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Injured at an event(64 Posts)
NC as this is massively outing. I've mentioned it under my normal posting name, so if anyone has seen it could you just not mention it here?
I am disabled and use a wheelchair, and i recently attended a music festival. Onsite there was a pathway which dropped down a kerb, the kerb wasnt lowered and there was no ramp. Whilst attempting to (carefully!) get down the bump, my chair tipped, i fell and hit my head, knocking myself out.
One of the onsite private ambulances was called, i came to when they arrived but was not properly aware until arrival at the medical tent, and that bit is very hazy. I remember them unsplitting the backboard to put me on the bed, i had no neck brace on. My sat o2 had dropped to low 70s so they gave me oxygen and at some point dh arrived (having been left with my chair while they took me alone)
They checked my head by feel a few times, and once my o2 was higher they kept me for an hours observation. As far as i remember noone checked my neck, and they also missed that i had wet myself. During this time they were dealing with people who had drunk too much.
After the hour i was sent back to my tent.
In pain all weekend then, but assume it is leftover aches because of the jolt and leave it.
When i got home i was still getting worse so saw my doctor, who confirmed i have whiplash from the bump, made more likely to happen by my disability. (Before going I asked for a copy of the accident report/paperwork to give to my doctor, i am still waiting...)
So, i know i need to complain, but have no idea where to start, and often feel i am being melodramatic about it. I am autistic and dont trust my own reactions.
My main points
- that there should be a dropped kerb
- that they should have noticed that someone who had lost consciousness had wet themselves (afaik its an important sign of potential problems?), and should have been more aware of potential neck injuries
- that if they are unable to deal with complications of a disability related injury, they should refer to proper a&e. If they dont know anything about the disability, dont try to bodge it.
- that a copy of paperwork should be given at th time (iirc it would be with an accident report?)
I think thats everything?
Can you help me make sense of it so i can ensure noone is put at risk next year?
ouch! What leaps out at me is that anyone who loses consciousness after a bump to the head, disabled or not, needs to go to hospital for a proper check ASAP. Were you advised to go?
(you should have gone anyway, but I realise you probably weren't in a state to make that decision)
I think what you are suggesting makes perfect sense and is politely put. Make sure you tell them that you expect a response that tells you what they are doing to improve procedures.
I hope you feel better soon.
No i wasnt advised to go to hospital.
By the time i got out it was 2am, i just wanted to go to bed
I don't understand why didn't you or your DH insist on you being sent to hospital? As the person with the disability you know your body better than anyone else. I thought anyone who lost consciousness due to a blow to the head had to be seen by a doctor not a firstaider, they were wrong not to suggest hospital to you. Hope you soon feel better.
You tried to bump down a kerb, shouldn't your DH have steadied the chair as you did so, thus saving you all this?
If I'd tipped my baby out of the pram/tipped over my own wheelchair by awkwardly going down a kerb I'd have kicked myself over my own daftness. Not sued the council.
Yes if you lost consciousness, you absolutely Should have gone to hospital. That is the fault here, not the fact there was a kerb.
Without knowing where the festival was or what the path was like I can't really comment on the lack of a dropped kerb. It may not have been practical to install one for a short festival?
Anyway the real issue here is points 2 & 3 i.e. the poor standard of medical care you received. You definitely should have gone to hospital/been referred to a doctor.
Re 4 I think you should be able to get a copy of the report but i don't think they're massively unreasonable for not providing one there and then (although once requested they should be prompt in forwarding it on to you).
Hope you feel better soon.
I dont expect them to drop the kerb for the festival, i probably could have made this clearer in my post though. What i do expect is provision of a ramp if there isnt already a dropped kerb.
Love the comparison to a pram after all of the disability threads recently though
The person who saw me was a doctor btw, not a first aider
Beyond sorry, re the dropped kerb that's what i was trying to get at. It's difficult to comment on it when we don't know the whole set up. I'm trying to think about similar events and i'm still not sure if ramps at every kerb is a done thing or should be?
I'm really surprised that a doctor didn't recommend going to hospital! Sorry you weren't looked after properly. I'd put in a complaint to the organisers and see what their response is.
It was a main walkway thingy, i'd understand if it wasnt. Kind of hard to explain though
There was an bit with a way in to an area, which was road (so level), and the way out which was path and grass, which ended and dropped back down on to the road with no ramp. That make sense?
