of nowhere in otherwise healthy people, but epileptic people know there's a chance they're going to have a seizure, and they have to know there's a chance they might have the seizure in public.

I think the general consensus in society is that when someone is having a seizure and not regaining consciousness, you call 911. If the man in the OP doesn't want 911 called, perhaps he should outfit his wife with a medical bracelet that says "In case of seizure, do not call 911.  Call Joe at 555.555.5555."  Not everyone is going to look for a bracelet before calling 911, but it might make an occasional difference.

Calling and yelling is inappropriate.

For all we know she did have a bracelet and no one bothered to look. So they might have taken the appropriate actions to prevent a 911 call and had them blatantly disregarded... and then got saddled with a bill they have to pay anyway.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 12, 2013, 01:40:52 PM
Quote
That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital.
and is doesn't mean she didn't.  Co-workers are not qualified to make medical diagnoses and assessments, and it's not their responsibility.  Their responsibility is to get medical help for her immediately.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Hillia on April 12, 2013, 01:41:29 PM
The other thing is that a seizure is kind of a 'hidden' problem - non-medical people can't tell just from looking at someone how serious the situation is.  If someone cuts their hand, it's a lot easier to assess...is the bleeding controlled by holding a towel over the cut?  Then they can probably ride to the hospital in a private car.  Same for trips and falls, sprains, even broken bones - it's a lot easier to tell what's going on.  Someone who's lost conciousness is a cipher; the bystanders don't know if it's hypoglycemia, epilepsy, a stroke, a heart attack, or any one of a number of things.  I would prefer that bystanders err on the side of caution if I suddenly lost conciousness; I'd be pretty irritated if 911 wasn't called because 'we thought it would be too expensive'.  Well, the delay in medical treatment can make the situation worse, and result in a hospital stay rather than an on site check by the EMTs or a trip to the ER.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: perpetua on April 12, 2013, 01:43:17 PM
Quote
That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital.
and is doesn't mean she didn't.  Co-workers are not qualified to make medical diagnoses and assessments, and it's not their responsibility.  Their responsibility is to get medical help for her immediately.

Unless she's already said to them 'Don't call an ambulance except in the case of [xyz]'.

I'm not saying they were incorrect to do so; I was more raising a point against the accusations made against the husband here that he doesn't care about his wife's wellbeing because he didn't want her to go to hospital.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Just Lori on April 12, 2013, 01:44:53 PM
My mom is epileptic and has had her share of seizures in public.  The neighbors knew what she needed when she had a seizure in the driveway, because she had talked about it.  Her coworkers knew what to do when she had a seizure at work, because she educated them ahead of time.  If it's that important to avoid an emergency call, then you need to make sure that everyone who interacts with you regularly knows that you don't necessarily need a trip to the ER.  If you've done that and you happen to have a seizure around people who don't know you, then you need to accept that they're going to err on the side of safety and call 911.

There is nothing in the OP to indicate whether the staff knew about the student's epilepsy.  Going on the facts that were presented, the staff did the right thing by calling for emergency help.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Roodabega on April 12, 2013, 01:45:05 PM
May I just point out that not everyone who has a seizure needs to go to hospital every time?

If the woman was a known epilepsy sufferer, for example, and the seizure was typical for her.

My partner has epilepsy. We don't need to call 999 (UK) unless he's fitting/unconscious for longer than five minutes or has one right after the other and doesn't come round in between.

Even if that was the case there's obviously a possibility that whoever called 911 for this lady didn't know that, but that could explain the husband's reaction. That doesn't make him the uncaring person that he's being made out to be here.

I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

Basically, if the wife was concious and coherent, she could have refused the ambulance. Since she didn't, I suspect she was still in a non-coherent state.

That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital. People who have epileptic seizures are often very confused when they come round.

Unfortunately in our litigious society, as an employee of an institution, your responsibilities are to your work and not the other person.  As others have suggested, not calling 911 could potentially result in an expensive lawsuit.  Unless the person can absolutely tell you they don't want an ambulance I think you are obligated to call one.   There is no way I would try to diagnose the severity of a ill/injured person.  Even with a medical bracelet I would call if the other person could not respond.  I'm not even sure I would take the risk if the bracelet said DO NOT CALL AMBULANCE.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 12, 2013, 01:52:07 PM
Quote
I'm not even sure I would take the risk if the bracelet said DO NOT CALL AMBULANCE.

I agree.

As far as calling the husband instead, what if he's in the men's room, on another call, or otherwise unavailable?  What if you reach vm?  That's wasting valueable time and could literally mean th difference between life and death.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: bopper on April 12, 2013, 01:55:13 PM
Quote
May I just point out that not everyone who has a seizure needs to go to hospital every time?

If the woman was a known epilepsy sufferer, for example, and the seizure was typical for her.

My partner has epilepsy. We don't need to call 999 (UK) unless he's fitting/unconscious for longer than five minutes or has one right after the other and doesn't come round in between.

Even if that was the case there's obviously a possibility that whoever called 911 for this lady didn't know that, but that could explain the husband's reaction. That doesn't make him the uncaring person that he's being made out to be here.

I agree...the DH may know that the wife didn't necessarily need to go to the hospital, but if she didn't inform professors/classmates on what to do, they have to do the default action which is call 911.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: perpetua on April 12, 2013, 01:59:37 PM
Quote
May I just point out that not everyone who has a seizure needs to go to hospital every time?

If the woman was a known epilepsy sufferer, for example, and the seizure was typical for her.

My partner has epilepsy. We don't need to call 999 (UK) unless he's fitting/unconscious for longer than five minutes or has one right after the other and doesn't come round in between.

Even if that was the case there's obviously a possibility that whoever called 911 for this lady didn't know that, but that could explain the husband's reaction. That doesn't make him the uncaring person that he's being made out to be here.

I agree...the DH may know that the wife didn't necessarily need to go to the hospital, but if she didn't inform professors/classmates on what to do, they have to do the default action which is call 911.

I agree, but we shouldn't be bandying around phrases like 'this man cares more about money than his wife's health' in this situation, which was the point I was trying to make.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 12, 2013, 02:00:07 PM
Growing up, one of my classmates was diabetic.  On the first day of school every year, she and the teacher would tell us what it meant for her to be diabetic, would tell us where her special candies were if she needed sugar and what to do for her, if she couldn't ask for the candies.  (It was some sort of special concentrated glucose candy specifically formulated for diabetics.)

It worked out really well; occasionally, she'd have a reaction in gym class and one of us would run to the classroom for her candy, grabbing the teacher at the same time.  I only recall one time that it wasn't enough and her Mom was called.  I'm sure the school would have called for an ambulance (no 911 in those days), if warranted.

But the difference her was that, as her classmates, we had been trained on what to do!
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: JenJay on April 12, 2013, 02:32:33 PM
Basically, if the wife was concious and coherent, she could have refused the ambulance. Since she didn't, I suspect she was still in a non-coherent state. Not getting her prompt medical attention at that point would be negligent. You don't bundle up someone who can't give you their name straight, and push them into a taxi to go to a walk-in clinic.

Exactly

This is not a case of the sick or injured person asking for a friend to give them a ride to the hospital and being upset that an ambulance was called against their wishes. I could sympathize with that. This is a case where the patient either didn't or couldn't argue against an ambulance. She either wanted the help or was unable to respond either way. For her husband to be angry that someone helped her, so angry that people felt threatened is, IMO, outrageous.

