Does This Warrant an ER?

Because I have a nursing background I am sometimes summoned when there is a medical question.  It is like “any port will do” in a storm as what I remember isn’t even current practice. But there are some basic things that survive over time.

Today I was in the hallway when a friend came running out of a classroom saying they needed me. The story unfolded to reveal that an older man had helped set up tables for a potluck meal after which he sat down, became dizzy, pale and sweaty.

As I talked to him he seemed to become increasingly incoherent and started slumping in his chair. Using the argument that it is better to have a medical check up unnecessarily than to regret not having it, I recommended a trip to urgent care. When he became unresponsive I said I am making the decision. I am calling 911, which I then did.

The people who had planned to eat with this man gathered around him and prayed. Soon the abundant response to a 911 call came complete with sirens, fire truck, ambulance and several men carrying massive bags of equipment. Heart monitoring patches were applied, blood pressure taken, blood sugar measured and a health history attempted.

Suddenly, the man “woke up” and began answering the questions coherently, his color returned and he no longer looked to be in distress. The medical tests were coming up normal.

When asked why he had had a pacemaker put in he said, “So I can have sex!!!

There was no trip to the ER. The team looked at each other and agreed this man was OK.

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