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Emergencies at Work

Asking all those who read for their feed back on this

The other day a young manager at the local craft store became very ill at work. She could not breathe and informed several coworkers, who only laughed at her because she completely lost her voice.

She went to her locker and proceeded to take a cough drop, seeing she has allergies and this method really works. However, this time it did not.

Again, she informed a coworker she could not breathe and it was getting worse, her throat felt like it was closing. Again, the coworker did not take her seriously.

She again returned to the break room, seeing she was the only manager on and she didn't want to worry customers, she contacted the store manager along with her mother.

Now, her mother is a very close friend of mine, so I know the story is factual. The store manager, who was already aware of the issue, but was not yet at the store, informed her he would be there soon.

Her mother showed up to bring her daughter antihistamine to stop whatever the allergy could have been. This, unfortunately, did not work. Her mother was aware of the signs of anaphylactic shock and saw a sudden change in her daughter's health and called 911. Being a concerned manager, her daughter was worried about leaving the store unattended. The paramedics told her she needed to go then. Putting her health and life first, away she went.

Now, here is where I ask for input. All the other employees did nothing to help, did they act incompetently? She is now getting a lot of rude comments, do you think it's right? Who do you think was right, wrong, untrained and so on?

Please, I would love to hear all input on this.

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Michelle Hazlett July 11, 2012 at 03:47 AM
As an EMT I think her co-workers should be more trained or aware of her condition and what symptoms to look for to see if she is really in trouble. I don't know how this young lady presented herself to her fellow workers. Was she concerned or was she shrugging it off? If anybody has any health issues that could potentially be life threatening than ALL employees need to be informed as what to do.
Pamela July 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM
She may have told her co-workers twice that she could not breath, HOWEVER she went to the break room on two separate occasions and then called the store manager and her mother. If she was that bad, she should have stressed to her co-workers the seriousness of her condition. Most people with allergies and asthma know when their condition is getting serious and carry back up emergency medication such as inhalers, epi-pens, and antihistimines. I would think that as a manager, she is not a child. As an adult with a medical conditional, she should knw that when your breathing becomes effected, medical treatment is necessary regardless of circumstances or location. She is the one that is ultimately responsible for her life, not the co-workers. In the event that this should happened to a customer, all employees should know to call 911.
Lavender Green July 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Thank you Michelle, very good point all employees should be trained, no she did not shrug it off, she was very forthcoming when telling the two other employees that she couldn't breathe, seeing she has never had anything like this happen to her, but has had food allergies but not to this extreme, she did what she thought would help. Again thank you
Lavender Green July 11, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Thank you Pamela, yes I agree she should have stayed on the floor but i understand her going to the break room seeing that is where she could sit down and calm down. Per her and her mother she did stress several times to her employees that she was that bad, both laughed and just went about their business. Seeing she had never had a reason for an inhaler or epi-pen she could not have had them with her. Calling the manager was a very wise idea seeing the liability laws state that a company must have a manager on duty and that was her, calling her mother was to bring antihistimines, which again was a smart move. She as a young adult acted correctly, followed every step before going to hospital. I agree all employees should know when to call for help that is my point. The steps she took to save her life and to be responsible were right, but the staff were wrong... Again thank you for input
Patti H July 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM
There is a responsibility on the part of her employer to ensure that all employees recognize an emergency and know how and when to call 911. However, I don't believe that employees have to be trained beyond that unless they want to be. The employer should offer it, but employees are not obligated to take CPR, First Aid etc... unless they want to. Also, I think that it is easy to say the young woman should have done something different, but people dealing with a sudden onset illness are not usually able to think clearly.
Lavender Green July 11, 2012 at 03:47 PM
So true Patti, in all that you said. I think sometimes it actually boils down to common sense, if a person has stated something is wrong and they are not getting better and it is effecting the performance then i would say something is wrong and someone should take the lead and do something. Being in many different parts of the management sector and having young adults around i find most (not all) have no common sense and do not no what to do if something happens. again thank you
Mary Alice Brancato July 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM
What a shame. I certainly hope the young lady is now okay. I think the young lady remained very calm considering the situation. She did tell her co-workers she was in distress and for them to laugh is appalling to me. While I'm sure their job description most certainly doesn't call for them to assist someone in medical need I would think their morals would demand it! Even if the co-workers were young I can't imagine any of my kids standing by while someone is in that kind of distress. Sadly so many just don't want to get involved. This worries me! I too have a daughter with medical issues that can escalate to the point of critical in certain situations. I often ask her if her friends have any idea how to help her if things take a turn for the worst. As a young adult with a medical issue they may not have had a "bad episode" in years and need someone objective to make the call. Her mother did the right thing by getting their immediately. I'm sure this poor woman has dealt with her daughter's health issues many time and she is certainly the expert on her own daughter. If nothing else I would think the employer should have a meeting with the staff and stress the importance of simply caring about one's fellow man or woman! Again I hope this young lady is doing well and I will keep her in my prayers.
Lavender Green July 12, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Mary Alice, thank you, yes that was my entire point of writing this article, was to enlighten people. Any person with our without any type of medical issue should be taken serious when they stress to their coworkers and or friends they need help. It only takes a split second to be the angel in someones world and save their life. When you work along side of people you should want to help them in a time of need, The young manager that I wrote about has been advised by the hospital not to ever go back to work there, they said its a choice of her life or their needs, she is recovering but very sad seeing she being young thought these people were also her friends. thank you for your comment

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