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Old 12-06-2019, 12:46 AM
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How plausible is this Facebook story about Wal-Mart employees driving a sick person home?


This story right here (sorry for it being screenshot only)

Long story short, woman with her baby goes to Walmart on Black Friday to pick up her baby meds, gets caught in the giant crush of shoppers and has a seizure. Employees rescue them and take her to front. They try to get her significant other to pick her up but since she has the only car and Uber isn't taking any rides, two Wal-Mart employees volunteer to drive her home in her own car while a third Wal-Mart employee drives a second car behind them to take those two employees back home after, and also the employees paid for her medicine she originally came there to get.

I can see one employee doing it out of the kindness of their heart, but three separate employees all leaving work to help her out on Black Friday?
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:00 AM
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This story right here (sorry for it being screenshot only)

Long story short, woman with her baby goes to Walmart on Black Friday to pick up her baby meds, gets caught in the giant crush of shoppers and has a seizure. Employees rescue them and take her to front. They try to get her significant other to pick her up but since she has the only car and Uber isn't taking any rides, two Wal-Mart employees volunteer to drive her home in her own car while a third Wal-Mart employee drives a second car behind them to take those two employees back home after, and also the employees paid for her medicine she originally came there to get.

I can see one employee doing it out of the kindness of their heart, but three separate employees all leaving work to help her out on Black Friday?
Did they still get paid? If so, that hardly seems like a problem. Iíd be glad to get out of working retail on Black Friday!

To me, the question of liability poses greater challenges. I mean, woman has a seizure in your store, possibly brought about in part by your failed crowd-control, and you drive her home? What if she dies later that night, even from an unrelated condition? What if an employee gets into an accident with the woman's car and the woman in it?
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:15 AM
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I've seen volunteer and paid staff take someone home from the hospital, on occasion. The corporation doesn't encourage it, but I've known mid-level managers to be aware of it and not try to stop them.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:35 AM
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Why did two employees need to ride with the woman in her car? They only needed one person to drive it. If the woman was bad enough she needed a non-driver to be there with her to monitor her condition, she should have been brought to a hospital.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:30 AM
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The Walmart employees around here would step over your prone body and go out back for a smoke. Nah. Don't believe it happened at all. Unless they were a relative or something.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:09 AM
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I was thinking about what would happen over here:

A pregnant single mother with baby collapses in a big supermarket...

Supervisor sees the incident on CCTV and qualified first-aider is summoned; meanwhile, concerned citizens are calming the baby and (probably) filming the incident with their phones - after dialling 999 for an ambulance of course.

At least one, possibly two DCAs (double-crewed ambulances) turn up within five minutes, check the woman over and wheel her out of the store in a chair.

In the ambulance, they stick heart monitor pads all over her and plug her into the machine, while one of the crew looks after the baby.

They want to take her to hospital, but she says she is fine (she doesn't want to spend the next two or three hours waiting around in A&E, only to be pronounced okay and sent on her way) so the ambulance drops her the baby and her shopping off at home.

The staff in the store who were involved, spend the next hour filling in reports.

Last edited by bob++; 12-06-2019 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:23 AM
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I believe the story.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:41 AM
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I can see one employee doing it out of the kindness of their heart, but three separate employees all leaving work to help her out on Black Friday?
There's a Wal-Mart with more than one employee on duty at a time?

I rate the story as plausible even if unlikely, but I feel like some details have been left out.

Last edited by Broomstick; 12-06-2019 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:47 AM
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To me, the question of liability poses greater challenges. I mean, woman has a seizure in your store, possibly brought about in part by your failed crowd-control, and you drive her home? What if she dies later that night, even from an unrelated condition? What if an employee gets into an accident with the woman's car and the woman in it?
This, fer sure! Any manager or supervisor would have a heart attack on the spot and need an ambulance himself if he saw this happen, for exactly this reason.

Here's a detail of the OP's story that is most implausible, or maybe just stupid: This shopper has a seizure in the store, and they took her home? They should certainly have taken her to a hospital, if they had taken her anywhere at all. And even that wouldn't be prudent. Someone having a seizure needs to get an ambulance called, with EMT's who can monitor her condition en route and maybe provide some on-the-spot medical assistance as needed.

I can imagine OP's story may have happened, but it sure wasn't prudent. I'm surprised to read that the managers themselves did this. Nice of them to pay for her meds, though.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:56 AM
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BTW, one of the tales (among several) about why Black Friday is called Black Friday has to do with the number of emergencies of various sorts that tended to happen because of all the crowds and traffic on that day, coined by police and emergency workers and Philadelphia. (Didn't we just have a thread about this recently?)

