Author Topic: When Emergency Services Are Needed  (Read 16845 times)

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Just Lori

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2013, 02:27:33 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.

perpetua

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2013, 02:34:19 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2013, 02:39:01 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.

reflection5

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2013, 02:40:52 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.

Hillia

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2013, 02:41:29 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.

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perpetua

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2013, 02:43:17 PM »
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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.

Just Lori

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2013, 02:44:53 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.

Roodabega

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2013, 02:45:05 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.

reflection5

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2013, 02:52:07 PM »
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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.

bopper

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2013, 02:55:13 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.

perpetua

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2013, 02:59:37 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.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2013, 03:00:07 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!
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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2013, 03:32:33 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.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 03:38:18 PM by JenJay »

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2013, 04:25:00 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.

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Twik

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2013, 04:39:55 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.
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