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Posted: 8/22/2006 7:41:25 PM EDT

If you found your spouse/friend/sibling/parent unresponsive and unarousable in bed, what would be the first thing you would do?

I would check the airway, make sure the person was breathing and check their pulse. Maybe that's expecting too much but those are the most basic steps in CPR.

At the very least, if you couldn't arouse the person, and had no clue what to do, you would call 911.

But I have been involved in countless medical cases in which the person is simply left there for hours, or even overnight, after which someone eventually calls 911.

The most recent case was a 38 y/o woman on chronic oxycontin for back pain found by her husband in bed around 7pm. He could get her to moan but she did not fully wake up or open her eyes. She was on Social Security Disability for her back and spent a lot of time in bed but he even admits he can always wake her up. He noticed that she had wet the bed and decided to sleep on the couch downstairs. The next morning he goes to check on her. She is face down with blackish vomit around her mouth, lips are cyanotic. So of course he dials 911, right? No! He goes next door to where her ex-husband () lives and has him come over to see her! Then, they finally call 911. Oh yeah, she had cocaine and marijuana in her urine in addition to the opiates she was prescribed.

This is just another cookie cutter example similar to stories you'll hear from paramedics, EMT's, cops, doctors, etc. This isn't even the worst case, just the most recent.

Do you think this type of neglect is a crime? Or is it like letting someone drown in front of you: it may look bad but it isn't illegal.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:21:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:33:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:44:51 PM EDT
Sounds really stupid to me. Who would not call 911.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:46:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:52:50 PM EDT
If my wife had taken meds a short time ago, and was difficult to rouse, I'd probably let her sleep and heal. I wouldn't be as concerned as if it was 12 hours after she'd taken her back pills and I couldn't wake her up.

And as far as the courts, it's only criminal(ly negligent) if you had reason to believe that she was in danger, it wasn't your fault, but you did nothing.

Unfortunately, the only person who holds court for stupidity is Charles Darwin; and one of the "benefits" of a "civilised society" is the ability for us to negate many of his theorems, by not allowing the elimination of the terminally stupid or criminally careless.

And yes, I've seen similar stuff myself in my 12 years as a medic.

Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:57:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:

Originally Posted By opti12206:
Sounds really stupid to me. Who would not call 911.
That stupid bitch in Dallas who let a man slowly die in her windshield for 10 days, after she hit him while she was driving drunk?

Or drug addicts who panic when someone overdoses, man who beats stepson a little too hard and then puts him to bed even though there is blood coming out of the ear, etc.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:58:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 7:44:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:

And yes, I've seen similar stuff myself in my 12 years as a medic.

You know, the medics get to see all the good stuff up close and personal. Although this woman did vomit again in the ER. The husband told me that when the medics walked into the room they just told him to "Step away, sir.". They should have added: "You've already done enough damage."
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