Friday, July 30, 2010

Call it in!

"Call it in" is all I said to my peer after one of my team members passed out. What seemed like a normal and relaxing Friday was quickly turning into a ohh crap situation.

Things started out great, I didn't get a call from work last night, which meant I was able to get a full nights sleep. The first nights sleep all week. As I arrived it was very calm and things were organized and under control. I thought, "wow, this is great." After I got my 4am team going my peer and I were walking the floor following up on some audits we had to complete when my cell phone range. Which for me now, is not out of the ordinary as my phone rings all the time with contractors needing to get a hold of me. It was the overnight superintendent from construction and he informed me that I had a team member in the bathroom up front who cut himself with a box cutter. My peer and I detoured and headed up to the bathroom. Both of us were thinking, just a cut as we have both cut ourselves with box cutters.

When we arrived at the men's bathroom we find the injured t.m sitting on floor. Then we see all the blood in the sink and we see his blood soaked jeans. We asked him "How are you feeling?" He replied "I feel fine." My peer and I say to him "stay put we are going to get some first aid supplies." "O.K." he replied. He was with another t.m.

We gathered up some gauze, sterile gloves, ointment and headed back to the bathroom. When we arrived he was still sitting. I asked him "Would you like to try standing and wash the blood off your hands?" By this point the bleeding had stopped just like a normal cut would do. He said "Sure." As he was standing up I put on the sterile gloves and assisted him with rinsing off the blood. The cut wasn't bleeding at all. As I was applying the gauze pad he said " I think I need to sit down." As he was about to sit down he started to slide down the wall he was leaning on and his eyes rolled back in his head. The other t.m caught him before his head hit the ground. At this point I immediately tell my peer to call it in. This is serious. The injured t.m. came too within seconds and said "not again." Wait! What? This happened once before?

As my peer is on the phone with the nurse I tell her this is the second time he has passed out. We didn't know about the first time. The nurse tells us to call 911 due to the fact it was the second time he passed out. As my peer is calling 911, I am applying direct pressure on the cut and keeping his hand elevated in case it started to bleed again and the other t.m. is supporting his head. We are both talking to the injured t.m and keeping him alert by asking him questions, "How old are you? How are you feeling? What day is today?" His response to the last question "that is tricky because my night started on Thursday so it has to be Friday. Right?" We all laughed because that statement is so true for those of us who work nights.

As we are waiting for the cavalry to arrive we were able to keep the t.m alert and talking and we all remained calm. I knew I didn't want to panic in this situation because I didn't want my t.m. to panic. The fire department arrived and the paramedics came. The men's restroom was quickly getting full. The fire department had me continue to hold pressure on the cut and keep it elevated and told me I was doing exactly what I needed to do.

Eventually the t.m. was able to stand and walk out of the bathroom, but after standing for a bit he had to sit down again because he almost passed out again. The injured t.m. didn't want to go to the hospital by ambulance, his vitals were fine, his blood pressure was good.The fire department cleared him to have someone else drive him. But, they wanted to make sure he got in the car o.k. before they left. My peer drove him to the hospital as I had the store keys and she was from another store and here helping me out. Technically I couldn't leave the store.

The injured t.m. ended up getting 2 stitches. This situation ended with only 2 stitches. Thank goodness for the quick thinking of the other t.m. who stayed with him in the bathroom. I don't want to imagine how different this situation could have turned out if he was alone in the bathroom when he passed out. Everyone involved in the situation responded as they needed to and everyone remained calm and followed direction when it was given.


  1. Thank God he didn't fall and hit his head! But really, two stitches?

  2. That is what I was thinking. But he hadn't eaten since 9:30 that night, probably wasn't drinking water and most likely wasn't sleeping all week.