You can’t rely on anyone

Code 2 for seizures just before midnight.

An elderly gentleman meets me at the door, and politely asks me how I’m doing. He calmly and pleasantly explains that his wife had a full-body seizure that lasted 1-2 minutes in her bed. She is post-ictal, non-verbal and slightly combative in a grabby kind of way.  Nothing too unusual about it. We get what we can for our assessment with her unintentionally resisting.

The son, who looks to be in his 40s and reeking of pot,  is being an idiot. He asks us to let her be, unhappy with us applying a minimal amount of force to get vital signs and a fingerstick. He doesn’t know much about his mother’s history; her husband provides us with it.

And then, referring to her grabbiness, the son says, “This is unusual for her after a seizure, and that’s why I called.”

“When’s the last time she had a seizure?”

“Oh, like 10 years ago.”

“And how often does she have seizures?”

“Very rarely.”

OK, so basically he has no basis for saying that her combativeness is unusual. Furthermore, combativeness is a fairly common post-ictal finding. So consider this: when someone has a medical emergency, is there a reliable family member present to provide responding crews with reliable information, or is there just a pothead making noises with his mouth?

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