Origins of the name "Black Friday"
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2019, 06:25 AM
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Why did two employees need to ride with the woman in her car? They only needed one person to drive it. If the woman was bad enough she needed a non-driver to be there with her to monitor her condition, she should have been brought to a hospital.
It was Black Friday. I think they were ready to jump on any chance of getting away from the store! "You two are leaving to go take that lady home??? Shotgun!"
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:42 AM
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In the ambulance, they stick heart monitor pads all over her and plug her into the machine, while one of the crew looks after the baby.
But did they get the machine that goes *ping*?
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:49 AM
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Would you all believe this story more if it was Nordstrom's or Macy's? I suspect more of you would believe it. I mean, I know Walmart is supposed to be Satan and all the employees are either half-wits or assholes, but really, this has not been my experience with Walmart, and I have shopped there extensively in three different states.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:57 AM
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Neither more nor less. Iíd still see "liability" as the number one stumbling block in a managerís mindóa not insurmountable obstacle. Provided it overcame that, I donít see what would keep it from happening anywhere. An added factor that might make it more plausible is if an employee didnít pay for the woman's stuff out of pocket, but rather if management approved something like "comping" (not sure what the term would be in retail) her meager purchases on the grounds of expediency.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:53 AM
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If it is on Facebook, it has to be true.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:34 AM
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If it was a small town Walmart, and everybody pretty much knows everybody, and they know where she lives because the manager's daughter is friends with the seizing woman's sister's son, and they know she's not going to sue, sure it could happen.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:44 AM
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But did they get the machine that goes *ping*?
Here in the United States we get the one that goes "pocketa-pocketa-pocketa".
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:57 AM
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Would you all believe this story more if it was Nordstrom's or Macy's? I suspect more of you would believe it. I mean, I know Walmart is supposed to be Satan and all the employees are either half-wits or assholes, but really, this has not been my experience with Walmart, and I have shopped there extensively in three different states.
Sure, Wal-Mart is evil, but I don't think you'll find many Dopers shopping at Nordstrom's or praising Macy's. I think the typical popular store for a Doper would be like a Dollar Store, but not one of the name brand big-box stores. It has to be a mom and pop dollar store that also sells hard to find books. In the hygiene aisle is crystal deodorant, vinegar, and twelve varieties of Patchouli Oil.

Last edited by Bear_Nenno; 12-06-2019 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:04 AM
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I once had a woman cut her finger on a soda can she had dropped something into and was trying to retrieve. She was an adult, but was carrying on about her injury, which seemed minimal to my untrained eyes. Someone offered her a band-aid, but she was screaming that it needed stitches. I told her there was a hospital about a 15 minute drive away, but she countered that she couldn't drive. I offered to let her use our landline to call someone, she said her husband was out of town.

All this was going on at the end of my day as I prepared to go home. My employees had another 90 minutes on the clock, and I (privately) told them that nobody should offer to drive her, as I was concerned about liability. I said they could call an ambulance if it came to that.

I do not know what ended up happening. I left and never heard what happened.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:19 AM
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I find it hard to fathom why they didn't call 911 for an ambulance. I would think that a chain like Walmart would have a set in stone policy for such things.
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2019, 10:21 AM
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so the ambulance drops her the baby and her shopping off at home.
Never happen in the US, per protocols (for almost if not everywhere) either a refusal or a trip to the hospital.


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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Someone having a seizure needs to get an ambulance called, with EMT's who can monitor her condition en route and maybe provide some on-the-spot medical assistance as needed.
Someone with a known seizure disorder, especially if they haven't taken their meds, doesn't really need to go to the hospital to get a very expensive lecture to take their meds.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:31 AM
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If it is on Facebook, it has to be true.
Exactly--thanks to Facebook's truthiness, we were able to select the most highly qualified president we now have.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:04 AM
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Exactly--thanks to Facebook's truthiness, we were able to select the most highly qualified president we now have.
Moderator Note

Let's keep political jabs out of General Questions. No warning issued, but don't do this again.

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  #24  
Old 12-06-2019, 11:56 AM
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Uber isn't taking any rides
Unless this is in some distant suburb this is where you lose me. We have ongoing problems with drivers taking minors, babies with no carseats, more people than they have seatbelts, etc. Uber drivers are on a whole fairly mercenary creatures and are less concerned with the rules than the paycheck. Its far more likely it was surging to the point they wouldnt/couldnt pay for such a high demand time.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:09 PM
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Would you all believe this story more if it was Nordstrom's or Macy's? I suspect more of you would believe it. I mean, I know Walmart is supposed to be Satan and all the employees are either half-wits or assholes, but really, this has not been my experience with Walmart, and I have shopped there extensively in three different states.
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Sure, Wal-Mart is evil, but I don't think you'll find many Dopers shopping at Nordstrom's or praising Macy's. I think the typical popular store for a Doper would be like a Dollar Store, but not one of the name brand big-box stores. It has to be a mom and pop dollar store that also sells hard to find books. In the hygiene aisle is crystal deodorant, vinegar, and twelve varieties of Patchouli Oil.
Well, if that's the typical Doper shopping habits I am definitely not typical. I pretty much shop everywhere, from Macy's to Walmart to Big Lots. What makes you think "typical" Dopers shop as you describe?

