Author Topic: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.  (Read 14399 times)

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mbbored

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #75 on: August 31, 2013, 11:56:54 AM »
Just a general question:  Why so much debate about calling and ambulance/not calling an ambulance?  ???  Have a lot of people had insurance claims for ambulance services denied, or perhaps no health insurance?

In addition to what prior posters have said, a large number of people don't have health insurance.

lisastitch

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #76 on: August 31, 2013, 12:46:37 PM »
Not trying to answer for the OP or anything, but even if it's a 35 minute ambulance ride, I'd probably feel better knowing the relative is in the ambulance instead of my car, because at least in an ambulance they have access to more medical equipment/medicine in case her condition worsens - 35 minutes in an ambulance sounds more comfortable and safer than in my car, personally.

This.  So much this.  In an ambulance, the paramedics are right there and have access to the equipment and skills it would take to keep your relative alive and stable til the hospital.  If she had a full-blown reaction in your car, (assuming of course Snappy has no medical training) what could you have done? 


Even if Snappy were a fully trained ER doctor, she would be trying to drive the car.  You cannot drive a car AND provide medical care to someone in shock.  Much much better to be in an ambulance, where there is a driver up front, paying attention to the road, and EMT's in back, giving medical care to the patient.

Mammavan3

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #77 on: August 31, 2013, 06:23:31 PM »
Not trying to answer for the OP or anything, but even if it's a 35 minute ambulance ride, I'd probably feel better knowing the relative is in the ambulance instead of my car, because at least in an ambulance they have access to more medical equipment/medicine in case her condition worsens - 35 minutes in an ambulance sounds more comfortable and safer than in my car, personally.

This.  So much this.  In an ambulance, the paramedics are right there and have access to the equipment and skills it would take to keep your relative alive and stable til the hospital.  If she had a full-blown reaction in your car, (assuming of course Snappy has no medical training) what could you have done? 


Even if Snappy were a fully trained ER doctor, she would be trying to drive the car.  You cannot drive a car AND provide medical care to someone in shock.  Much much better to be in an ambulance, where there is a driver up front, paying attention to the road, and EMT's in back, giving medical care to the patient.

Last week DGS3 was given a food containing one of his allergens. When he began to have a reaction to it, his DF used this Epi-pen. He began to lose consciousness, and 911 was called.  He regained consciousness, and on the way to the hospital, DSIL asked the paramedics what they would have done if he still had not been able to breathe. They outlined the steps they would have taken, and the last one was performing a tracheotomy. 

I doubt that would have been something the OP would have felt comfortable doing as he drove his relative to the hospital.

Jloreli

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2013, 09:39:49 AM »
My rule, handed down to my by my EMT/Fire fighter Dad, is (and always will be) if you are wondering if you should call 911 or an ambulance CALL!

I get that an ambulance ride can be expensive....I spent a lot of years with no insurance or under insured. But if breathing could be an issue, cardiac/stroke, or loss of consciousness are the problem just driving them in my car even 10 minutes to the ER has a big chance of ending badly.

I called the ambulance for a woman at work. She is still mad at me about it 3 years later. She passed out and collapsed in front of me after wearing a cardiac monitor for 2 weeks prior. You can bet I was on the phone in a hot minute. As it turned out she was awake when the EMTs arrived and decided to decline a ride to the hospital against their advice. In my state/town no one gets a bill in that situation as the ambulance is a town service funded by taxes and donation in addition to billing insurance. If someone calls an ambulance on your behalf in good faith that it is needed and you refuse transport its is a wash. If you call for yourself and then decide after they get there that you don't want it you or your insurance may be getting a bill. You can even buy a subscription for a few hundred dollars a year so that you won't get a bill that year. For folks with serious medical issues and big copays it can be a great deal. As for the woman at work...well she makes snide remarks from time to time....I tell her I'd make the same call in a heart beat and she can stay mad if she wants because at least she's alive to be cranky.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2013, 10:34:07 AM »
Coming in a bit late here, but maybe I have a useful perspective.

Mr. Nutrax has had the dubious pleasure of taking several necessary ambulance rides. I have spent a lot of time hanging out in emergency rooms--either the waiting room or the treatment area. There is little privacy in an ER and I've overheard a lot of stuff.

