Collapsing in Public

Collapsing in publicIt is never fun when you collapse; even at home it can be traumatic. But when you have a health scare and collapse in a public place where no one knows you, the trauma increases notably.

I was actually on the way to a country town where I was to be a guest speaker at an event. I had to change trains one hour into my trip. However, before I got to my first stop, I began to feel ill. I felt that I just had to get to a toilet, so I got off the train one stop before I was meant to.

I suddenly felt so much worse when I got off the train, and I headed for a seat. But I didn’t make it. Leaning against the wall, I slid down to the ground, then onto my side.

There I was semi conscious on the ground, dressed in business clothes with a brief case beside me. I remember seeing feet walk past me, but no one came to my aid.

Finally two German tourists came up to me and asked was I ill. I managed to nod my head. One went for the station manager and the other stayed with me. The station manager and these two kind souls helped me up and escalator and into a room with a bed. The station manager was able to ring my husband at work and he came to take me to the hospital.

I can tell you, this was quite scary. I couldn’t believe that no one offered any help; perhaps they thought I was drunk or on drugs. But dressed the way I was, they should not have thought that. Everything was fine in the end, however, the place where I was to be a guest speaker was not happy…but what could I do?

Another time when I was home I had an angina attack and had to place a tablet under my tongue. I was in a lot of pain and was hyperventilating. Bathed in a sweat, again I felt that I had to go to the toilet. My husband got me in a wheelchair, but before we got to the toilet, I lost consciousness. My husband was standing in front of me to stop me falling to the floor as I lurched forward.

Thank goodness we had a visitor at the time and between them they managed to get me on a bed. The paramedics were called and they explained that the tablet made my blood pressure drop dramatically and I lost consciousness when I sat up.

Perhaps the most unusual ‘collapse’ I have seen was while I was at a major public hospital for a check up following surgery.

Another patient collapsed onto the floor in the waiting room. As this hospital did not have an emergency department, they had to ring for an ambulance to take her to another hospital. One would think if you were already in a hospital when you collapsed, that you were in a safe place where you could get the medical care you needed. But in this case, the ambulance still had to attend.

Collapsing from a health scare always has a sense of fear surrounding it. You can find out my techniques for handling fear and coping with trauma, in my book ‘Thank God I Had a Stroke’.

Hints and Tips

Always carry information with your personal details and who to contact in an emergency. It is also a good idea to have a typed list of medication you are taking, your medical history (with dates) and any allergies you may have. This information makes it much easier for medical support you may need in an emergency. AND it is imperative that you are in an Ambulance fund and carry the card in your wallet.

24 thoughts on “Collapsing in Public

  1. Andres Millard

    Great tips. I don’t really have an affliction that causes me to collapse, but I do have the info like my condition and my medication information with me at all times. Worse comes to worst, I also have an organ donor card 😉

  2. Nicole Evans

    What an awful experience for you! I am just glad that two fellow country men (or women) of mine had enough sense to stop and help! Unfortunately, in this day and age we are all too quick to judge, to not want to get involved.. to go about our own business at all cost! And, in your case especially, it could have been a HUGE cost.. a LIFE. I do have medical bracelets for our autistic boys, but really, i should think about getting something for our daughter (and us) sorted out. Thank you for sharing this very traumatic experience.

  3. Ana B.

    Wow, this sounds frightening! I’m glad you’re okay. I agree with your tips: carrying ID and personal info can really be helpful in general and a life saver if something like this happens!

  4. Kris H

    I love the tip about carrying health information on yourself at all times. I’m going to type out a small note of my blood type, allergies and other pertinent medical information and carry it in my wallet at all times.

  5. Jack Jargens

    I recently just started carrying a card with my personal information on it along with medication that I take. It has came in handy several times since I have started carrying it; very good idea.

  6. mike teberio

    and another thing I would like to say is everyone who knows that these people need help should be there for them no matter what.

  7. Debbie Boulier

    I keep trying to remind myself to carry any pertinent information in case of an emergency, and I don’t think many people are prepared. It’s sure a great idea and would help any hospital staff immensely.

  8. Jounda Strong

    Great article! You’ve reminded me of the importance of carrying contact information. I currently don’t think I have any of this information with me, except phone numbers in my cell, but one would have to go through the list. I’m not familiar with an ambulance fund, so will have to look into this!

  9. Samantha R.

    I see how most people would be humiliated by going through such an experience but it’s always best to thank god were alive.

  10. Michael

    I always keep an emergency contact card in my wallet for emergencies. I hope it never has to be used! But it is always safe to have just in case.

  11. Barney Brown

    Keeping emergency information is very important. You never know when you could get in a car accident, and the EMTs need to know your blood type. Without that information you cannot have a blood transfusion which could mean the difference between life and death.

  12. ES995

    This is a really good idea… I never even thought about carrying information like that with me, but after reading your post it now seems really important. Thank you!

  13. Daniel D

    This is why everyone should know first aid. If someone collapses you should check their breathing and place them in the recovery position.

  14. Chris W.

    You made some great points about always carrying your identification and medical information with you while travelling. You never know when a medical emergency could occur. Moreover, it would provide medical personnel with your medical history.

  15. bizarrio

    Collapsing in a public places is indeed quite scary.

    But don’t worry, most people are likely to help you if you collapse.


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