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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A life

My husband saved a life today.

Not because he did anything unusually difficult or esoteric, but because he actually knew what to do at all.

He was on his way to an afternoon meeting at work when he passed a commotion.  Someone was having what turned out to be an epileptic seizure and was in the process of biting his tongue. 

It's been at least fifteen years since my husband has had any sort of upgrading in his emergancy skills, going back to when he was still in the military.

There were people trying to help the man, but they had no idea that what they were doing would actually have killed him, had my husband not stepped in.  He was able to position the man so that he wouldn't choke anymore, and managed to get his jaws apart to release his tongue before he bit it off.  Using fingers and a spoon, because there was nothing else available.

Dh had already raised safety concerns up with management.  He brought it up after discovering the first aid kit, which was last restocked before we were born! (We actually have it at home now.)  He was told it couldn't be replaced yet, but they did at least mount it on the wall.  Not that that was any use.  Perhaps the only thing of any use in there are the tweezers.  Not even the tensor bandages were any good anymore.

On another floor, the saftey equipment was fully stocked, including a defibrilator, but running to another floor wasn't exactly an option while helping someone in the middle of a seizure.  Dh was given a bag of supplies to take back to his own floor after he approached management this afternoon, and that one bag has more supplies than the entire old kit.

There is a person trained in emergancy first aid.  Somewhere.  The phone number to reach this person is on signs in the bathrooms.

This is hardly unusual, though.  When we were living in BC, Dh was working a government contract with WCB, of all places, and he bought the first aid kit for the office himself, because there wasn't one at all.  The Workers Compensation Board didn't even have a basic first aid kit for their staff.  Just think about that for a moment! 

That they would be so unprepared amazes me.  Even the grocery store I worked at a few years back was required to have a trained staff member for every shift to deal with basic medical emergencies.  People who took the training got automatic raises.  First aid supplies and safety equipment had to be checked and/or restocked regularly.  I can understand it if some small company with barely a handful of employees didn't have anyone, but a government office with hundreds of people?

After this incident, the powers that be are going to look into his recommendations.

Too bad someone almost had to die for that to happen.

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