Last edited by kayT; 12-06-2019 at 08:10 PM.
  #26  
Old 12-07-2019, 08:41 AM
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Unless this is in some distant suburb this is where you lose me. We have ongoing problems with drivers taking minors, babies with no carseats, more people than they have seatbelts, etc. Uber drivers are on a whole fairly mercenary creatures and are less concerned with the rules than the paycheck. Its far more likely it was surging to the point they wouldnt/couldnt pay for such a high demand time.
I have no trouble believing it could happen in a rural area; ride-sharing has not really caught on yet in rural areas:
Quote:
On a Wednesday night in New York’s Finger Lakes region, few cars appeared on the map. And in Corning, New York, the closest Lyft ride was 74 miles away and showed no estimated time of pickup.

...

Uber message boards frequently discuss how small town driving is much less lucrative. One driver in Davis, California, wrote that she earned $18 for more than two hours of work. So not only is expanding to rural areas fiscally precarious for Uber and Lyft, it also may not reap much reward for drivers.

Last edited by MikeS; 12-07-2019 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:45 AM
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I've had people have seizures as well as other medical emergencies in my store. We call 911, I'm not sure why Walmart wouldn't have done that. Unless the hospital is right down the road or they're way out in the sticks, I'd imagine this would be faster, and safer, for the EMTs to handle. Plus, do you really want someone seizing in the car while you're driving.

In any case, I'd say the story is believable, but only because it's not a story that they shared from another page and another page and another page, where you can't actually find any provable details about it and it's likely they're just doing it for the likes.

As far as worry about insurance, getting into an accident and all that, I doubt they used this, but there is a way around it. In situations like this, a way to deal with it is to have them punch out and do whatever they're doing, when they get back safely you can adjust their time sheet.
Someone I know is a maintenance supervisor and a large place. When his employees go to trade shows, he'll pay them, but also make sure they're punched out while they're actually gone. That helps to relieve his employer of any liability should something happen. One thing that he's always concerned about is that they might drink at the show and get into an accident on the way back.
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:07 PM
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I was thinking about what would happen over here:

A pregnant single mother with baby collapses in a big supermarket...

Supervisor sees the incident on CCTV and qualified first-aider is summoned; meanwhile, concerned citizens are calming the baby and (probably) filming the incident with their phones - after dialling 999 for an ambulance of course.

At least one, possibly two DCAs (double-crewed ambulances) turn up within five minutes, check the woman over and wheel her out of the store in a chair.

In the ambulance, they stick heart monitor pads all over her and plug her into the machine, while one of the crew looks after the baby.

They want to take her to hospital, but she says she is fine (she doesn't want to spend the next two or three hours waiting around in A&E, only to be pronounced okay and sent on her way) so the ambulance drops her the baby and her shopping off at home.

The staff in the store who were involved, spend the next hour filling in reports.
In my experience you'd be lucky if an ambulance turned up within 5 minutes. We had a lady with a suspected heart attack at my workplace last week, the ambulance took 2 hours. Dislocated kneecap a few months ago - again 2 hours.
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:22 PM
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In my experience you'd be lucky if an ambulance turned up within 5 minutes. We had a lady with a suspected heart attack at my workplace last week, the ambulance took 2 hours. Dislocated kneecap a few months ago - again 2 hours.
That's very dependent on where you are and what's going on at the time.
In my city, a call to police/fire/ems will have someone there within a few minutes.
A few years back, an older man collapsed in my parking lot. When I saw him on the ground I went out to see what was going on. A bystander was already on her phone with a private ambulance company (no idea why she called them instead of 911). The guy appeared to be having a stroke right in front of our eyes. After about 10 minutes, and still not even able to here the sirens in the distance, I called 911. The local EMTs showed up with a fire truck and a few minutes later an ambulance. They did their assessment, got him on a stretcher, loaded up and headed out to the hospital. A few little white later the private ambulance finally showed up.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:05 AM
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I've had people have seizures as well as other medical emergencies in my store.
. . . It all started around the time we installed the strobe lights.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:06 AM
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In my experience you'd be lucky if an ambulance turned up within 5 minutes. We had a lady with a suspected heart attack at my workplace last week, the ambulance took 2 hours. Dislocated kneecap a few months ago - again 2 hours.
Where do you live?

