Friday, June 4, 2010


How not to freak out during an emergency
By Jennifer Bixler
CNN Medical Executive Producer

  • On Wednesday, Utah officials released the 911 call from inside actor Gary Coleman's house. On it, according to People, Shannon Price tells the operator that Coleman hit his head while making her something to eat on the evening of May 26 downstairs in their Santaquin, Utah, home.
  • "He just just got home, I went downstairs. Blood everywhere," Price says. "I don't know if he's OK. I'm not down there right now because I have seizures. If I get stressed out I'm going to seize."
  • Price goes on to say to the operator, "I just can't be here with the blood," she says. "I'm sorry, I can't do it. I can't ... There's blood all over and I can't do anything."
  • The operator asks Price "to at least give him a towel" so Coleman can apply pressure to his wound. Price replies, "Yeah, I'm just panicked. I don't know what to do … I just don’t want him to die. I'm freaking out."
  • In a video interview released Thursday, Price said Coleman couldn't be saved and she didn't want him left in a vegetative state.
  • Price has been criticized for her lack of action, but it's not uncommon for people to panic during an emergency. If you don't handle emergency medical situations well, here's a quick checklist to keep yourself calm, cool and collected.
  • GET YOUR BEARINGS "If you don't understand what is going on, you are going to freak out," says Dr. Dave Beiser, an emergency room doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Ask yourself the following questions, is the person breathing? Are they bleeding and if so where? Can they talk?
  • CALL 911 Even if you aren't sure how serious the situation is, it's always best to err on the side of caution. The moment something happens, you should call 911. "They are trained to deal with someone who doesn't have medical training," says Beiser.
  • PREPARE FOR EMERGENCY WORKERS TO ARRIVE Beiser says in a situation like what happened to Gary Coleman, you should make sure the person is lying on his or her side. Why? "In case they vomit, it protects the airway," says Beiser. Beiser also says if the operator suggests you do CPR, make it simple. Experts suggest brushing up on your CPR before an emergency. A simple way to do that is by checking out the "Hands-Only CPR" campaign The American Heart Association launched a few years ago.

If you are on a plane that is about to crash, you should put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.

1 comment:

  1. My fav is when I get calls with people freaking out about the garbage truck being too loud, or the train-you moved right next to it a**hole! LOL