#1
So I have something that has been bugging me for the past 1/2 day and wanted to get some unbiased opinions. I'm a firefighter/paramedic and we got called to a guys apartment last night to help him get up because he fell. We've helped this guy up several times and over the last month his physical state has rapidly declined and he can no longer take care of himself. He sits in a chair in his house and pees on full paper towel rolls because he cannot take himself to the bathroom. The apartment can be smelled as your coming up in the elevator. Last night he came home after being in the hospital for a week and got dropped off by a wheelchair car and placed on the toilet and left there. We got called after he had been on the toilet for 3+ hrs and while we helped him to bed noticed he was sweating profusely and was pale. We checked him out and found that he had EXTREMELY low blood pressure, you could barely feel his heartbeat in his wrist, and he is a diabetic and his blood sugar was VERY high. However, his mind was perfectly fine and he politely refused transport to the hospital. The law states that as long as his mind is ok he is allowed to refuse any treatment. We left him in the house and havent heard anything back but but conscience is bothering me and I feel like we should have just made up something saying his mind wasnt all there and just taken him in against his will. Thoughts?
#6
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
If he's perfectly capable of making his own choice, then you shouldn't beat yourself up over it man.

He should still go check on him now though if he's worried, if he's lying there dead or unconcious or whatever then he can go and get help. I honestly think this is what TS should do tbh, if he's reading this he should consider it.
#7
if you explained the seriousness of the issue to him, ain't much else you can do. Shit sucks, man . Maybe he'll come with you next time.
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#8
Yeah if you won't get in trouble for going on your own, and it's bothering you, go check up on him. I'm sure he'll appreciate the gesture if he's alright. Maybe sit down and explain just how much danger he's in. If he's an elderly man, some people just want to die.
#9
The only problem with going in to check on him now is I can't get into the building. He can't buzz me in because he cant get up. And I only have the master key for the building when I'm at work.
#10
Quote by Zoot Allures
He should still go check on him now though if he's worried, if he's lying there dead or unconcious or whatever then he can go and get help. I honestly think this is what TS should do tbh, if he's reading this he should consider it.

True.

Do it TS, that way if anything bad happened you can take him to the hospital and if nothing's gone wrong you can rest assured.
#11
Every hyperglycemic patient I've ever dealt with has always had elevated blood pressure, but that's a fallacy in itself. Multiple, multiple studies have proven that there is little to no correlation between blood sugar and blood pressure. I would suspect something else going on in conjunction with his (I assume type 1) Diabetes.

Come on, Paramedic. Don't let an army medic call you out like this, haha.
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Last edited by JustRooster at Oct 12, 2011,
#14
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
If he's perfectly capable of making his own choice, then you shouldn't beat yourself up over it man.


This, does the guy not have any relatives maybe you could get in contact with?
#15
Quote by JustRooster
Every hyperglycemic patient I've ever dealt with has always had elevated blood pressure, but that's a fallacy in itself. Multiple, multiple studies have proven that there is little to no correlation between blood sugar and blood pressure. I would suspect something else going on in conjunction with his (I assume type 1) Diabetes.

Come on, Paramedic. Don't let an army medic call you out like this, haha.



It's not really an issue of me not knowing what's going on. He has hyperglycemia because he eats shitty junk food which makes his sugar skyrocket and when his body finishes breaking down the complex carbs it bottoms out and hes on his way to decompensated shock because his body isnt functioning well with the DKA. I talked to some guys at work today and I guess he's still hanging around so we shall see what happens.
#17
Perhaps it'd be a good idea if you or any of the other guys sat down with him if you ever get the chance again (only 1 of you tho, otherwise it might feel like a friggin' intervention). Paying a visit when there's not really an emergency can really help w giving this guy the feeling someone out there actually cares. I know you guys are always trying to help, but when a patient feels you're helping 'em because it's part of your job it's not quite the same: it's the medics who call you by your name and promise to take special care that stick with you for the rest of your life

Perhaps doing so can convince him to come with you next time, or to seek help of any other kind. But, and I know you know this or otherwise you wouldn't be posting this, there really is no reason for you to become personally involved or anything: if he doesn't want any help there's not really a thing you can do, so don't let it bother you too much

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Last edited by shwilly at Oct 12, 2011,
#18
Don't you guys have like, involuntary psychiatric holds in the law? 5150?
All the way from Palm Springs, just out of detox.
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#19


WWHD. What would House do? Remember that for the next time you are in a situation like that.
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#21
Quote by Dirge Humani
5150 is California.