If it turns out that she knew she was okay, asked for someone to call her DH and she was ignored and forced into an ambulance by someone covering their butt against being sued then she and her DH would have a very valid argument. So far I haven't read anything that indicates that's what happened.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Winterlight on April 12, 2013, 03:25:00 PM
Unless the bystanders are ER personnel who can magically diagnose on the spot, an ambulance should be called for someone in this situation. And since, AFAIKT, she did not object to the ambulance being called, he's yelling at the wrong people.

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 03:39:55 PM
Basically, if the wife was concious and coherent, she could have refused the ambulance. Since she didn't, I suspect she was still in a non-coherent state.

That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital. People who have epileptic seizures are often very confused when they come round.

That's fine for people who are familiar with her medical history. In this case, the people who called the ambulance were not. If they had not called for immediate medical care, and the woman was, say, suffering a stroke instead, they would likely be subject to lawsuits for huge amounts.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: EllenS on April 12, 2013, 03:48:18 PM
Lawsuit, shmawsuit.  It's the right thing to do.  Some stranger is unconscious/incoherent, you call for medical help.  Since there are no "house calls" to a GP anymore, that means calling 911.

The daughter of a friend of mine has had severe epilepsy her whole life.  Every once in a while she would have a Grand Mal seizure out in public - once when she was standing at a bus stop.

You know what her lovely, thoughtful passers-by did?  They spared her the cost of an ambulance - and mugged her while she was unconscious.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Cami on April 12, 2013, 03:49:30 PM
Quote
That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital.
and is doesn't mean she didn't.  Co-workers are not qualified to make medical diagnoses and assessments, and it's not their responsibility.  Their responsibility is to get medical help for her immediately.
Exactly. I'm not interested in playing god, nor should I since I'm not omnisicent.

If someone is conscious, but confused, I'm calling 911. How do I know she didn't get a concussion when she fell down when she had her seizure?  How do I know she didn't have a stroke in addition to having a seizure? 

Not worth the risk in any way.

If you have a chronic condition that may cause you to become unconscious, you must accept that 911 is going to be called. My sister has a tendency to faint when she gets overheated. 99% of the time, she comes right out of it. 1% of the time, she doesn't. She's had 911 called on her frequently. It's never occurred to her to be angry that people were concerned about her life, nor to expect that people shouldn't call 911.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: newbiePA on April 12, 2013, 03:49:40 PM
I work in healthcare.  I have for many years.  If someone is having a serious medical complaint at our office, WE call 911. I have had a person actively having a stroke and another person having a heart attack in my office.  Both wanted to drive themselves to the ER ( about 1 mile away). I still called 911.  Better safe than sorry.  Just because that woman had a history of epilepsy, that day could have been the day an undiagnosed anurysm burst.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 12, 2013, 03:50:08 PM
What horrible people.  >:(
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ettiquit on April 12, 2013, 04:02:51 PM
My mother is epileptic, and gets pretty mad when we call 911 when she has a seizure because all they really end up doing is checking her BP and stuff like that.  However, she has then so rarely (about every 5 years, maybe?), that we're just not comfortable assuming that it's just a normal seizure.  Family rule.

I would be baffled if my mom had a seizure in public and the staff at wherever she happened to be opted not to call 911. 

However, if I witnessed someone have a seizure and they had a "Don't call 911 - Epileptic" bracelet on, I'd respect it. 

Unless they were my mother, of course.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Kaesha on April 12, 2013, 06:01:52 PM
As a seizure sufferer myself, they did the right thing.  I am also a student and my professors are aware that I have them.  I have asked them that if I do seize in class, to let me wake up and I will decide whether I need ES.  However, if I had a seizure in a hallway or while outside and no one knew who I was, it is definitely the right thing to do to call 911.  I really don't need to go, and can't spare the expense either, but when someone is having a medical emergency, it seems unethical to just ignore their distress!
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Syrse on April 12, 2013, 06:17:42 PM
This may be a bit off topic, but... if someone else calls you an ambulance and you refuse to ride, you still have to pay for it? How odd! Suppose someone prank calls? Or gets hysterical over a paper cut?  :o
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: *inviteseller on April 12, 2013, 06:18:14 PM
This poor woman has a seizure surrounded by people she doesn't know and who don't know her so they could not make an assessment other than "oh no, she's having a seizure! Call 9 1 1"  And the husband, instead of worrying about his wife, is busy calling and berating people, who very well may have saved her life.  I wouldn't have been afraid of him, I may have just given him an earful.  I get he is mad they are going to incur hospital/ambulance bills, but she had a seizure!!  And hospitals will work with you on bills, as will ambulances.  I just paid of a nasty sprained ankle/torn ligaments from 2 1/2 years ago..it is not easy.  But if I were him and my choice is paying something to a hospital/ambulance each month or a dead or permanently impaired wife because no one stepped in to help her, I would take the bills
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: kherbert05 on April 12, 2013, 06:30:56 PM
If you have chronic condition that can threaten your life or cause you to be unresponsive - it is your job to educate those around you how to respond.


Every year I go over what to do if I'm exposed to peanuts with my teammates. They and the office have my sister's information. She happens to work for  the same hospital I would go to from school but different campus. If she and her husband wanted to have this handled a different way - they should have made sure her friends on campus knew what to do.


Even when you have insurance, getting them to pay is hard. We had to have an ambulance take mom to the hospital at the end of her illness. The insurance said that she had to pay because she could have been transported by private car. Except NO WAY. She was in massive pain and suffering from dementia, she thought we were trying to kill her and fighting us tooth and nail. She obeyed the EMT's and they were able to lift her up and put her on a gurney.  Thankfully sis's job means she knows the rules and regs - the insurance paid up as soon as they made the connection with Sis's job.


I've been yelled at for not calling an ambulance for myself a few times.
1. My then favorite chocolate bar changed recipies and started  using peanut products. I was driving home when I bit into the bar. Turned right instead of left and went to the ER a block away.

2. 2 different times I had been out and about. I'm driving along and realized I have really started to feel bad and my mouth tastes like I'm chewing on aluminum. I touched something with peanut traces. Again pulled off the HW into a near by ER. One doc really was mad I pointed out the nearest safe place to pull over stop and call for help had been the ER's parking lot. (literally got off freeway and pulled into their lot). This is Houston lots of hospitals along most major Highways, and docs in the box, private ER only places, and urgent care centers every couple of strip centers.

3. a couple of other times taken by friends or family directly from the restaurant that lied. It was quicker than trying to call for help - and in at least 2 occasions the restaurant ordered us off the property after the "If you make us pay for a meal we can't eat (literally 1 bite taken on my part and the LIED), you are paying for the ER bill" argument.


Dad's business once had a 2 women walk in. One of them handed the receptionist a card and laid down on the carpet. The card said she was about to have a seizure and not to call for help. She had the seizure, with her friend assuring everyone everything was ok. The seizure over they asked for some water and left. Honestly Dad's boss thought it was some type of scam and they were going to be hit up with a lawsuit. (Can't blame him everyone and their dog was going after people in similar businesses). What was really weird is it was hard to get into the business (basically at Southwest freeway and 59) The feeder road stopped north of them and restarted near them. To exit off the freeway you would have to loop around. To come from surface streets you had to know or spot this little hidden road. It's not like beer distributors get walk in business - you have to have a retail licence to buy from them.


