A Medical Emergency
There is some confusion regarding dialling 111 or 999.
If you need medical advice dial 111. If you need an ambulance dial 999; speed is of the essence and can make the difference between life and death.
In the latter circumstance when there is more than one person present, try to make sure the person on the phone has good hearing and that another person stays with the patient calmly reassuring them and ready to follow any instructions dictated to the person on the phone. All other persons should remain calm and silent so that the advice can be heard and passed on to the person with the patient. Then someone should stand by the road to guide the ambulance.
When medical help arrives just one person should relay to them what has happened and everybody else should retreat and allow them to do their job.
Yesterday was the Christmas lunch of our Bereavement Group. There were 13 of us and we held it at The Bistro where Kym and Robin served us either turkey or one of the four alternatives we had ordered. All the regulars had made way for our long table – I think some of them even shared a table with each other which was a happy sight to see. It was all very relaxed and pleasant – Veronica gave us all delicious handmade edible goodies and cards were exchanged but not from me. After my little card fiasco I had used every Christmas card in the house and resolved not to do any more local Christmas cards- which I think is a bit daft. As Veronica said - that allowed the ones who had done them to feel smug
In recompense I invited them back for coffee, chocolate cake and mince pies. Only seven could make it – such gadabouts!
I set off up the hill the second time that day to make sure the house was toasty and the kettle on the hob. To my surprise cars were left at the bottom of the hill and everybody walked. Soon we were all sitting comfortably – relaxed and idly chatting when we noticed Joy seemed to be dozing. I asked her if she felt like nodding off – as one often does after lunch but then we noticed her pallor and expression and all became concerned. We rang the emergency services explained what had happened and then – as best we could followed their instructions.
They told us to lie her down on her side - in the recovery position, and slowly she came to. By the time the medics arrived she was fully conscious and asking to go to the bathroom. They stayed with her for about 20 minutes - asking questions and explaining what had happened.
She had had a Vasovagal experience – what we used to call a faint and the old remedy of ‘put your head between your knees’ is not far from good advice.In these circumstances, after exertion or a hearty meal the blood goes to the stomach from the head and the patient can lose consciousness. If Joy had been too heavy for us to manoeuvre onto the floor we could have held her head down. The important thing is to prevent them from falling and injuring themselves.
We were relieved to hear this as at one time we weren’t sure if she was breathing and Chris and I (her husband died in the street inwere reliving painful memories.
within a few days of MTL’s death) Spain
When the medics were finished they pronounced Joy fit to walk home - quite a bit further up the hill but we decided otherwise and James went to get his car and then he and Chris took her home and waited until she was settled in and comfortable.
If one is going to have an episode it does help to have it amongst good caring folk like my new friends.
I spoke to Joy’s daughter and son – as I had promised to do if ever I was worried and the consensus of opinion is that she should inform her doctor and see him when things settle down. She phoned me this morning and is feeling back to normal.
My car has been collected – no tears no fuss – as Chef kindly pointed out 'Many lives have been saved.' I’ve only once cried over a car when my beautiful little white Spitfire was stolen and then dumped in a field – topless - rendering it useless.
Onwards and upwards!