Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tough Times

There seemed to be a lot of health issues today at the shelter:
Several people threw up (my guess it was the pre-formed hamburger patties - those get to me, too.)
I had to take a lady to medical triage because she was hacking up green mucus. She had washrags full of it, and in the quiet of my personal self, my stomach was majorly turning. She said she was the kind of person who took care of other people first and tended to neglect herself, but, obviously, it was time for that to change. She had asthma, too, so I took her over, got her re-registered (she had lost her paperwork, which was another reason she hadn't gone), and she got what she needed - asthma treatments and antibiotics.
I also saw a woman who I am guessing died. I'm not sure what made it happen, but, when I saw, they were doing chest compressions - the hard, break your ribs kind. They did the compressions for at least ten, maybe 15 minutes, until they finally took her out still doing the compressions. That's a really long time for that ... The problem was compounded because the only witness only spoke in sign language.
Heart compressions look very different in real life than on TV, I'll say. I don't mean that flippantly; it was just something that struck me as I was surrounded by an awful lot of reality.

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