So, we had an unexpected adventure last night. Well, adventure is the wrong word – it was pretty scary.
My husband John and I were sitting in our apartment last night at about 8:30 p.m. – we had just finished watching Jeeves and Wooster, a quite funny English comedy about a man who is always getting into scrapes, and his butler who is always getting him out of those scrapes. I was reading and it was uncommonly quiet (the baby was in bed, finally). Now we usually have a movie playing unless one of us is reading out loud or doing something together like that, but I was feeling tired of all the noise and turned it off. And if I hadn’t turned it off, we wouldn’t have heard the screams coming from the apartment underneath us.
At first, it was kind of in my subconscious. We frequently hear kids screaming and yelling and playing even into the late hours of the night because we live pretty close to a park. After a few minutes I realized there were wails of “Ooooow!” and a woman was yelling “Help me!”. I asked John, “What IS that?” and we went out to stand on the patio/deck and try to figure out where it was coming from and if it was someone’s TV or something. Nope, it was someone yelling for help. But it would go quiet for a minute or two and then start up again. John decided to go check it out and so he went downstairs and knocked on the door. He heard the yells again and opened the door a crack and asked if everything was all right. She said her stomach hurt and then she passed out, so John came back upstairs and called 911. (I want to say right now that if I had been alone I would never have gone down there – I mean, what if it was a murderer or something? I would have called 911 and let the cops look, I think.) Anyway. I went down to see if she was all right, having NO idea whatsoever what to do if she wasn’t. She was unconscious when I went down and I didn’t know what to do besides tell her help was coming. It probably only took the ambulance about 7 minutes to get there but that was a LONG 7 minutes. The girl (in her 20’s?) would kind of wake up and moan and grab her stomach once in awhile but then she kept passing out again. There were a couple times I was scared to death that she was going to die right in front of me. She kept coughing and I didn’t know if something was stuck in her throat or what to do if she stopped breathing. I was SO relieved when the ambulance got there. And the fire truck. And the two or three police cars. lol
What I wasn’t impressed with was the pace at which the cops and paramedics came. They just walked, it looked like they were going to the donut shop. I was standing on the stairs (I had waved to show them where it was), and the cop asked how I was as he walked by. Yeah, weird question if you ask me. John told me they don’t just run into those situations, the cops check things out first. But good grief. I mean, maybe I’ve watched too much TV and expect too much, but I would hope that if I’m dying people would come a little faster. Let’s hope that I don’t need them. lol Anyway, she was taken in the ambulance to the hospital where someone actually knew what they were doing and could help her. I hope.
This got me thinking about things we should know in an emergency. Emergencies do happen, as much as we don’t want them or expect them to happen to us. I couldn’t believe that no one else in all those apartments around us was home or heard her. It was up to us to do something.
Here are some Medical Emergency resources I found after a quick Google search:
Basic First Aid and Emergency Medical Treatment online video series at Expert Village
And what to do before/during/after calling 911:
- Provide first aid to the best of your ability.
- Use precautions to prevent exposure to bodily fluids.
- If you determine that the patient is pulseless and non-breathing, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but only if you have been trained in this life saving technique.
- Stay calm; do not get excited. This will reassure the patient that help is on the way.
- Refrain from moving the patient unless it is absolutely necessary for safety reasons
- Make the patient as comfortable as possible.
- Gather all the medication that the patient may be taking. This will help Emergency Responders better determine the medical history of the patient.
- Remember the time, this is very important. When was the last time you talked to the patient? How long has this medical condition existed? How long has the person been unconscious?
- Meet the fire department and direct/lead them to the patient
Have you ever faced an emergency situation? What did you do about it?
If you know of any other sites that give you a good idea of what you should do in an emergency, please leave it in the comments!