Taking the right measures
July 4, 2011
Sunday afternoon at the Benedict Music Tent a woman either fainted or had a seizure before intermission. Numerous well meaning people came to her aid, including two physicians and a nurse.
Everyone was talking about the woman and one doctor called 911. No one was communicating with the woman to ask her name, her age, if she knew where she was, if she had had these experiences before. No one checked her vitals and no one was trying to calm the woman down.
When I realized that she was probably having a seizure, seeing her legs and arms flailing around, I left my seat and quickly went to the scene. I began a quiet conversation with her, introduced myself, got her name and age and other vitals and promised her I would remain by her side until emergency help appeared. She was relieved and thankful.
When the medics came from Aspen Ambulance, I felt confident to leave her to trained professionals. At intermission, a woman confronted me and claimed that I had stepped on the toes of people who were trying to help and that I had deeply embarrassed the woman. This could have been a serious life threatening situation and I can guarantee that the woman had no feelings of shame or embarrassment when she was seizing. She just needed comfort and the knowledge that expert help was on the way.
Most people including many primary care physicians and specialists may not know that emergency situations require certain protocols which they have not been trained to perform.
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Thus little people like me who have been trained and certified in emergency first response can help in this kind of situation where others may not have the skills or the inclination to do what is best for the patient. It is wonderful that so many people wanted to help, but when a serious situation is at hand, let people take charge who know what they are doing. And keep your distance so a life can be saved.