Author Topic: When Emergency Services Are Needed  (Read 16216 times)

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Iris

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #120 on: April 16, 2013, 06:58:51 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..."
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Rohanna

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #121 on: April 16, 2013, 07:29:33 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.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 07:31:36 PM by Rohanna »
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cass2591

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #122 on: April 16, 2013, 08:47:01 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?
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Winterlight

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #123 on: April 17, 2013, 02:17:31 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.
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Possum

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #124 on: April 17, 2013, 03:24:58 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.

siamesecat2965

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #125 on: April 17, 2013, 03:40:23 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.

amandaelizabeth

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #126 on: April 18, 2013, 02:10:18 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #127 on: April 18, 2013, 09:38:21 AM »
Amanda, I am so thankful your DH is okay.

jaxsue

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #128 on: April 18, 2013, 01:18:26 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!  :)

Sirius

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #129 on: April 18, 2013, 01:35:12 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.

*inviteseller

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #130 on: April 18, 2013, 08:49:16 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.

blarg314

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #131 on: April 18, 2013, 09:44:48 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?"

Zenith

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #132 on: April 20, 2013, 01:01:09 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.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 01:14:42 AM by Zenith »


dirtyweasel

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #133 on: April 21, 2013, 04:03:52 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.



JeseC

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Re: When Emergency Services Are Needed
« Reply #134 on: April 22, 2013, 12:55:26 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.

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).