Oh another point. If I see something like this I'm going to call 911 and while on the line or having a bystander on the line relaying information - then I'll check for Medical ID bracelets, other info, and start first aid.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 12, 2013, 07:31:15 PM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 12, 2013, 07:32:22 PM
This may be a bit off topic, but... if someone else calls you an ambulance and you refuse to ride, you still have to pay for it? How odd! Suppose someone prank calls? Or gets hysterical over a paper cut?  :o

I didn't have to with the fall with the stairs.  However, that could have been taken care of by Medicare, but I never saw a bill.  I usually do so, even when they 100 percent cover everything.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 12, 2013, 07:59:05 PM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

Depends on the school, but my school does not have an emergency contact for their students.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: silvercelt on April 12, 2013, 10:45:17 PM
This may be a bit off topic, but... if someone else calls you an ambulance and you refuse to ride, you still have to pay for it? How odd! Suppose someone prank calls? Or gets hysterical over a paper cut?  :o

I didn't have to with the fall with the stairs.  However, that could have been taken care of by Medicare, but I never saw a bill.  I usually do so, even when they 100 percent cover everything.

I feel like this thread was made for me, since I work in the ambulance billing industry. :P

Lots of ambulance companies (private and public) will bill for refusals (normally referred to as 'evals'). Those who do will normally charge the eval fee to all patients who refuse an ambulance ride after they are called, but they'll all let a patient dispute the bill.  If your neighbor called and you refused all treatment and transport, they'll normally waive the fee.  If a neighbor called and you let them check you over (and possibly patch you up, depending on the problem) but refuse the ride, they won't waive it.

So much varies depending on your area and the billing practices, though- even the amount charged.  In my state, the normal charges for ambulance range from $350-$800- it differs based on the level of care provided to you- and some states range from $1000-$1500 a ride.

I can pretty much guarantee that when you fell the ambulance company didn't charge you for it.  If there is one thing that I have learned that Medicare (and 99% of other insurances) WON'T pay for, it's an ambulance eval.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: MariaE on April 13, 2013, 01:35:11 AM
I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm very grateful medical care is free here.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: TootsNYC on April 13, 2013, 09:01:08 AM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

Depends on the school, but my school does not have an emergency contact for their students.

Plus it's not like elementary school, where the kids aren't that far from the front office. Bystanders may not even know who she is.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Winterlight on April 13, 2013, 10:29:03 AM
Basically, if the wife was concious and coherent, she could have refused the ambulance. Since she didn't, I suspect she was still in a non-coherent state.

That still doesn't necessarily mean she needed to go to hospital. People who have epileptic seizures are often very confused when they come round.

That's fine for people who are familiar with her medical history. In this case, the people who called the ambulance were not. If they had not called for immediate medical care, and the woman was, say, suffering a stroke instead, they would likely be subject to lawsuits for huge amounts.

Or if she'd had a stroke in addition to a seizure.

I am asthmatic. I had several attacks in college and didn't need an ambulance for them, though one was usually called. Except one day, the attack got worse, and worse, and the meds didn't work. The ambulance took me in, and I discovered that not only was I having an asthma attack, one lung had spontaneously collapsed. Yeah, glad I went to the hospital.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 13, 2013, 11:04:37 AM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

Depends on the school, but my school does not have an emergency contact for their students.

Plus it's not like elementary school, where the kids aren't that far from the front office. Bystanders may not even know who she is.

Sorry, I thought from the OP that it was faculty/staff who called 911. I may have misinterpreted.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: artk2002 on April 13, 2013, 11:08:55 AM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

Depends on the school, but my school does not have an emergency contact for their students.

Plus it's not like elementary school, where the kids aren't that far from the front office. Bystanders may not even know who she is.

Sorry, I thought from the OP that it was faculty/staff who called 911. I may have misinterpreted.

You're correct, but that doesn't make TootsNYC wrong in this context. Just because they are faculty/staff, it doesn't mean that they would know quickly who the husband was and how to contact him. They are, effectively, bystanders. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and figuring out who she was, contacting whoever has next-of-kin information to get the husband's phone #, contacting him (assuming he's available) would put her at great risk. How should they wait on the phone for the husband to answer before they decide that they have to take action and call 911? Ten minutes? Fifteen? She could be dead in that time, or so brain-damaged that there isn't much difference.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: mmswm on April 13, 2013, 11:10:23 AM
I have a severe food allergy, so I've had 911 called on my behalf a couple of times.  I hate that ambulance rides cost so much, but I have a tendency to have a rebound reaction (the epipen wears off and the reaction starts up again) so I always let the take me in.  One particular incident made me smile.  Rescue responded and of course they want to take me into the ER for observation. At that time I was uninsured, and I hesitated.  The crew realized what my objection was and proceeded to tell me about their city's solution to my problem.  You see, they had one particular ambulance and crew that was set up for stable patients who really need need to go in for observation, but were afraid of the cost of an ambulance ride.  This car was one of their older ones and set up with very basic equipment, not fully decked out like a regular ambulance, and it was offered for transport at no cost.  I thought that was a great idea.

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: mmswm on April 13, 2013, 11:14:43 AM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

Depends on the school, but my school does not have an emergency contact for their students.

Plus it's not like elementary school, where the kids aren't that far from the front office. Bystanders may not even know who she is.

Sorry, I thought from the OP that it was faculty/staff who called 911. I may have misinterpreted.

You're correct, but that doesn't make TootsNYC wrong in this context. Just because they are faculty/staff, it doesn't mean that they would know quickly who the husband was and how to contact him. They are, effectively, bystanders. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and figuring out who she was, contacting whoever has next-of-kin information to get the husband's phone #, contacting him (assuming he's available) would put her at great risk. How should they wait on the phone for the husband to answer before they decide that they have to take action and call 911? Ten minutes? Fifteen? She could be dead in that time, or so brain-damaged that there isn't much difference.

I worked for a college that had 165,000 students at the time (it's grown since then), spread out over 8 campuses. Students had a "home" campus but often took a class or two at another campus. If I had a student with a medical emergency, there's no way I would be able to figure out who he/she was, get into the student database, and get that information, even if I was right next to a computer that was able to get into said database in any reasonable amount of time.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ClaireC79 on April 13, 2013, 11:16:19 AM

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

 Just because they are faculty/staff, it doesn't mean that they would know quickly who the husband was and how to contact him. They are, effectively, bystanders. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and figuring out who she was, contacting whoever has next-of-kin information to get the husband's phone #, contacting him (assuming he's available) would put her at great risk. How should they wait on the phone for the husband to answer before they decide that they have to take action and call 911?

But she didn't say call the husband instead, she said after calling an ambulance let the next of kin know
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 13, 2013, 12:10:23 PM

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

 Just because they are faculty/staff, it doesn't mean that they would know quickly who the husband was and how to contact him. They are, effectively, bystanders. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and figuring out who she was, contacting whoever has next-of-kin information to get the husband's phone #, contacting him (assuming he's available) would put her at great risk. How should they wait on the phone for the husband to answer before they decide that they have to take action and call 911?

