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 Never hesitate to call 911 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Never hesitate to call 911
Another discussion made me think of this. Has anyone ever hesitated to call 911 because you were concerned that your need wasn't important enough, something you think you should be able to handle alone, or just plain embarassing?

Me, too. But let me give you some words of advice from my neighbor, the fire chief. Never, ever, hesitate to call 911. They are there to help. Or, as the fire chief says, "It's what we do."

And, remember, there is nothing embarassing about knowing that you need help and asking for it. The embarassing thing would be knowing you need help and NOT asking for it.

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:38 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:18 am
Posts: 276
Location: Washington State
Post You know, I agree with you on calling 911
In one day we called 911 twice when my mother fell, twice. Both times an emergency technical called Ryan responded to the call. He was able to assess her condition and use his judgement about whether she needed to go to the hospital. She did go the second time. There was no embarrassment. You are right. That's what they do.


Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:38 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
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There was a day in Nov. that I got Frank up at 10:A and then couldn't get him to respond the rest of the day. At 2:A the following morning I found he had a temp and tried to decide if I should call 911. At 3:00AM I called the business line and told them the situation, the dispatcher said NEVER stress about calling, let them decide if it was necessary. They did take him to the ER.

You're so right, Gerry


Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:57 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:32 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Dumfries Va
Post Calling 911
When I needed to call 911 in Feb because of my with having Vertigo, he technicians were very professional and caring. My problem was with the ER itself. The Doctor on duty would not listen to my explination of events leading up to the Vertigo happening. Then she prescribed medications that the Neurologist said a person on sinemet should never have been given.luckily I had not given her the medician in question. I've been told dont take a LB patient to the Er during confusion as it may just confuse them more. Is this wrong?


Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:33 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post 
I'd hate to tell someone not to go to the ER for help. But sometimes the ER is more frustrating than helpful. On Mom's doctor's advice, we went to the ER last night, as Mom was very weak and had a bad cough. We wouldn't have, except the doctor wanted a chest x-ray and Mom couldn't stand up for the equipment at the doctor's office. We sat for 6 hours while they not only did a chest x-ray but a whole battery of lab tests. Ended up, they couldn't find anything wrong with her. Interestingly, one of Mom's nurses knew about LBD, but the ER doctor seemed puzzled.
But there's another reason to think ahead and decide what you'll do when an ER seems needed. I have it from one of Mom's specialists that a living will, medical directive or DNR order is suspended in the ER. I haven't checked this out to be sure yet. But the implications for all of our careful end of life planning are frustrating, to say the least.
I haven't been able to get myself to the point where I'm able to not go to the ER. But each time we go there, I get further and further from that knee reaction.
Does anyone know anything about ER's and medical directives?

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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If a family member has the advance care directives in the ER with the patient and asserts his/her rights as power-of-attorney, the ER MDs are duty-bound to follow those directives. But you have to get the attention of an MD. An RN can do nothing.


Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:52 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:32 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Dumfries Va
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Good to know as I do not trust these doctors in the hospital where I have to go for a 911 call! They just do not listen to what someone is telling them. My daughter and I both tried to get through to the Doctor that night in Feb. They did do something that has caused my wife to now have a backward lean. PT's and OT's are working with us and we have a VNG test scheduled for the 24th. Oh yes, I am not the only one that has had problems with this ER.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:54 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
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We've been to the ER several times, the first time they gave Frank ativan, but at the point he had not been dx. I'm going to check to see the policy at our ER. When we head to the ER or go on, more than a day's, trip I have no orange envelope with copies of all the legal documents stating our wishes that I bring. After reading this, I'm going to make other copies and leave then in our vehicles, just incase. I would be beside myself if they didn't follow them. :cry:


Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:22 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post 
I think we discussed this elsewhere in the last month or two, but here's what I've experienced.
Different states have different policies/procedures/regulations, but I believe that hospitals, ambulance services, etc. also have their own way of following, or not, someone's advanced directive. And there are cultural differences in different cities/towns/regions about following these. It is a much more complex issue than just having an AD.
If a person has an advanced directive, but something traumatic happens and an ambulance is called, it is the job of the EMTs to "save the life" of the patient. The only way you might possibly have them NOT, say hook up your LO to advanced life support machines, would be to stand there with the advanced directive in hand. But, if you are going to follow the advanced directive, why call the ambulance? Because it is not always a simple situation with predictable outcomes.....
Where this got really tricky for my family twice in recent years, is that both my mother and brother in law were healthy individuals with no known heart condition or other high risk medical problems. Each of them collapsed (several years apart) went into a coma, the ambulance was called. It took at least 20 min. for the EMTs to get there both times and administer O2, etc., so by the time the patient was getting care, they'd been without O2 for too long. However, the EMTs were already working on the person, family members were there with Advanced Directives in hand, but the ER folks kept trying to "save his/her life". So, when a person falls over unconscious, what do you do? At what point do you follow the AD, especially when it's a healthy person? How do you know if the person's life can be saved and they will have a good quality of life? You don't know. These are things I never knew I'd have to think about, but I and other family members have had to, and have had to make some very difficult decisions.
Having an AD written is important, but all the complexities of following it are important discussions we should all have too while we are capable of having the discussions.
In my experience, once the ambulance is called, the medical folks take over and do EVERYTHING they can, including putting people on ventilators, etc. even though the person never wanted to be treated that way and even though the person is most likely brain dead.
My AD is sitting on my desk, waiting to be completed and I am meeting with my husband and kids about it this week so we are all clear on what I want or don't want done. We can't predict everything that could happen, for sure, but at least we will be having some discussions so they have a good idea about what to do when something happens to me. Lynn


Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:49 pm
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