To complain, shall i just email the main organisers or should there be any sort of h&s person to try to find?
I don't think the pram reference was necessary. If you tip your baby out then that's your own stupid fault but a wheelchair user can't always assume there's someone to help then. I totally agree there's a negligence claim here. Was there any other way to get where you were going?
Don't imply I'm disablist please.
I compared wheels on kerbs to wheels on kerbs.
I'll put it another way.
If I can see that I'm going to have difficultly doing something and I know there are risks and I may cause myself harm yet go ahead and do it anyway and then cause myself harm I don't think you can legitimately call out the event organisers on that but people do and it's ridiculous.
Yes you could argue about a ramp being installed but Did you ask for any assistance? Why didn't your DH steady the chair as you bumped down if you knew it looked a bit of a challenge?
It's the blame claim culture here that is pissing me off. You made a decision to attempt it without help. Your decision.
The St. John's ambulance, or whoever it was who treated you, are at fault. You should pursue a complaint against them as they were negligent or possibly using staff who were not sufficiently trained.
I dont think reference to pram is relevant, baby's are strapped in and difficult to over balance a buggy as user has two steadying hand and two legs firmly planted on the ground. A better comparison would be a 2 foot drop to the road, would the council be liable then if no alternative and user fell. Organisers should have put up a ramp.
I'd just email the organisers....they can pass the details on to the relevant people e.g. h&s person, first aid provision supervisor, etc. Make sure to include your details and say you'll be expecting a response.
Pram is not relevant. Reasonable adjustments must be made for access (for wheelchairs and the like)...not for prams.
What did the organisers say beforehand about provision for wheelchair access? It's hard to say without knowing the venue but though it seems totally reasonable for there to have been a ramp for access, you'd need to know the reason(s) why there was not one before you can contest anything - just that there was not one is not enough.
I've tried to check now but its all changed to "awaiting info for next year"
I've been before and its usually brilliant for disabled access (i went to the exact place last year and didnt have a problem so there must have been a ramp before?), but its changed ownership and there were a lot of problems this year. The bit i was leaving didnt even have one accessible toilet (but i'll leave other people to complain about that! )
I'm not after money kate, i dont know what gave that impression? If they are in the wrong, i want them to know about it and i want it fixed.
There might not have been a ramp last year though - i am usually capable of getting myself down a kerb (my powerchair is like a bloody tractor!), i think i was just a bit back-heavy this time...
Surely your husband could have called an ambulance? Why is it someone else's fault that you both chose not to try to access medical help?
In your op you mention that nobody noticed that you'd wet yourself either .
Is that relevant? What would you expect the first aiders to do about it if they had noticed?
1. They did send a private ambulance
2. My dh is not a doctor so didnt know i needed one and i had concussion.
3. Why the face?
4. I dont expect them to do anything, but it is relevant for loss of conciousness to assess the severity so they should have noticed
5. They were not random first aiders, they were privately hired doctors.
A music festival had privately hired doctors on standby?
*in your op you mention that nobody noticed that you'd wet yourself either hmm.
Is that relevant? What would you expect the first aiders to do about it if they had noticed?*
If that's a genuine question rather than an attempt to be snarky at the op, it's relevant because it could mean the person had a fit whilst they were unconscious. You'd be more likely to monitor or scan someone after a loss of consciousness with incontinence than without.
I only knew it was especially relevant later as my gp asked when i saw her
I have history of fits.
Just realised forgot to answer the op!
Sorry you went through this. I think you're right to follow it up with the organisers. A calm, dispassionate letter stating the facts about what happened to you and how it could be improved for next year is a good way to go. I really hope you get an apology from them and they sort out the ramp for next year.
The pram comparison is irrelevant. Babies do not self-propel, wheelchair users do. A person using a wheelchair should reasonably be able to access a facility without having someone else steady their wheelchair. Where assistance is required, that should be made clear and it should be possible to arrange that in advance. In the case of a kerb that wasn't dropped, they should have put a ramp in if it was the main walkway.
The medical attention was inadequate. If you lost consciousness, they should have called an ambulance to take you to hospital.
If there is no dropped kerb what is a wheelchair user supposed to do?
Remain in one spot forever?
If access hasn't been provided you run out of options very quickly.
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