Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Each Second Counts

I am sure most of you have seen Slumdog Millionaire. Do you remember the slum shown at the beginning of the film beside the airport runway? I have been there and it was while there I tasted the most delicious Bengali food garnished with love made by a strong woman who fought all odds to raise her kids after her husband left her years ago. Her son is my friend and we were out celebrating at a restaurant in Muscat yesterday night. I ordered lobster and he was relishing a falooda, we were having a very good time until he had a seizure . He began rolling and thrashing about on the restaurant floor and all hell broke loose, men started shouting and the women screamed. I sat there unable to understand anything and was still munching on my lobster for about 30 seconds.

It is not easy when someone close to you looks like they are going to die. Believe me, it takes time to register. Then I revved up... tables were moved and space was made for him to thrash about freely, a spirited (what is it that you want to say here) and kind Omani gentleman poured iced water on his head while others rubbed his hands and feet, loosened his clothing etc.
Although I had long ago learned in my Red Cross volunteer first-aid course that there is no risk of him swallowing his toungue and there is no point in making him hold something made of steel, as it is traditionally believed is the way to minimise control during an epileptic attack.

I still gave him a fork and spoon to hold. It was a blur after that, paramedics, the ambulance ride to the emergency care, filling out forms, doctors, reports etc...

This incident left me thinking about how many of us know what to do in case of an emergency. It is probably more important to know what not to do than what to do. We always complain about the inaction of a crowd when they see some one in need, and now I am thinking how many in a crowd know what is the right thing to do. I urge all of you to get yourself acquainted with necessary first aid and other resuscitation procedures applicable to commonly occuring emergencies such as burning, drowning, heart attack, electricution etc.

At least show the presence of mind to call 999 because really, each second counts


Kelly said...

Yep, it sure does.

COMMUNI said...

Truly said..

Its high time first aid course is given at the school level. But actually nobody cares.

Sid said...

30 seconds... That is a long time...

Sorry could not resist taking a dig ;) :P

Agree with what you said... although i believe i wud react faster [:P] but i still wont know what to do :(

Neha said...

An eye-opener. Need to get some training on first aid soon.

Dhanya said...

SO well written! I was able to picturize everything so clearly, and I think I would have taken more than 30 seconds to respond in such a situation. Hope your friend is well now.

Ordinary Gal said...

Hope your friend is fine now. Such situations are really scary and need presence of mind.

Insignia said...

Oh my God!! Nothing more terrible could happen. And I agree..mind just is blank then isnt it

Hope your friend is doing well now

scarlet pimpernel said...

@ kelly
Thanks for dropping by.
scouts,guides,nss,redcross.. there are a lot of options for school chilfren,only the adults should give enough encouragement
i am getting old...
do you know how to use a fire extinguisher ?
thank you , he is up and running around
Mind was on a newyork miute mode , he is well ang good now

Jaunty anima said...

It does...!!
Hope ur frnd is fit n fine nw!!

The Holy Lama said...

Very true. Most of us are not quite sure of how to do it and end up hurting more. Like straightening out the victim's limbs while transporting after a road accident which might hurt his internal organs more, giving a massage etc can be dangerous.

Destiny's child... said...

Very true!

Saad Shaikh said...

exactly.. each second counts!

well, this was surely an awakening post.. I just imagined what I would have done had I been in your place.. scary it is..

I hope your friend is fine now..

wish him good health.. and good luck to you.. :)