Some people are embarrassed by the whole call 911 (999), paramedics, ambulance ride, ER thing. They are very uncomfortable being the center of a lot of (surely unnecessary!) fuss and bother. They have a view that all this stuff is only appropriate for someone on the middle of a heart attack or who has been in a horrible car wreck. The patient feels that the person who called 911 has made a fool out of them, causing all that botheration over something trivial.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of this isn't rationalization--only really sick people get ambulance rides and I, of course, am a healthy immortal.

For one of the ambulance rides, the ambulance company mistakenly billed us instead of the insurance, so I saw the amount. The ride was for something very serious that required a lot of work on the part of the EMTs, and driving at full speed with sirens. The bill was around $1500 for what was probably no more than 15 minutes door-to-door, plus another 10 or so minutes at the house before the ride. 


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lakey

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #80 on: September 03, 2013, 01:45:01 AM »
Asthma attacks are life threatening. A student in my area died at a band camp from one, and there was a nurse on the premises. You don't take chances on something like this.
I would say, " I didn't want to take any chances with ________'s safety. "
If they don't like it, tough.
And as far as the ambulance bill, she could have said no.  She's an adult and in the end it was her choice.
You did good.

Winterlight

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #81 on: September 03, 2013, 09:40:44 AM »
Not trying to answer for the OP or anything, but even if it's a 35 minute ambulance ride, I'd probably feel better knowing the relative is in the ambulance instead of my car, because at least in an ambulance they have access to more medical equipment/medicine in case her condition worsens - 35 minutes in an ambulance sounds more comfortable and safer than in my car, personally.

This.  So much this.  In an ambulance, the paramedics are right there and have access to the equipment and skills it would take to keep your relative alive and stable til the hospital.  If she had a full-blown reaction in your car, (assuming of course Snappy has no medical training) what could you have done? 

If I had been in your relative's shoes and you had called 911 f or me, I would have been very grateful and never said boo about the bill.

Even if I had medical training I'd be calling an ambulance. I can't drive and handle someone going into anaphylactic shock simultaneously, and unless I live in an ER I'm not likely to have the necessary meds and equipment on hand.
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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #82 on: September 03, 2013, 03:13:55 PM »
I am a nurse and I agree with your decision to call an ambulance. She was clearly reacting to the bite and while it might not have been fatal, YOU had no way to know that.

About four years ago, I once developed a severe headache with vomiting and numbness in my hands that persisted for over two hours. I thought it was a brain aneurysm and had my roommate call an ambulance. The thorough exam I received revealed it was just a very severe migraine. I received medication and my roommate later took me home. Yes, it was embarrassing, but I was relieved upon discovering the ailment wasn't life-threatening!

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Hillia

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #83 on: September 03, 2013, 03:20:31 PM »
I'll tell a 'd'oh' story on myself.  I have been diabetic for over 10 years and never gotten it well controlled.  A few years ago. I was working with a dietician and endocrinologist, and was finally making progress.  One night, I checked my blood sugar before bed - it was 65.  This was the lowest I'd ever seen in my life, and it kind of spooked me.  I kept checking every 15 minutes and it kept going down til it was at 40.  I still felt ok, but the numbers were freaking me out.  DH has no medical experience at all, but he was staying with me and watching the numbers fall.  At 40, he asked if he should call 911, and I was so freaked I told him yes.  Paramedics arrived, asked me a few questions, and finally told me to, um, *eat* something.  Oh yeah.  I had a PBJ sandwich, they hung around and watched my sugar come back up, and left.  I felt totally stupid wasting a call, but at least DH will remember what to do if it happens again and my brain goes on vacation again.

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bopper

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #84 on: September 03, 2013, 04:43:08 PM »
I'll tell a 'd'oh' story on myself.  I have been diabetic for over 10 years and never gotten it well controlled.  A few years ago. I was working with a dietician and endocrinologist, and was finally making progress.  One night, I checked my blood sugar before bed - it was 65.  This was the lowest I'd ever seen in my life, and it kind of spooked me.  I kept checking every 15 minutes and it kept going down til it was at 40.  I still felt ok, but the numbers were freaking me out.  DH has no medical experience at all, but he was staying with me and watching the numbers fall.  At 40, he asked if he should call 911, and I was so freaked I told him yes.  Paramedics arrived, asked me a few questions, and finally told me to, um, *eat* something.  Oh yeah.  I had a PBJ sandwich, they hung around and watched my sugar come back up, and left.  I felt totally stupid wasting a call, but at least DH will remember what to do if it happens again and my brain goes on vacation again.