I know, I was using it as an example. Is it the only state that has that?
All the way from Palm Springs, just out of detox.
Show him a warm welcome, let's hear some applause
#22
I'm a paramedic too (in the UK)......, and our laws say that if he had full mental capacity then he can make unwise decisions and there isnt anything you can do about it. although you could argue that hypotension and DKA/Hyperglycaemia could be interpreted as having an impact on capacity. difficult call that can only be made by someone who was there at scene....
#23
Quote by carlos_almighty
I know, I was using it as an example. Is it the only state that has that?

From what I can read, Illinois, where TS is, only allows involuntary confinement if the person is mentally unable to see they need treatment. From what the TS says, this guy was mentally fine, and was just refusing treatment.
#24
If his mental state is caused by his physical state then you could do something.

If the law gets involved then you could argue that he wasn't in his right mind and couldn't make a clear judgement on whether or not he's okay.
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#25
Quote by Jabels225
So I have something that has been bugging me for the past 1/2 day and wanted to get some unbiased opinions. I'm a firefighter/paramedic and we got called to a guys apartment last night to help him get up because he fell. We've helped this guy up several times and over the last month his physical state has rapidly declined and he can no longer take care of himself. He sits in a chair in his house and pees on full paper towel rolls because he cannot take himself to the bathroom. The apartment can be smelled as your coming up in the elevator. Last night he came home after being in the hospital for a week and got dropped off by a wheelchair car and placed on the toilet and left there. We got called after he had been on the toilet for 3+ hrs and while we helped him to bed noticed he was sweating profusely and was pale. We checked him out and found that he had EXTREMELY low blood pressure, you could barely feel his heartbeat in his wrist, and he is a diabetic and his blood sugar was VERY high. However, his mind was perfectly fine and he politely refused transport to the hospital. The law states that as long as his mind is ok he is allowed to refuse any treatment. We left him in the house and havent heard anything back but but conscience is bothering me and I feel like we should have just made up something saying his mind wasnt all there and just taken him in against his will. Thoughts?



I'm not sure if this will sound out of place...

But surely as a Firefighter/Paramedic who clearly is allowed to make these kinds of decisions, why do you not have the confidence/maturity/aptitude to think of this stuff on the spot?

Why come on to a guitar forum which, albeit has some very intelligent people, has many people who don't have the knowledge/experience to give you a real-life answer.

This is your career. An important one.
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#26
Quote by Neo Evil11


WWHD. What would House do? Remember that for the next time you are in a situation like that.


Go hang himself because hes such a loser.
#27
If he refused to go, you should respect his wishes which you did here, so don't worry about it.
#28
How mentally stable can you be of your apartment smells and looks like that. Isn't that whole statement of him being fine in the mind a bit redundant?
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by people who have kept on


trying when there seemed to be no hope at all
#29
Quote by winterXsolstice
when your blood pressure and blood sugar are low, your mental capacity is deminished

Evidently you have both.


OT: I would just go and see him, have a chat maybe.
An Augmented 4th or a Diminished 5th?


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#30
Quote by Nelsean
How mentally stable can you be of your apartment smells and looks like that. Isn't that whole statement of him being fine in the mind a bit redundant?

if you accepted that argument you'd never be able to hold anyone accountable.

How mentally stable can you be if you *insert 'bad thing' here*.

he can be perfectly mentally stable but physically incapable of doing things.

see: Stephen Hawking

OT: you did the right thing. If he's refused help and you think he's not lacking capacity then maybe that's his way of saying he wants to die.

It might also be that he doesn't want to die but doesn't like hospitals and/or care homes and is afraid of a long stay if he goes with you.

The only thing I can suggest is to try and get access to him and talk to him in a personal capacity. But obviously that raises its own issues.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
Last edited by Lemoninfluence at Oct 12, 2011,