Friday, December 14, 2012


So, what would you do if you were lying in a sauna, happily sweating, and you hear a thud and look out the sauna window to see a woman on the floor?

Yes, get up and ask if she's ok. But her head is kinda blocking the door and you only have one arm because the other is keeping the towel in place on your body.

So, you forcibly open the door pushing her body across the floor.

OK, well maybe not. There was enough space to get out.

She was conscious. Very dizzy. I didn't want her to sit up but she did. Asked her some of the right questions: her name, on any medications, had anything to drink / eat this morning, how long were you working out, etc. She only had tea and water for breakfast and worked out for an hour, without drinking anything. DUH. She had been in the disability bathroom and felt like she was going to pass out, and the door was locked, so she got up and opened the door.

An employee from the gym came in and asked what was up. I told her to get water and an ice pack. She picked up the woman's glasses from across the floor, and handed them to her. The woman refused an ambulance and asked her to call her husband. And when the employee was out, the woman said she had to use the bathroom still. So I thought, ok, she has to pee. I helped her to the toilet (no way was she walking without assistance!!!). But no, she had to dump. Oh well. When she got out she couldn't remember what happened.  !

In any event, a quicker overview. The female employee had to be told what to do - like help her walk, sit with her, get her some juice, etc. The manager refused to give it because didn't want to give her food. I went out and said she needed juice or something like gatorade. The manager of the gym said he couldn't go into the women's area to help because it was the women's area. When I get him in there, he puts on his 'first responder' alter ego and does a few simple tests/questions. He also says he can't call an ambulance because she refused it.

Rather than continue a bad overview of what happened because it would take all day and I have to go to the gym, here are some rants and lessons:
- How passive can you get as employees??? Can you not take control??
- If you are a true first responder, you will not be stopped by the simple matter of it being in a women's room.
- As a gym, you do not NOT call an ambulance because the person says he/she doesn't want one. You call it and let the person refuse it directly. If you do not call the ambulance you are taking responsibility for the person.
- If a person has passed out and fallen onto a tile floor, you must assume that there might be a head/neck injury so you should not let the person move.  (glasses flying away were an indicator)
- Most people will automatically refuse an ambulance - even people with arterial bleeding will!

 Let me just say I did not do everything right. I learned a few things by calling my friend who is a volunteer firefighter after the fact to rant. Always room for improvement.


laura b. said...

As a public employee I have received some training in being a first responder. Luckily, after all these years I haven't had to use it!
The gym personel sound lame. They need training.
As for the ambulance, people have the right to refuse...and they are extremely expensive. Legally, the gym wouldn't be held liable if she refused or even if they didn't offer. Plus, once her husband arrived he could make the call if he deemed it necessary.
Anyway, that woman was very lucky that you were there to help.

Mel said...

Oh for pity sakes.......

Apparently first aid/CPR aren't required at these places?

*laughing* I guess I oughta be grateful for how well taken care of *I* was, huh?

Nah. LOL I'm still at the grumpy stage! :-/

silly rabbit said...

Wow. Good thing you were there! It could have been low blood sugar, which can be deadly and juice would have been the ticket to raising it.
Of course like you said it could have been other things too.

Couldn't they have just called an EMT to come and figure out what she needed?

Be careful not to get hurt there! Who knows what they would or would not do.

Anonymous said...

Every time I've been first on an accident scene (and there have been a few), I've reviewed my actions afterwards and have always found places I could have done better. I think everyone does. Good on you for responding, and good on you for recognizing where you could have done better; next time you will.