But she didn't say call the husband instead, she said after calling an ambulance let the next of kin know

Exactly. I'm not saying it should be the first thing they do. But it seems if there are more than a couple bystanders, sending someone to contact her spouse wouldn't put her in grave danger.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Hillia on April 13, 2013, 01:20:34 PM

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

 Just because they are faculty/staff, it doesn't mean that they would know quickly who the husband was and how to contact him. They are, effectively, bystanders. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and figuring out who she was, contacting whoever has next-of-kin information to get the husband's phone #, contacting him (assuming he's available) would put her at great risk. How should they wait on the phone for the husband to answer before they decide that they have to take action and call 911?

But she didn't say call the husband instead, she said after calling an ambulance let the next of kin know

Exactly. I'm not saying it should be the first thing they do. But it seems if there are more than a couple bystanders, sending someone to contact her spouse wouldn't put her in grave danger.

Again, that assumes that someone knows who her spouse is and how to contact him.  The school might not have emergency contact info for him; the place where I did my grad work didn't have any on me (or if they did, it was at the main campus and inaccessible during the evenings when I was in class).  If she was not concious/coherent until she got to the hospital, she couldn't have relayed that info.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 13, 2013, 02:00:27 PM

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

 Just because they are faculty/staff, it doesn't mean that they would know quickly who the husband was and how to contact him. They are, effectively, bystanders. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and figuring out who she was, contacting whoever has next-of-kin information to get the husband's phone #, contacting him (assuming he's available) would put her at great risk. How should they wait on the phone for the husband to answer before they decide that they have to take action and call 911?

But she didn't say call the husband instead, she said after calling an ambulance let the next of kin know

Exactly. I'm not saying it should be the first thing they do. But it seems if there are more than a couple bystanders, sending someone to contact her spouse wouldn't put her in grave danger.

Again, that assumes that someone knows who her spouse is and how to contact him.  The school might not have emergency contact info for him; the place where I did my grad work didn't have any on me (or if they did, it was at the main campus and inaccessible during the evenings when I was in class).  If she was not concious/coherent until she got to the hospital, she couldn't have relayed that info.

Okay. I'm aware it could be different for different places. Maybe the OP could shed some light on the info her particular institution keeps. We know this happened in the morning when (you'd think) admin buildings would be open. All I'm saying is that IF the student has emergency contact info on file, it does seem odd that they didn't use it. What's the info for, unless it's to contact someone in case of emergency?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 13, 2013, 02:08:47 PM
Once again, I want to point out that many colleges do not collect emergency contact information from their students, and it would take more time to gather that information if the person in crisis is unconscious than to call 911.

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Just Lori on April 13, 2013, 03:08:23 PM
My FIL has a chronic illness that sometimes renders him incohent and agitated for days.  Because this is a very rare illness, the ER doctors typically assume he's having a heart attack and treat him acordingly.  Really, he just needs time to get over these spells and he'll be fine. So he's given his family strict orders - do not call 911 when he's having an episode.

A few years ago, he was having an episode.  He told his wife - no 911.  A couple of days later, he was worse.  The kids thought maybe he should go to a hospital.  His wife said no, he had told her no 911 calls.  A couple days later, he tried to get up to use the restroom and fell over.  MIL called my husband, who went over there and decided to go against dad's orders and call 911.

It turns out that it wasn't an episode.  It was a major brain bleed that was pushing his brain against his skull and almost killing him. 

I know this is anectdotal evidence, but making the wrong call (no pun intended) can be deadly.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 13, 2013, 03:50:08 PM
I have three chronic conditions (asthma, migraine headaches, and type II diabetes) , each of which can trigger loss of consciousness. I want bystanders to call for emergency services if I am found unconscious. I am in good control of all three conditions with lifestyle and medication, so it would be out of the norm for me to lose consciousness.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 14, 2013, 11:14:08 AM
Once again, I want to point out that many colleges do not collect emergency contact information from their students, and it would take more time to gather that information if the person in crisis is unconscious than to call 911.

And once again, I said IF they have the info, they should contact the person AFTER calling 911.

ETA: Every single school I have attended or job I have had keeps emergency contact information for students & employees.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Winterlight on April 14, 2013, 02:34:16 PM
Once again, I want to point out that many colleges do not collect emergency contact information from their students, and it would take more time to gather that information if the person in crisis is unconscious than to call 911.

Even if they do, the department probably doesn't have access to those records.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 14, 2013, 03:17:14 PM
Only our police and Registrar's office would have any access to student data. I don't know of any occasions where the university has contacted the next of kin or emergency contact if there was one.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 14, 2013, 04:08:19 PM
Usually the emergency contact information is in HR/employee file.  Few people have access to that information, and precious time can be lost trying to get it.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 14, 2013, 05:45:56 PM
Usually the emergency contact information is in HR/employee file.  Few people have access to that information, and precious time can be lost trying to get it.

What is this "precious time" you refer to, if emergency services have already been called?

ladyknight, what is the purpose of emergency contact information? What is it used for at your school?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: reflection5 on April 14, 2013, 06:29:47 PM
Usually the emergency contact information is in HR/employee file.  Few people have access to that information, and precious time can be lost trying to get it.

What is this "precious time" you refer to, if emergency services have already been called?


Umm, my reference pertained to a situation where 911 had NOT been called and they were shuffling around trying to find emergency contact information INSTEAD.   Precious as in valuable.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SamiHami on April 14, 2013, 06:54:27 PM
I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 14, 2013, 07:11:46 PM
Well, that changes things. The husband was out of line.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Rohanna on April 14, 2013, 08:19:33 PM
At both the University and college in my town I would find it doubtful that staff or other students would be able to access student information in any kind of hurry due to privacy laws. That assumes that the people who found her had any idea who she was initially- in the rush to call an ambulance many people will not think to check for wallets or other ID. In a school where there may be at any time 4-10k students, 2-3k staff and support staff- not counting other non-enrolled visitors, contractors, family members etc.... there were many times at my school where I couldn't have told you if the person in front of me was student, staff, janitor or member of the band playing at the pub that night. Running into the registers office to ask for the home phone number of "that girl with the red backpack wearing gym shorts", for example, would be unlikely to get me anything before the ambulance showed up.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: mmswm on April 14, 2013, 08:29:28 PM
At both the University and college in my town I would find it doubtful that staff or other students would be able to access student information in any kind of hurry due to privacy laws. That assumes that the people who found her had any idea who she was initially- in the rush to call an ambulance many people will not think to check for wallets or other ID. In a school where there may be at any time 4-10k students, 2-3k staff and support staff- not counting other non-enrolled visitors, contractors, family members etc.... there were many times at my school where I couldn't have told you if the person in front of me was student, staff, janitor or member of the band playing at the pub that night. Running into the registers office to ask for the home phone number of "that girl with the red backpack wearing gym shorts", for example, would be unlikely to get me anything before the ambulance showed up.

