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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Advice: Emergency Medical Services

It's been about a week since I had a health emergency with Bri, and before I go into detail I will say he's all right now and I waited to write because it was a really difficult experience for me.

Friday night last week, Bri started to come down with a very intensive fever.  When I say intensive, I mean about 104°F or 39°C.  He was burning up, coming in and out of waves of fatigue and in extreme discomfort.  I finally got him to bed around 11pm that night and at 4am that morning he was laying on his back, sleeping... the problem was his breathing and heart rate.  Once again he was burning up, his breathing was raspy and his heart was beating about a mile a minute.. very hard in his chest.

I roused him and he grumpily stated, Mais alors, je vais bien, pourqoui tu m'est reveillé?? (Hey, I'm fine, why did you get me up??)

I explained his fever and my worries and he waved them away and got up to use the bathroom.  I prepared some Doliprane to cut the fever and was prepared to take his temperature when I heard the following noise:


At first I thought, okay what did he do? and then I realized.

I jumped out of bed and ran into the living room, there he was face down on the floor.


I fell to my knees and lifted his head, slowly he roused and looked at me.. BLOOD WAS EVERYWHERE!  I was in hysterics, but, unfortunately, had NO idea the emergency number was.  I was able to get it out of Brian and immediately called the number.

SO YOU KNOW, the emergency number in Lyon is #15.

We explained to the dispatch what happened, gave our address, codes to the apartment.  She saw it wasn't an emergency and transferred us to an on-call doctor.  We re-explained what happened and it turned out it was simply an issue with a drop in blood pressure causing the spins and it made him pass out.

From this horrible experience I learned that emergency services are actually quite logical in France..

You call #15.
You explain to dispatch what's going on.  If it's an emergency they send les urgences if it seems under control;
You explain to the doctor on-call, he explains what to do.

The hardest thing is being able to explain in French what has happened without making it sound as if it were some horrible emergency.. but I now know by heart the number and an idea of what could happen.


1 comment:

  1. How scary, especially in another language!! So glad to hear he's okay now.

    One thing you might not know that's particular to France is that people tend to call les pompiers for a lot more than we would in the US, ie even for medical emergencies. So in this case, you could've also called 18. 15 will get you to the SAMU, and 17 to the police. Or 3624 for SOS Medecins (doctors who will make after-hours housecalls for very reasonable prices)

    And another good one to know when you're traveling is 112, which is the equivalent to our 911 and is valid EU-wide.

    Definitely all good numbers to have taped to the fridge!!


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