Author Topic: When Emergency Services Are Needed  (Read 16247 times)

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SamiHami

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When Emergency Services Are Needed
« on: April 11, 2013, 08:03:38 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).



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ladyknight1

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 08:16:50 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.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 08:20:09 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.   ::)
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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 08:24:26 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.

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Nikko-chan

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 08:33:14 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 08:36:54 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.

Nikko-chan

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 08:41:00 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.

HorseFreak

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 09:10:09 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.

reflection5

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 10:06:43 PM »
Agree staff did the right thing.  A person's health/life should always be the #1 concern.

WillyNilly

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 11:00:55 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.

Sharnita

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 11:08:58 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.

Twik

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 11:29:18 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.
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WillyNilly

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 11:37:20 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.

Twik

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 11:45:54 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.
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EllenS

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 11:57:30 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.