I used to work for a large community college.  I had access to the student information systems mainframe.  If I knew the person's name (if it was unique enough) or was able to get his/her student ID or other form of ID, I would have been able to find out that student's emergency contact information from just about every computer on campus that wasn't designated as student use only.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: camlan on April 14, 2013, 08:31:23 PM
At both the University and college in my town I would find it doubtful that staff or other students would be able to access student information in any kind of hurry due to privacy laws. That assumes that the people who found her had any idea who she was initially- in the rush to call an ambulance many people will not think to check for wallets or other ID. In a school where there may be at any time 4-10k students, 2-3k staff and support staff- not counting other non-enrolled visitors, contractors, family members etc.... there were many times at my school where I couldn't have told you if the person in front of me was student, staff, janitor or member of the band playing at the pub that night. Running into the registers office to ask for the home phone number of "that girl with the red backpack wearing gym shorts", for example, would be unlikely to get me anything before the ambulance showed up.

This. Certainly if the seizure happened in a classroom, the instructor should have some way of finding out the name of the person. But next of kin info? Probably not available to an instructor at all.

What would have happened in the schools I've attended/worked in--911 would be called. After calming down the other students, if this had taken place during class, the department office would be notified. Someone from there would have called the Dean or the Health Center or whatever office would be appropriate, and someone from there would contact the parents or other next of kin. If fellow students hadn't already called parents/spouse if they knew the phone number.

When I was teaching at a university, I had the student's name and Social Security number and that was all. I was allowed to ask for their phone numbers and email addresses, but they didn't have to give them to me if they didn't want to. The university had next of kin information, but I had no idea what office was in charge of it.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: mmswm on April 14, 2013, 08:34:56 PM
I should probably add that my particular position is what gave me the access to student information.  Had I just been a regular teacher, I would not have had the access I had.  Most teachers only had access to the pages that showed basic student information: name, class, major, phone number.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: WillyNilly on April 14, 2013, 09:25:06 PM
Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do.

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.

Its not an "interesting assumption" so much as an educated assessment. If the school called him after calling 911, then why was it in your OP he called the school? The logical assumption from the details in your OP was that his wife or the hospital called him, not the school.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: artk2002 on April 14, 2013, 09:34:20 PM
He was called whether it was by the school or the hospital or someone else. It is not the responsibility of the school to make that call. Their responsibility ended with the arrival of the EMTs.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SamiHami on April 14, 2013, 09:34:29 PM
Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do.

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.

Its not an "interesting assumption" so much as an educated assessment. If the school called him after calling 911, then why was it in your OP he called the school? The logical assumption from the details in your OP was that his wife or the hospital called him, not the school.

He was called and notified of the situation. Perhaps it took him a few minutes to get up a head of steam about the ambulance bill. But he called back and seemed threatening enough that my coworkers felt it necessary to call the police about it.

I do think it was an interesting assumption.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Iris on April 15, 2013, 12:56:45 AM
I think it was handled absolutely perfectly. And frankly I don't care about this guy's adrenaline or financial situation or whether he was notified. It is never, ever okay to shout abuse at people until they feel threatened enough to call the police. Simple as that. If he is in such a financial state that an ambulance ride and ER visit puts him in a bind then it is up to he and his wife to take measures to minimise the risk that that happens, not wait until it does and then shout at the people who were trying to get the best treatment for his wife.

I get being frustrated with a situation and *feeling* angry unreasonably, we all do that sometimes. Acting on those feelings in such a way is the problem here. It's just not okay.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 15, 2013, 07:46:37 AM
POD Iris and Art.

It is not reasonable behavior to call and berate the staff about a medical crisis that happened at their school.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 15, 2013, 10:04:06 AM
Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do.

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.

Its not an "interesting assumption" so much as an educated assessment. If the school called him after calling 911, then why was it in your OP he called the school? The logical assumption from the details in your OP was that his wife or the hospital called him, not the school.

He was called and notified of the situation. Perhaps it took him a few minutes to get up a head of steam about the ambulance bill. But he called back and seemed threatening enough that my coworkers felt it necessary to call the police about it.

I do think it was an interesting assumption.

You said in your OP that the "husband called a short while later." You never mentioned the prior phone conversation. Apologies.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Rohanna on April 15, 2013, 11:11:06 AM
I also think its on the person to meet with staff and professors ahead of time to let them know how to handle an issue like that. It does not take much to meet with Prof Smith before the start of classes and say "I have a non life-threatening seizure disorder. Can I give you a sheet with my emergency contact information. If I don't come out of the siezure in x minutes, then I'll need emergency attention". If the professor is comfortable with that, everyone is hunky-dory. Otherwise, how on earth are people to know this is a chronic issue?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Yvaine on April 15, 2013, 11:26:15 AM
Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do.

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.

Its not an "interesting assumption" so much as an educated assessment. If the school called him after calling 911, then why was it in your OP he called the school? The logical assumption from the details in your OP was that his wife or the hospital called him, not the school.

It could just as easily have been that he couldn't get to the phone when first called, and then called back when he got a message from the school. Never being called is far, far from the only reasonable guess.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: gollymolly2 on April 15, 2013, 11:41:21 AM
Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do.

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.

Its not an "interesting assumption" so much as an educated assessment. If the school called him after calling 911, then why was it in your OP he called the school? The logical assumption from the details in your OP was that his wife or the hospital called him, not the school.

It could just as easily have been that he couldn't get to the phone when first called, and then called back when he got a message from the school. Never being called is far, far from the only reasonable guess.

It definitely wasnt the only reasonable guess - totally agree with you there. But it does seem like a pretty reasonable deduction based on the information in the OP. It seems like "interesting assumption" should be reserved for really inappropriate conclusions, not ones that are reasonable but incorrect.

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 15, 2013, 11:42:00 AM
Evidently a student started seizing this morning so 911 was called and she was transported to the hospital. Her husband called a short while later absolutely infuriated that emergency services were called! He at one point mentioned that he was a two minute drive away from our campus, and feeling threatened staff again called 911, this time to summon the police out of concern for what this man may have intended to do.

I agree the husband was out of line, but he might be wondering why he wasn't called by the school at all. If a student has a medical emergency, I would think that their emergency contact should be notified immediately once proper medical personnel have been summoned.

That is a rather interesting assumption. Who said he was never called? He was, in fact, called once the immediate crisis had passed; that is, after 911 had been summoned and she had been taken away in the ambulance.

Seriously, where did you get the idea that he was never called? I never said that.

Its not an "interesting assumption" so much as an educated assessment. If the school called him after calling 911, then why was it in your OP he called the school? The logical assumption from the details in your OP was that his wife or the hospital called him, not the school.

It could just as easily have been that he couldn't get to the phone when first called, and then called back when he got a message from the school. Never being called is far, far from the only reasonable guess.

Doesn't seem that far, far to me. Pretty much only three options. They didn't call, they did and left a message, or they did and got in touch with him. Since no mention was made of the school speaking to him before his call....

But I am done beating this dead horse. My only point was that I could understand his frustration IF he hadn't been notified by the school once 911 was called (I now know he had, and I apologized for the misunderstanding).

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: NyaChan on April 15, 2013, 05:43:16 PM
My Best friend/roommate of 4 years has a heart condition which causes her to collapse.  There is nothing a hospital can do for her, but getting her to take some water and lie down on her back will get her back to normal in time.  She made a point of disclosing that to me when we moved in together so that I would know that calling an ambulance was not necessary under those conditions.  Her previous roommates, having had the same disclosure, called 911 anyways as part of their campaign to have her removed from school (they wanted their friend to have her spot in the dorm) and cost her family a good bit of money and paperwork.  I too pass out and when I know it may be an issue, I tell at least one person that it might happen and explain why it isn't anything serious.

