Embarrassed and a Bit Worried - Calling EMS at my Condos

Nurses General Nursing


Mods, don't know the exact spot for this, so here it is...please move as necessary

Hey Guys,

Pulled an all nighter. My mom has pretty much turned against me since the assault in Feb. Yesterday may qualify as the worst day of my life. No sleep. I have too much to think about: Maybe moving cross country to get away from all this. I can't stop reliving the assault. Down to seeing dark, the pain, being unconscious and struggling to breathe.

About an hour ago I wake up from my doze with a headache. I decide to walk around my condo complex to smoke a cigarette and decide I need to go to the store for a water and 2 Advil's before bed

While walking around, I notice my neighbor, and presumably a friend in front of their door, slumped over on eachother.

I yell "HEY IS EVERYTHING ALRIGHT" no response

I shake the arm on one of them. Nothing. No grunts, tossing or turning, etc. I don't see either's chest rising or falling with breathing. I continue to yell hoping to wake em up.

I go back to my condo to grab my phone to call 911 and grab my CPR shield.

Meanwhile running in my head "Lay flat, check carotid pulse, ABCs, you got this" "Crap, it's been years since I have had to do CPR"

My guess at that point was fentanyl or Heroin. My hope was at least to get a pulse back, and a rhythm for EMS to work with. Meanwhile, my heart is racing, and probably borderline need to be coded too.

I return to see them breathing, shallowly, with a low(er) respiration rate. Good I think. I'm gonna call the local PD and ask for a welfare check. They're breathing. Sweet. They can call EMS from there if it's needed. I call 911 and every firefighter gets sent from a 5 block radius.

I give them the lowdown: 2 girls unresponsive. Shallow breathing. Shook one. Did not check pulse or other vital signs. Low and behold, they wake up. All was alright. Turns out shiny red lights and flashlights with 3 people talking work wonders. Could I have done the same with my phone's flashlight or shook them harder? Sure. In this day and age, bet your rear you can get charged with some silly crime, or even assault for touching them.

The reason I'm concerned is since these girls weren't in a life threatening situation in the end, I don't want to end up getting charged with 911 misuse or get a bill slapped on me.

Here was my rationale for calling 911 to ask for a welfare check:

1. I am not a doctor or a nurse (Nurse YET). It isn't my job to perform emergency medicine. I know CPR, I know how to administer PICC line medications, and I am an ANGEL at doing wound dressings, but that's it. I didn't bother EMS and fire with pointless info. I simply said, unresponsive, low respiration rate, no response to touch of arm and verbal commands.

I knew that if they were indeed coded, as my first guess, I would have done CPR until EMS arrived, but that's implied consent from what I can surmise.

2. From what I was able to assess, their RR was about 8-10BPM. kinda low. I am a x cross country runner. My respirations usually run 12-14 in a deep slumber. Concerning enough.

3. I sleep DEEP. It takes a lot to wake me up. I have slept deeply and still been able to wake up on shaking and verbal commands.

4. Without going into a controversy, I've seen this gal around. She's drop dead gorgeous. That's aside the point. I still would have done these very actions with a 50 year old male, 300lbs. The point is, I am a man of good morals. I don't take advantage of others. These girls were dressed in low cut dresses, in the middle of my ghetto apartment complex. The next man that saw them, might have done horrible things to 2 passed out women.

5. The Golden Rule: If any AllNurses member sees MudpinesRedneck passed out, and unresponsive to touch and verbal command, PLEASE DO call 911 for me. Life sucks. Sometimes living another day seems like a monumental task. But the part about life that's so sweet, is tomorrow may be the best day of your life and you don't even know it. In 4 years I hope I wake up, put on scrubs, and look at my fresh new RN badge for whatever hospital hires me.

Leaving me for dead can't grant me that privilege. These girls have lives, family.

6. Two passed out simultaneously seemed odd. Drinking games, bad batch of drugs? I figure the chances of 2 people sleeping with eachother and not one of them waking up to loud noise has to be an oddity. Not to mention, when I sleep in an unfamiliar place, especially in urban areas, I have an eye and ear open. I'd consider anywhere but my bed, in my bedroom or the bed of my truck, in a campground in the forest I'm familiar with, an unfamiliar place

I think most people in their right mind would have done what I did. But then again, you never know.

Was I in the wrong, or the right? On one hand, I feel like I wasted time by not trying harder to wake them. On the other hand, I am not a medical professional. And looking at the overall circumstances, I think it was probably right...