Iíve called 911 for medical help five times, twice at home twice at the office once in a tennis court (opponent has anaphylactic shock from bee/wasp sting). Never took more than ten minutes. This includes suburban office park, suburban residential, suburban school, downtown commercial and city residential locations. In Massachusetts, Georgia and Kansas.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:38 AM
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If it regularly takes 2 hours for EMTs to arrive and it wasn't a fluke or there wasn't some good reason for it, that seems like something the community needs to push the local government about. Cities regularly have contracts with neighboring cities for fire/police/EMT mutual aid for just this reason. If you call 911 and they know all their EMTs are out on call, they'll request someone from the next closest department send help.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:44 PM
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I've had people have seizures as well as other medical emergencies in my store. We call 911, I'm not sure why Walmart wouldn't have done that....
I can believe there are circumstances where 911 might not be the best option.

If you are taken in an ambulance around my neighborhood, you will receive a bill for over $1000 dollars -- more if you need medical assistance during the ride. If I was in a position to give someone a ride to the hospital (Wal-Mart is 10 blocks away from the nearest hospital, 3 blocks from the nearest emergency room here), I would gladly volunteer to do it at no cost, and if I was already at Wal-Mart, I guarantee that I could make the trip before the ambulance showed up at the front door; probably before the ambulance drivers woke up and hopped into their vehicle.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:57 PM
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Can any ex-Walmart employees here tell us of the firm's emergency policies? I've seen emergency action books prominently displayed in other chain stores. I'd be astonished if Wally's has no corporate-wide standards.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:05 PM
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Recent posts in this thread are asking why an ambulance (private or 911) might take so long.

Let's recall that OP describes an incident that happened on Black Friday. The heavy traffic and traffic jams on that day, due to holiday travelers plus a bazillion bargain-hunting shoppers can make it difficult for any emergency responders to get where they're going.

This, in fact, was apparently the original reason why Black Friday was so named. The other common story is that Black Friday was so named because it was the day that many retailers first turned a profit in the year. But that story was a later invention.

Cites: Just google Why is Black Friday Called Black Friday, and pick any of the dozens of cites that you will see.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:57 AM
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Where do you live?

Iíve called 911 for medical help five times, twice at home twice at the office once in a tennis court (opponent has anaphylactic shock from bee/wasp sting). Never took more than ten minutes. This includes suburban office park, suburban residential, suburban school, downtown commercial and city residential locations. In Massachusetts, Georgia and Kansas.
Big city in northern England.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:58 AM
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If it regularly takes 2 hours for EMTs to arrive and it wasn't a fluke or there wasn't some good reason for it, that seems like something the community needs to push the local government about. Cities regularly have contracts with neighboring cities for fire/police/EMT mutual aid for just this reason. If you call 911 and they know all their EMTs are out on call, they'll request someone from the next closest department send help.
Two hours is definitely too long. That said, I would expect them to prioritize calls. Someone breaking a bone, while bad and incredibly painful, is not generally a life-threatening emergency. Someone with a stroke is. I could see times being slower for the former than the latter, simply because other emergencies were dealt with first.

It definitely would not be that weird to wait hours in the emergency room for things that aren't life threatening.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:25 AM
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I don't know if it did happen, but it certainly could have happened, depending on location. Suppose after the seizure, the woman says, "I'm OK. Oh, God, please don't call an ambulance. I can't afford it, and really, I'll be OK. I have my seizure med in my purse and will take one now." And she does. And suppose one of the WalMart workers knew the woman and was about to get off work anyway.

Calling an ambulance the woman couldn't afford and didn't need would probably be the wise corporate CYA policy and to heck with the woman's ability to pay. That's her problem. Glad kindness won out and that the woman is OK.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:10 AM
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Calling an ambulance the woman couldn't afford and didn't need would probably be the wise corporate CYA policy and to heck with the woman's ability to pay. That's her problem. Glad kindness won out and that the woman is OK.
Just a reminder, if someone calls an ambulance for you and you're conscious when the ambulance arrives, you are under no obligation to accept the ministrations offered and will not be charged if you decline.

Last edited by kayaker; 12-09-2019 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:43 AM
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Big city in northern England.
Then I can understand why an ambulance would take more than 2 hours to arrive if you call 911
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:46 PM
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Well, if that's the typical Doper shopping habits I am definitely not typical. I pretty much shop everywhere, from Macy's to Walmart to Big Lots. What makes you think "typical" Dopers shop as you describe?
I like being a non-typical doper myself. I even pride myself in breathing out of my nose so as to further stand out from the rest of the doper boomers.
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