What to do for an allergic reaction...or not

Below was a situation I overheard from one of those crews who's rig you pass half parked, half landed in the ED, doors still open, engine still running and the back looks like a tornado hit.  I put a spring in my step inside thinking I could help transfer the patient to the cot or perhaps at the very least help the EMT get the cot out of the way.

The crew offered the following order of events as to their need to get into the ED as swiftly and as safely as they did.

Imagine yourself in these shoes:  You are driving with a friend and they begin to experience a scratchy throat and a hoarse cough soon after leaving the Thai restaurant you've both been wanting to try.  Here's what this person did...

  1. Keep driving

  2. Pull over at the corner market and get them some allergy medicine

  3. Drive some more

  4. When the coughing is too much for them to handle, pull off at a coffee shop and get them some hot chocolate

  5. Pull them out of the car, barely breathing and call your son, the Doctor

  6. After your son, the Doctor, screams for you to call 911 try giving him some of your seasonal allergy prescription medicine

  7. Call 911

  8. Get upset when Paramedics appear to be concerned about the severity of the allergic reaction

  9. Push cell phone into face of Paramedics with your son, the Doctor, on the line for instructions

  10. Call everyone you know and tell them you'll be late to the meeting because the Paramedics won't let you go

Elapsed time from onset of symptoms to 911 call estimated at 25 minutes.


Yeesh is right.


Call us first, folks.  There's no harm in us getting there, finding nothing wrong and letting you go about your day.  This person was put at significant risk for no reason other than a desire to get to where they had to be.