If someone has that sort of condition where they know someone would reasonably call an ambulance but they have no need for the ambulance, it is on them to let people know how to react. 

That said, I would be terrified and scarred if something happened, I didn't call the ambulance on their instruction, and it turned out that there was something seriously wrong which I could have prevented.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Rohanna on April 15, 2013, 05:53:12 PM
http://shop.epilepsysociety.org.uk/product/i-have-epilepsy-id-card/44800/

That's an example of something like the epilepsy cards I have seen.

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: HoneyBee42 on April 15, 2013, 11:26:57 PM
I've had all sorts of varied experiences for myself and close family.

Situation 1)  My dad was riding his bike, got some loose "chatter" (the blacktop fill that wasn't packed in the hole)  that caused his rear tire to skid while he was headed downhill.  Because his front brake held, he went end over end, first point of impact the top of his (helmeted) head.  Some passerby saw and phoned 911.  Police arrived and he was unconscious on the roadside, call went out for "next available ambulance".  He didn't regain consciousness until he was at the ER, probably 20 minutes or so from the original time that he was injured.

Insurance tried to avoid paying because they said the ambulance was the "out of network" one.  Well, my parents filed an appeal--turns out there was no "in network" ambulance, so insurance paid up.

Situation 2)  My mom had a first time grand mal seizure.  A couple freak elements made this even more serious.  She'd been sitting at high table (the sort that has barstool height chairs) and whacked herself on the bridge of the nose on the table (or chair) on the way down, giving herself a severe nosebleed.  Then her forehead caught under the toe-kick of the cabinet, so that her neck was in the position that all the blood was pouring into her lungs.  Of course my dad called 911 rather than drive her (about a 15 minute drive from the house).

Situation 3)  Oldest son passed out somewhere that had my work contact information.  They told me the ambulance had been called, I requested that he be brought to the hospital that is my employer.  The request was honored. 

Situation 4)  Ex (then still my husband) had a heart attack.  911 was called (I made him talk on the phone because I know dispatchers can glean info talking directly rather than talk to me, have me ask him questions, then relay the answers back to the dispatcher).  They asked *me* which hospital, but said that they thought it should be hospital A or hospital B as hospital C wasn't the best for cardiac.

I also know that, when I worked in my prior job (I've been given new duties), I worked with financial assistance applications.  The local ambulance company would honor our financial assistance (i.e., if someone qualified for 100% assistance, the ambulance would write off their charges; if they qualified for 20% reduction, the ambulance would do likewise).

On the other hand, I've pretty much always gone by private transport, but my situations were less serious.  And triage really doesn't care how people arrived--they evaluate based on the particulars of the situation (although I will say that there are few things scarier than hearing people being paged to come to the ER "stat" when it's about *you* as the patient).  In that particular case (really horrific miscarriage with major hemorrhage), I even bumped the stabbing victim the police had brought in just before me, even though I'd walked in thinking I was just fine (until I stood up from triage and there was a 3' diameter puddle of blood at my feet). 

In the end, unless you *know* the situation is something that isn't a true emergency *and* know how to handle the situation, I think that it is the right decision to call the EMTs.  I wouldn't want to live with myself if I'd just sloughed it off because "well, it's not really that serious" and I was wrong--I don't see anything in the OP that suggests that the people who called 911 knew that the student had an existing seizure disorder beforehand. 
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Zenith on April 16, 2013, 01:00:29 AM
I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm very grateful medical care is free here.

Ambulance rides are not free in Australia unless you have a select type of *health care card or pay separately for cover. A family near me had their son have an accident with a bottle of olive oil and a BBQ and that ambulance ride cost 35 thousand dollars. I had to call an ambulance for myself earlier this year and the 2 block ride was 1500 but luckily I had purchased ambulance cover so it was all good. 30-50 bucks a year is worth the investment.

*The health care card only covers 1 ambulance ride to an emergency department. If you need to be transferred to another hospital you will not be covered and will have to pay. I learned this chatting with the operator while waiting to get my bill settled so if you live in a small town with a tiny emergency department and have the main Hospital 50km away, get cover. I never knew this and my mum uses this card so I told her and boy, she was surprised and cya'd.

ETA: Just chatting with a friend and some health insurance ambulance cover is the same as above and won't cover ambulance transfers or second ambulance/lifeflight transport. Basically, check everything for coverage before you need it. Friend nearly got dinged by that one but her Dad had given her 3 year ambulance cover as a gift last year so she was covered.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 16, 2013, 01:27:53 AM
Not sure if this has been brought up, but with some places it's their policy to call the ambulance as it saves them from any potential liability lawsuits.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Rohanna on April 16, 2013, 06:16:53 AM
Makes me less annoyed that ambulance rides are only 45$ here !
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: SingActDance on April 16, 2013, 08:54:49 AM
Makes me less annoyed that ambulance rides are only 45$ here !

Where do you live? I'm packing now.

Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 16, 2013, 09:05:47 AM
Makes me less annoyed that ambulance rides are only 45$ here !

Where do you live? I'm packing now.

So am I!
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Twik on April 16, 2013, 10:08:14 AM
Canada, presumably. I only had to pay that when I went to hospital with chest pains.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: gollymolly2 on April 16, 2013, 11:06:44 AM
I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm very grateful medical care is free here.

Ambulance rides are not free in Australia unless you have a select type of *health care card or pay separately for cover. A family near me had their son have an accident with a bottle of olive oil and a BBQ and that ambulance ride cost 35 thousand dollars. I had to call an ambulance for myself earlier this year and the 2 block ride was 1500 but luckily I had purchased ambulance cover so it was all good. 30-50 bucks a year is worth the investment.

*The health care card only covers 1 ambulance ride to an emergency department. If you need to be transferred to another hospital you will not be covered and will have to pay. I learned this chatting with the operator while waiting to get my bill settled so if you live in a small town with a tiny emergency department and have the main Hospital 50km away, get cover. I never knew this and my mum uses this card so I told her and boy, she was surprised and cya'd.

ETA: Just chatting with a friend and some health insurance ambulance cover is the same as above and won't cover ambulance transfers or second ambulance/lifeflight transport. Basically, check everything for coverage before you need it. Friend nearly got dinged by that one but her Dad had given her 3 year ambulance cover as a gift last year so she was covered.
$35000? Is that a typo?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 16, 2013, 11:17:34 AM
At my university, student emergency information is kept in two places.  Student Health and in the Resident Assistant office of each dorm.  We are always instructed to call 911 first and then call Student Health to have them call emergency contacts.  Employee emergency contacts are kept in personnel and in each office.  Same procedure applies - 911 first; followed by emergency contact.

I also carry a card in my wallet listing my diabetes, DH's contact info and my doctor's info and I wear a medical alert bracelet.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Iris on April 16, 2013, 05:58:51 PM
I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm very grateful medical care is free here.

Ambulance rides are not free in Australia unless you have a select type of *health care card or pay separately for cover. A family near me had their son have an accident with a bottle of olive oil and a BBQ and that ambulance ride cost 35 thousand dollars. I had to call an ambulance for myself earlier this year and the 2 block ride was 1500 but luckily I had purchased ambulance cover so it was all good. 30-50 bucks a year is worth the investment.

