The Aftermath

Well, that was a big ol' day yesterday. There's nothing quite like receiving an email from the higher-ups at the district office asking you to call the parent of a student you called 9-1-1 for to make you quiver in your boots. I called the mom, left a message, and then had to sit and worry for a half hour before she called me back. She had questioned my decision yesterday to call the paramedics, and I really didn't want to hear her grief. However, her complaint wasn't that I called 9-1-1, but that I didn't call it soon enough. While I'm sure it looked different on her end, I explained to her that I walked in only moments before she did, and when I did, I took her daughter's blood sugar and called 9-1-1 in one swift motion. Out of habit now, I always look at a clock when I enter those sort of situations, and knew the few minutes that passed between my arrival and the arrival of the paramedics seemed like hours to all of us in the room. It seemed to placate her well enough, and she told me what she was more concerned about was the fact that it had taken people so long to recognize her symptoms. (Apparently the student fell in P.E., and has no memory of sitting through fifth period science, just before lunch when she became unresponsive.) I tried to walk the fine line of agreeing with her without admitting fault on anyone's behalf for anything, and in the end, had a surprisingly decent phone call with her. We both agreed it's a learning opportunity for all parties involved, that the student should be carrying snacks and logging her blood sugars as I've been nagging her to do, and that the staff need to be better educated on what to look for. The student is back at school today, and I'm just very thankful this wake-up call ended positively. Phew. 


  1. Was this the same mom who was telling you that it wasn't necessary to call 911, that her daughter will be "fine"? Sounds like she got a wake up call after this experience...

  2. Yes, yes, that's the one. After speaking with her today, I do think the incident left an impression, I just hope it's a lasting one.

  3. Random thought. In the hospital we frequently have mock codes to assess our readiness for emergencies. In PICU we had these twice per month. What do you think of trying something like that out at your school (with a debriefing meeting afterwards)? Given all the fire drills and earthquake drills and tornado drills and gunman in the building drills, it only seems appropriate that you would have a drill for something much more likely to happen- a medical emergency.
    One of the facilities where I used to work (a psych hospital, where you would think running a mock code would be the most disruptive) was extremely successful with this. They would set out a dummy somewhere, always w/ a blue piece of paper w/ basic info on it, like breathing/ pulse/ etc. one time, they snuck up an emergency hallway, slid the dummy out at the end of a loooong hallway, and waited to see how long it took us to find it and watching if we reacted. It also tested our ability to quickly corral our patients and move them out of the way and keep them focused on what they need to be doing- also a challenge.
    What do you think? I bet you could even get a grant for a child-sized manically at first. Your local fire department might even help run these with/ for you.