My DH is type 1 diabetic.  We were on vacation in Hawaii and all day his blood sugar had been showing as High.  So he took more insulin and ate less carbs.  We were at a botanical garden and he had to sit down and then became unresponsive.  We took his blood sugar again, and it showed high (300+) A worker drove by and asked if we needed help so I said yes as DH wasn't responding, just kind of sitting there.  So they called an ambulance.  I told my kids that most likely he would be fine by the time we got to the hospital...turns out his blood sugar was very very low...most likely his test strips got messed up by the heat whilst we were out and about.  So taking more insulin in that case was the wrong thing to do, but who knew?
A sandwich and he was fine when we got there.

RooRoo

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #85 on: September 03, 2013, 09:37:24 PM »
I skipped to the end - this may have been dealt with already:
Quote
And typically, too, if you arrive at the ER by ambulance, you are seen by the doctors LIGHT YEARS sooner...
This is a myth. I read many blogs having to do with emergency medicine. One of the main complaints of the folks on the ambulance is that they get calls from Special Snowflakes who believe that. Guess what: not true. Yes, the triage people will meet the ambulance - and assign the patient a place in line, according to the severity of the problem.

It's not surprising that folks would think that, though. The patients arriving by ambulance are frequently in imminent danger, and go straight through.

But that can also be true of patients arriving in cars and taxis. I'm proof, as of two weeks ago. Straight from the check-in desk to treatment, with someone getting my info on the run. (I'm OK; I have a couple more pills to take that will hopefully prevent a recurrence, and another specialist to check in with now and then.)
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snappylt

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #86 on: September 03, 2013, 09:44:01 PM »
OP here again.

Thank you, all who replied.  I felt well-prepared, knowing what I would say if I was criticized about the ambulance bill this past weekend.

Nobody discussed the bill at all.  The topic of the allergic reaction to the venom came up, but the cost was not discussed (at least in front of me).

I was happy about that, as I didn't want to discuss it... but now I feel a bit foolish about getting all ready ahead of time for something that did not happen after all.

In any event, I do appreciate your help with this topic.  Thank you again!

HoneyBee42

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #87 on: September 03, 2013, 10:14:14 PM »
I skipped to the end - this may have been dealt with already:
Quote
And typically, too, if you arrive at the ER by ambulance, you are seen by the doctors LIGHT YEARS sooner...
This is a myth. I read many blogs having to do with emergency medicine. One of the main complaints of the folks on the ambulance is that they get calls from Special Snowflakes who believe that. Guess what: not true. Yes, the triage people will meet the ambulance - and assign the patient a place in line, according to the severity of the problem.

It's not surprising that folks would think that, though. The patients arriving by ambulance are frequently in imminent danger, and go straight through.

But that can also be true of patients arriving in cars and taxis. I'm proof, as of two weeks ago. Straight from the check-in desk to treatment, with someone getting my info on the run. (I'm OK; I have a couple more pills to take that will hopefully prevent a recurrence, and another specialist to check in with now and then.)
Likewise--I once arrived at the ER after having been driven in by private car, and went straight in for triage *and* back to a treatment room ahead of the guy arriving by ambulance and accompanied by cops (he had been stabbed).    It's true that most really emergent cases come in via ambulance (like my dad after his bike accident or my mom after her first grand mal seizure), but that doesn't mean that a minor, non-emergent case coming in by ambulance is going to jump ahead just because the patient is a drama queen/king if a truly emergent case comes in via regular vehicle.

And I'm glad that the OP's update is non-eventful.  Of course, Murphy's law dictates that if you hadn't prepared ahead of time, the bill and the cost would definitely have been the hot topics of the gathering.


Arila

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #88 on: September 03, 2013, 10:30:58 PM »
OP here again.

Thank you, all who replied.  I felt well-prepared, knowing what I would say if I was criticized about the ambulance bill this past weekend.

Nobody discussed the bill at all.  The topic of the allergic reaction to the venom came up, but the cost was not discussed (at least in front of me).

I was happy about that, as I didn't want to discuss it... but now I feel a bit foolish about getting all ready ahead of time for something that did not happen after all.

In any event, I do appreciate your help with this topic.  Thank you again!

Isn't that always how it goes? It never rains when you've remembered to carry the umbrella!

Minmom3

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Re: Being prepared to deflect criticism about an ambulance ride.
« Reply #89 on: September 03, 2013, 10:59:37 PM »
And if you bring the jacket, you won't need it!  Truisms!!!
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