*The health care card only covers 1 ambulance ride to an emergency department. If you need to be transferred to another hospital you will not be covered and will have to pay. I learned this chatting with the operator while waiting to get my bill settled so if you live in a small town with a tiny emergency department and have the main Hospital 50km away, get cover. I never knew this and my mum uses this card so I told her and boy, she was surprised and cya'd.

ETA: Just chatting with a friend and some health insurance ambulance cover is the same as above and won't cover ambulance transfers or second ambulance/lifeflight transport. Basically, check everything for coverage before you need it. Friend nearly got dinged by that one but her Dad had given her 3 year ambulance cover as a gift last year so she was covered.
$35000? Is that a typo?

I''ve heard of that amount but it was for a heleflight. I don't know personally know anyone who has had to pay for an ambulance ride though because ambulance insurance for a whole family costs less than $50 pa. Also, if someone calls an ambulance and you elect not to ride there is no charge. It's a wacky system though. "You can be treated at a public hospital for free but you better get yourself there..."
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Rohanna on April 16, 2013, 06:29:33 PM
Yes, I'm in Ontario- a land ambulance ride is $45 for residents and $240 for non-residents. Since our paramedics have some of the highest level training available, it's strange that the fees are lower than most places.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: cass2591 on April 16, 2013, 07:47:01 PM
Years ago I worked in an outpatient clinic where we had rudimentary emergency equipment. I don't think we even had a crash cart, but luckily we did have an EKG machine.

Another nurse asked me to see an employee who came over because she felt light headed. The now patient was alert and oriented but since she spoke minimal English it was difficult to get much history. My co worker couldn't get a blood pressure and neither could I. Nor could I get a pulse. She was clammy and getting lethargic. We did an EKG and her rhythm was dangerous and required care we were not equipped to give. I told the secretary to call 911.

During this crisis the boss (also a nurse) was in a meeting and missed the whole thing. We told her what happened and she was furious at me for calling 911 instead of the woman's husband. I could not believe it. The woman was dizzy, sort of breath, barely palpable BP, extremities shutting down due to the arrhythmia and we were supposed to hang around waiting for her to crash?
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Winterlight on April 17, 2013, 01:17:31 PM
Years ago I worked in an outpatient clinic where we had rudimentary emergency equipment. I don't think we even had a crash cart, but luckily we did have an EKG machine.

Another nurse asked me to see an employee who came over because she felt light headed. The now patient was alert and oriented but since she spoke minimal English it was difficult to get much history. My co worker couldn't get a blood pressure and neither could I. Nor could I get a pulse. She was clammy and getting lethargic. We did an EKG and her rhythm was dangerous and required care we were not equipped to give. I told the secretary to call 911.

During this crisis the boss (also a nurse) was in a meeting and missed the whole thing. We told her what happened and she was furious at me for calling 911 instead of the woman's husband. I could not believe it. The woman was dizzy, sort of breath, barely palpable BP, extremities shutting down due to the arrhythmia and we were supposed to hang around waiting for her to crash?

Wow, that's so not reassuring about your boss's ability to spot a medical emergency. Especially if you might become it someday.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Possum on April 17, 2013, 02:24:58 PM
I'd guess that either A: this guy is a class-A JERK, or, more likely, B: he was scared.  Very scared.  Scared because his wife was seizing, scared because he didn't know how they would pay for the ambulance, scared of the whole thing, and that he took it out on y'all.  But you didn't do anything wrong and, in fact, you did something very RIGHT.

I really hope it's B, because if it's A, that woman is in for a lifetime of a husband who cares more about money than her health.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 17, 2013, 02:40:23 PM
I'd guess that either A: this guy is a class-A JERK, or, more likely, B: he was scared.  Very scared.  Scared because his wife was seizing, scared because he didn't know how they would pay for the ambulance, scared of the whole thing, and that he took it out on y'all.  But you didn't do anything wrong and, in fact, you did something very RIGHT.

I really hope it's B, because if it's A, that woman is in for a lifetime of a husband who cares more about money than her health.

That's my take on it as well. Hopefully B since if its A, it kind of reminds me of my friend's DH who is cheaper than cheap.

I will say for me, if I had some medical condition that might cause me any kind of issue or "episode" but an ambulance wasn't necessary, I'd probaby make it a point to let my classmates, co-workers etc. know so if it did happen, what they could and should do. and if what I told them didnt' happen, or something else did, call!

But since I don't, quite honeslty, if I ever had any kind of medical emergency, I'd rather they call 911, and err on the side of caution, and if it turns out to be nothing serious, great, and quite honestly, I'll worry about how to pay for any costs associated with it later; that's secondary to my health. Yes it might be frustrating to have incurred such a big bill, but if I'm still alive to worry about paying it, even better.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: amandaelizabeth on April 18, 2013, 01:10:18 AM
A couple of months ago, my DH came off his push bike and was taken to hospital.  The first I knew about it was a ring from Casualty asking me to come and collect his bike as it was in the way!!  I did manage to keep  calm but my first instinct was to shout at the nurse and ask why she was worried about his bike and not about him.  I am glad I did because when I thought about it I realised that too her, he was only slightly injured and the bike in the A and E could compromise their ability to treat seriously injured patients.  He was knocked unconsious and had a broken clavicle and cuts and scrapes and is now totally recovered.  The thing was I thought but fortunately did not speak,  totally irrationally which is often common when a loved one is ill or hurt.

As an off shoot of this - He had just given up riding a motor bike and taken up push biking as a safety measure!
Also, because of our wonderful National Health and Accident Compensation systems, all this cost us was the parking fee at the hospital.  Of course we needed to buy a new helmet, gloves and jacket which took the brunt of the over-the-handlebars escapade.  The great ambulance team took his bike to the hospital with him, and fixed up the broken bits with a mixture of duct tape and sticking plasters.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 18, 2013, 08:38:21 AM
Amanda, I am so thankful your DH is okay.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: jaxsue on April 18, 2013, 12:18:26 PM
Related to the ambulance costs: in my township the city pays whatever your health insurance doesn't pay. So, for my $900 ride in the ambulance in January of this year, I end up paying nothing (well, my property taxes pay for it!).

Still, after $45k in injury-related bills, I'll take it!  :)
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Sirius on April 18, 2013, 12:35:12 PM
My take on it:  The husband was way out of line.  He sounds as though he's more worried about possible charges for an ambulance ride than he is about his wife's health.  If I was that wife there'd be some serious stuff said when I got better.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: *inviteseller on April 18, 2013, 07:49:16 PM
In my borough, as is the case of many of the boroughs surrounding the city, we have a voluntary subscription service.  You pay what you want in a yearly fund drive..the money helps keep the volunteer service going and if you ever need the service, whatever your insurance doesn't cover they write off.  The city paramedics are a paid force.  All people who work in the city limits have $52 a year deducted from their pay to cover fire/ambulance service, but they also bill/charge you if you use the service.  Kinda irks me as I don't live in the city limits nor have I ever had to use those services but I am expected to pay it.
And as far as ambulance bills...my older DD was an impatient sort and when I went into labor, it went very fast (from feeling some slight indigestion to birth was 45 minutes).  We were getting ready to go out to the car when I realized we might need a faster transport so an ambulance was called.  The cost? $720..$700 for the birth and $20 for an iv (that they never really got a chance to get in til we arrived at the hospital).  It does seem funny about the differences in costs for an ambulance rides.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: blarg314 on April 18, 2013, 08:44:48 PM

I can understand that the husband might be upset because of an ambulance bill that wasn't strictly necessary.

