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View Full Version : You need another ambulance?


LillFilly
12-30-2010, 03:33 AM
There's an elderly gentleman who sometimes comes to our mall. We know exactly when he's there, because every time he gets chest pains and we have to call an ambulance for him. And he admits that every time he feels 'well enough' to come to our mall he ends-up going to the hospital. Today we treated and called the ambulance for him for the 7th time. The manager just looked at the report and moaned...:rolleyes:

Hanzoku
12-30-2010, 06:19 AM
That's too bad. If he has so much trouble going to the mall, he should have a caretaker that just tells him 'Sorry, no, that isn't a good idea'. Especially after the 7th time.

PepperElf
12-30-2010, 12:29 PM
either that or maybe he should consider bringing an oxygen supply to the mall?

i've heard that many malls actually have a lower concentration of O2 in the air, which can affect people with heart conditions if their blood ends up being less rich in oxygen

EvilEmpryss
12-30-2010, 01:48 PM
As Panacea would say, this guy sounds like he's more drama than trauma. While it is possible that this guy has a medical condition that is causing him real problems*, it's more likely that you guys are supplying him with attention that he is desperately in need of. Psychological, not physiological, factitious disorder seems to fit here considering the number of times this has happened.

*EvilE is not a medical professional and makes no claims to be able to diagnose unspecified medical conditions from vague symptoms in complete strangers, sight unseen. :p

LillFilly
12-30-2010, 04:10 PM
As Panacea would say, this guy sounds like he's more drama than trauma. While it is possible that this guy has a medical condition that is causing him real problems*, it's more likely that you guys are supplying him with attention that he is desperately in need of.

I thought of that. He's always so friendly and apologetic though, and since his information is already in the computer our incident reports on him only take a few minutes. It does seem like a coincidence that every time this has happened it has been either myself or the other female security officer treating him, but for one time. Perhaps he waits until we're on-duty?

EvilEmpryss
12-30-2010, 04:29 PM
I didn't mean that he was looking for attention from you, specifically, though it might be if gender is an issue. Maybe he's particular about wanting caring female attention? Does he get a chance to see who's working before he starts having trouble?

As for being friendly and apologetic, that's not evidence that he's not faking it. You (and the medicos) probably wouldn't give him half the attention if he was a cantankerous old bastard. I'd bet that if you spoke to the paramedics or the nurses at the ER he gets taken to, they've already got him pegged as a faker. If you have time for some entertaining reading, I highly recommend the book "Playing Sick? Untangling the Web of Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy, Malingering, and Factitious Disorder" by Marc Feldman. Wow, the things some people do.

The real problem with the elderly gentleman is that you and the paramedics still have to treat every report of his as if it's a real medical emergency, and that can put you off your guard if he should *really* have trouble some day. You'd think at his age he'd have learned about the boy who cried wolf. :(

Sapphire Silk
12-31-2010, 07:27 PM
either that or maybe he should consider bringing an oxygen supply to the mall?

i've heard that many malls actually have a lower concentration of O2 in the air, which can affect people with heart conditions if their blood ends up being less rich in oxygen

I have never heard this, and couldn't find any literature on the subject when I did a search on either PubMed or EBSCO host. I think this may be an urban legend.

However, the close confining spaces may mean an increased carbon dioxide level, and they could increase anxiety and hyperventilation among people with phobias or anxiety disorders.

However, if the gentleman in question has a medical problem that he's supposed to be treating with oxygen, it would help if he brought it to the mall with him.

I don't know if this guy was faking or not. I know when I worked in the ER we had several patients who loved coming to the ER because they liked the attention, and because it was better than being home all alone. Some of them didn't even complain if we sent them to the waiting room, because they still had the benefit of company.

Hyndis
12-31-2010, 08:31 PM
The air inside any commercial building should be completely breathable, assuming it has adequate ventilation. If it doesn't then the building will be shut down very quickly. However, a mall can be a very crowded place, and so it may be causing anxiety attacks which sometimes manifest as a shortness of breath and a tight feeling in one's chest, as well as dizziness and a few other unpleasant things.

An anxiety attack will not cause any heart damage, but many of the symptoms can be similar.

Or he could just be seeking attention. Does he have to pay for the ambulance rides and ER visit? Medical bills aren't cheap!

Sapphire Silk
12-31-2010, 11:22 PM
Or he could just be seeking attention. Does he have to pay for the ambulance rides and ER visit? Medical bills aren't cheap!

Medicare covers ambulance costs, I believe.

EvilEmpryss
12-31-2010, 11:42 PM
My vote is against panic attacks. If he was having that kind of anxiety issue, he wouldn't be friendly and apologetic when being treated by security. His anxiety would be driving him to get the hell out of there and making a scene is the last thing someone with social anxiety issues wants to do.

And medical bills are only a problem if you have money... or if you care. People will rack up frequent flier miles at the ER with no intention of paying for any of it because they know they have no money or valuable assets to be seized. Collections agencies can't collect blood from a stone.

Megg
01-02-2011, 12:45 AM
He says he comes to the mall when he "feels well enough", it could be something as simple as lack of exercise. I feel for the guy, though I can see how it would be quite frustrating for you and your coworkers. There's also the issue of him using up the time and resources of mall employees. That is costing someone some money, somewhere down the line.

What a terrible situation. Nobody wants to kick the guy out, but he is a drain on the resources of a business. I do not envy you this situation, or your bosses. TBH, if it were me, I would just keep calling the ambulance for the poor guy, but seven times is a lot. There is an accountant somewhere who is going to wig out when he sees those seven trips ...