As long as you didn't trespass or commit breaking and entering into their apartment, then you did the exact right thing.. Trust me I used to work in EMS and people would call 911 and have us respond for CRAZY things (such as I'm out of cigarettes.)

In the heat of the moment, you did what you thought was best. Don't beat yourself up over it and stop obsessing over whether or not there will be problems. If you don't stop worrying about this (and other things it seems), it WILL be a problem.

Thanks 203! Sheesh for the smokes thing. I hope you did bring cigarettes to them (With a HUGE bill) for that one

Just stay back and let the pros handle it. Thanks for the input on the other stuff as well. I'm tackling that one with responsibility, future planning, and positive thoughts :)

I'm just like my grandma. Stubborn as can be, determined as a hungry lion after its prey.

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

I would have just called 911 and told them how you first found them (unresponsive, not breathing), now seems like they are breathing etc., just give them the facts. Not sure where you live but when you call 911 the operator will send appropriate personal depending on what you are telling them, if you had called 911 first they probably would have called police also, either way getting the medical assistance was top priority and needed to be done. I am a little confused by your post because you state you know how to give meds via a PICC, but you also say you are not a medical professional, this doesn't add up or make sense because only RN's can give meds via PICC so I hope you are not doing that. I think you did the right thing by getting involved and calling for help and I don't think anyone would ever get a bill unless maybe it was done with malice. Please take care of yourself also, sound like maybe you are having hard times.

Oh, I did sorry for the confusion.

As to PICC lines, my dad had a few rounds with infections way back. Home health nurse basically had me sign some forms, showed me how to do the PICC lines, said "SASH at 60 drips a minute" and left me and my mom to do it a few days a week. I was sketched out at first, but did them. It's not hard to hook up Vanco to a PICC :)

Yeah, I was just worried because I know darn well an EMS bill is what? $5,000.00 just to sit in the boo boo bus? I know a transfer from Mariposa to Clovis is $75,000.00

Yeah, I'm trying to take care. It's tough. I never thought in a million years, my own mother would do some of the things she has done. Oh well. No need to speak to her. Pay her my rent money, stay cordial and keep my distance. Hopefully with time and lack of contact she will have time to self reflect (but I doubt it)

I am an EMT, and an ER nurse.

You did nothing wrong.

Your post is kind of hard to understand. Are you CPR certified? The first things you do is shake and ask if they are ok, which you did, but then you check for a pulse. If no pulse, then start compressions.

I guess I would have simply called 911 if people were not responsive to me and slumped over, if I was not a nurse or cpr certified. If they started arousing after my 911 call, I would report to ems what happened and leave.

It would also depend on if they were on their own personal property. Was the front door in a common area or their own entrance?

I breathe very slowly. I never realized this until I ended up in the ER for my gallbladder and they gave me morphine. My monitor kept buzzing due to my low respirations. I was not sleepy at all or even loopy but I was relaxed due to not being in pain before. I had to breathe extra on purpose. I've tried to breathe on a normal day 16-20 times a minute. I can't do it without being out of breath almost. I normally breathe around 8-10 at rest. I don't even want to know when I sleep. My heart rate sits in the 30s while I sleep.

I think you did the right thing, I just probably would not have left the scene to grab a cpr shield. If their heart was truly stopped, you just lost precious time. They are most concerned with good compressions these days.

Look at it this way. If something had been wrong and you didn't call how would feel at this moment? If someone looks like they are in trouble of course get someone there that has the expertise to help.

Make the call, explain the situation, tell them you are not for sure what is going but it honestly looks odd and unusual. The professionals will know who to send. Better to be safe than sorry. If there had been a real issue they may have been dead or taken advantage of in that situation. Better to report than turn your head and walk away.

Mods, don't know the exact spot for this, so here it is...please move as necessary

Hey Guys,

Pulled an all nighter. My mom has pretty much turned against me since the assault in Feb. Yesterday may qualify as the worst day of my life. No sleep. I have too much to think about: Maybe moving cross country to get away from all this. I can't stop reliving the assault. Down to seeing dark, the pain, being unconscious and struggling to breathe.

What the what?!?!?!?!?!

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

Take a beep breath. You found 2 unresponsive individuals. Your obligation as a human/upstanding citizien is to call 911. No obligation to assess them, no obligation to provide any sort of treatment. You did the right thing. End of story.

I'm really not sure what your situation with you mom has to do with anything. Then again, I don't know the details, and I'm not sure if I want to know.

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