But this wasn't a heat of the moment freak-out, which I could see.  He made the effort to look up the number of the university office, and then phoned them to yell at them, badly enough that they called the police as a cautionary measure. That's deliberate aggression, not a momentary panic.

But on the flip side - does he really think that the appropriate response when someone suddenly goes into convulsions is for the surrounding people to toss a blanket over them, wait to see if they regain consciousness and coherency and then ask what medical help they need, in case it's not actually that serious? Keeping in mind that the random person on the street is generally not familiar with seizures in general, and is not medically competent to diagnose the difference between a benign seizure and a life threatening illness.

Or, for that matter, taking the time to get authority to find the contact information for the next of kin from university records, phoning  up  the next of kin and hoping that they answer, so they can say "Your wife had  a seizure and is unconscious on the floor. What would you like us to do?"
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Zenith on April 20, 2013, 12:01:09 AM
I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm very grateful medical care is free here.

Ambulance rides are not free in Australia unless you have a select type of *health care card or pay separately for cover. A family near me had their son have an accident with a bottle of olive oil and a BBQ and that ambulance ride cost 35 thousand dollars. I had to call an ambulance for myself earlier this year and the 2 block ride was 1500 but luckily I had purchased ambulance cover so it was all good. 30-50 bucks a year is worth the investment.

*The health care card only covers 1 ambulance ride to an emergency department. If you need to be transferred to another hospital you will not be covered and will have to pay. I learned this chatting with the operator while waiting to get my bill settled so if you live in a small town with a tiny emergency department and have the main Hospital 50km away, get cover. I never knew this and my mum uses this card so I told her and boy, she was surprised and cya'd.

ETA: Just chatting with a friend and some health insurance ambulance cover is the same as above and won't cover ambulance transfers or second ambulance/lifeflight transport. Basically, check everything for coverage before you need it. Friend nearly got dinged by that one but her Dad had given her 3 year ambulance cover as a gift last year so she was covered.
$35000? Is that a typo?
Nope it was thirty five thousand dollars. Considering it was nearly a 100km transport I'm not surprised. I'm not sure if it was a lifeflight transport, it may have been but I really don't know. Either by ambulance or helicopter it's a fair distance to travel so if it costs me $1500 to go 2 blocks it's certainly possible an ambulance could cost that much to travel that distance.

ETA: their son ended up fine. None of the burns were deep but he did get burnt quite a bit. Never keep oil next to a lit BBQ.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on April 21, 2013, 03:03:52 PM
I work for an ambulance company and everyone's stories don't surprise me in the least.  Depending on the country, county, level of service, insurance, etc. your ambulance ride can be quite low to astronomically ridiculous.  Judging from the OP's story though, I wonder if the husband and wife know about the Against Medical Advice rules pertaining to medical care?

I'm not sure how it works in other countries, but in America there is a system set in place where if an ambulance is called and the patient feels like they don't need an ambulance they can opt out of going to the hospital by signing an Against Medical Advice form.  So when an ambulance is called and the patient doesn't want to go they can sign an AMA form and the ambulance doesn't transport them (unless the patient is seriously altered or critically injured).  Makes me wonder if the wife was still in a altered state after her seizure and unable to tell the paramedics her wishes?

Either way the husband was in the wrong to chew the library for doing their job.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: JeseC on April 21, 2013, 11:55:26 PM
If the ambulance ride itself was $45K, that's scary.

However, the ER visit, after a seizure, seems to me to be a non-debatable issue, unless the man is more concerned about his wallet than his wife's health or, indeed, life. Even if he did not sound threatening, berating people who assisted your sick wife because the cost of treating her illness is high, is ridiculously entitled. THEY didn't make her have a seizure.

I actually had a friend who had this happen.  She had a chronic seizure disorder that was being monitored.  She knew that there was nothing further the hospital could do.  I know she actually had to leave college because they insisted on calling the ambulance every time she had a seizure, despite putting out every alert she could to not do that.  She simply couldn't afford to go to college if that was happening, and she was still being charged for the calls (plus a few cases of not being deemed steady enough to refuse at the time).
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Micah on April 22, 2013, 07:37:01 AM
I'm amazed that it costs so much for emergency medical care and thankful that we have an NHS here.

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm very grateful medical care is free here.

Ambulance rides are not free in Australia unless you have a select type of *health care card or pay separately for cover. A family near me had their son have an accident with a bottle of olive oil and a BBQ and that ambulance ride cost 35 thousand dollars. I had to call an ambulance for myself earlier this year and the 2 block ride was 1500 but luckily I had purchased ambulance cover so it was all good. 30-50 bucks a year is worth the investment.

*The health care card only covers 1 ambulance ride to an emergency department. If you need to be transferred to another hospital you will not be covered and will have to pay. I learned this chatting with the operator while waiting to get my bill settled so if you live in a small town with a tiny emergency department and have the main Hospital 50km away, get cover. I never knew this and my mum uses this card so I told her and boy, she was surprised and cya'd.

ETA: Just chatting with a friend and some health insurance ambulance cover is the same as above and won't cover ambulance transfers or second ambulance/lifeflight transport. Basically, check everything for coverage before you need it. Friend nearly got dinged by that one but her Dad had given her 3 year ambulance cover as a gift last year so she was covered.

Where in Australia do you live? I live in Tasmania and have never had to pay a cent for an ambulance. Including transfer to different hospitals and, on one occasion an air flight when my partner got a collapsed lung. I don't have any form of private health insurance, nor do have a health care card.

Once when I was in a car accident I got a bill for the ambulance. I nearly had a heart attack, it was over eight hundred dollars for a fifteen minute trip! Turns out it was a paper work error. I filed it with Medicare & didn't have to pay anything.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 22, 2013, 07:05:14 PM
Tassie is one of the few states (or only one) that has few ambulance. DH and I get one free abulande a year from our health cover.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: strawbabies on April 24, 2013, 03:06:38 PM
I attend the university where my husband works.  I doubt that if I had a seizure in class that someone would go get him instead of calling 911, nor would I want them too.  Naturally, he should be the second one notified.  I would also rather they call emergency services first than try to locate me on the campus if a medical emergency happened to him. 
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: MariaE on April 24, 2013, 03:28:37 PM
I don't think my uni even had my husband's number on file. I certainly dodn't remember giving it to them.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Zenith on April 25, 2013, 12:15:06 PM
I'm in Victoria. I wasn't aware of different charging or no charging in other states but then it's not something you wouldn't think of until you need an ambulance.
Title: Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
Post by: Eeep! on April 25, 2013, 03:19:46 PM
I'd guess that either A: this guy is a class-A JERK, or, more likely, B: he was scared.  Very scared.  Scared because his wife was seizing, scared because he didn't know how they would pay for the ambulance, scared of the whole thing, and that he took it out on y'all.  But you didn't do anything wrong and, in fact, you did something very RIGHT.

I really hope it's B, because if it's A, that woman is in for a lifetime of a husband who cares more about money than her health.

I don't know, I think the fact that he called back LATER to ream them for calling kind of tips the scale into the A category for me...