Today, I will be giving a few tips on handling emergencies. Nigeria is not yet at the stage where you call an ambulance and it arrives speedily. We will get there, especially if you vote me into political office (lol). Though we don’t pray for such, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but the intelligence to save the day. If there is an emergency:
1. Do not panic. This may sound easier said than done but, you must calm your racing heart.
2. Do not cry, shout, roll on the floor, tear off your clothes, e.t.c. Needless to say, you are not helping matters.
3. Do not freeze. This happens to men a lot. They just zone out. Please be present emotionally.
4. Assess the situation logically. What exactly is wrong? Can you explain it intelligibly on phone? Be able to give accurate descriptions. Not, “I don’t know, he just suddenly fainted.
5. Details are great. What was the patient doing moments before? Was he ill previously? Does he have a medical history of such? Do you know your family history?
6. What is the simplest thing you can do? Can you tie a cloth on a bleeding injury? Can you bandage a cut? Can you splint a fractured limb? Do only the simplest things.
7. Call for help calmly. Speak clearly and to the right people. You may need help moving the person into the car. Why are you on phone with your mother when you should be driving to the hospital?
8. Consider making arrangements for money. Except you have health insurance, you need to show you can pay for most hospitals to attend to you. It is unfortunate how many patients run away when they are well. Though not ideal, hospitals would go out of business if they trusted everyone. You can call friends to help out or something, just provide some tangible assurance. In addition, if you are ignored for any reason, move the patient. Don’t waste time cursing them. Try the public hospitals if funds are low.
9. Give the medical staff space to work. Don’t insist on being in the room. You will do well to trust them.
10. Pray confidently, using the word of God. This is not the time to roll about causing harm to yourself. Feel free to call your pastor and so on, but don’t make a scene.
11. Hope for the best. Some people give up too soon. Just be optimistic.
12. Please do NOT attack the doctor, nurse, other staff. They are not the author of illness. If things go south, don’t molest anyone in your grief. Nothing can be gained from this.
13. Try to obey instructions. Some people try to feed unconscious patients despite instructions. Others smuggle in herbs to patients on treatment. I have seen visitors buying sugary drinks for diabetic patients. That they usually buy lucozade for the sick, does not mean it includes diabetics.
14. Be available. Some people dump the patient and disappear. Their phones are switched off, no one knows their address, and key decisions need your approval. We have had ceasarian sections delayed because the husband went to bring the baby bag, a very unimportant item during emergencies.
15. Cooperate. I cannot over emphasize this. Whatever has to be done to save that life, please give your approval. Don’t hesitate, or refuse, for no good reason. You would not believe how many men refuse to donate blood because they feel they do not have enough! One man even said “I had malaria last week”. Who asked you? The hospital will not endanger your life in any way.
More tips another day. Cheers