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Calling an ambulance for excessive drinking and falling down the stairs?

(125 Posts)
LaChatte Sat 13-Dec-14 19:22:38

AIBU in thinking if you find someone you know at the bottom of a flight of stairs, conscious but pretty much incoherent and extremely drunk, and that they tell you they fell down the stairs, you phone for an ambulance, bearing in mind you don't know if they lost consciousness or not, and that if they vomit it might be because of the alcohol.

Legodino Sat 13-Dec-14 19:24:51

I probably would call an ambulance but would also worry I was wasting the ambulances time.

Seriouslyffs Sat 13-Dec-14 19:25:08

I would, yes. But people are aware that A&E are over stretched and its self inflicted so many wouldn't.
What happened OP?

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 13-Dec-14 19:26:13

Yes phone an ambulance in those circumstances. Being drunk doesn't preclude serious injury. In fact a drunk person might feel less pain from an injury, sickness may be due to alcohol or it may be due to injury. The person would need to be medically assessed.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 13-Dec-14 19:27:35

No, i wouldn't necessarily call an ambulance. I might, but not necessarily.

Nicknacky Sat 13-Dec-14 19:28:04

Not sure I would necessarily call for an ambulance but I agree I would seek medical attention and possibly take to hospital myself. Depends though.

Summerisle1 Sat 13-Dec-14 19:28:35

I'd call an ambulance for anyone that fell down the stairs. Being drunk doesn't mean that someone hasn't suffered a serious injury. In fact, being drunk tends to produce the sort of reactions that mask serious injury.

Legodino Sat 13-Dec-14 19:28:50

I guess if I waited with the accident prone incoherent drunk for a while they might become less incoherent?

If the drunk had clearly only grazed a knee falling down some stairs then I wouldn't call an ambulance. But the drunk might need to be a little coherent to explain his injuries.

LeopardInABobbleHat Sat 13-Dec-14 19:29:10

I would call an ambulance. What's the alternative? That they have sustained an injury that could be life threatening? Doesn't matter if they were drunk when they did it, they need to be checked over.

Legodino Sat 13-Dec-14 19:29:52

So yes I would phone an ambulance and would let them assess

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 13-Dec-14 19:31:37

Of course being drunk doesn't preclude someone from sustaining a serious injury. But falling down the stairs would not always require a 99 call imo.
So i wouldn't not call an ambulance just because they were drunk. But they might not need emergency treatment either.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 13-Dec-14 19:32:02

If you suspect injuries (such as breaks or spinal damage or head injury) or are unsure if there was loss of consciousness (which may suggest a head injury) it is best to get them checked by a Dr. However whether you ring 999 depends on whether they seem able to get up easily on their own without doing themselves any further injury ( for example I fell down the stairs - not drunk honest- and was able to get up and hobble to the car so DH drove me to A&E with a suspected broken foot and wrist).
If you are very worried by their condition though 999 is the way to go. If there is a serious risk of spinal and head injuries you should not mess about with it.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 13-Dec-14 19:32:12

I would because I wouldn't know if they'd lost consciousness or injured themselves seriously as the affect of the alcohol could be masking all sorts of injuries.

However at the back of my mind I'd be concerned that I'd be wasting the ambulances and A&E's time.

If it turned out we had wasted their time I'd (depending on the person and circumstances) probably be a bit pissed off at the person for being drunk etc

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 13-Dec-14 19:32:48

I have fallen down the stairs several times. (Clumsy)
Never drunk. But never needed to call 999 either.

ReallyTired Sat 13-Dec-14 19:33:43

Falling down the stairs is not a reason for calling an ambulance, unless that person is significantly hurt. I broke my thumb falling down the stairs and completely sober! I walked to the hospital, got my thumb x rayed and bandaged up. I did not need an ambulance.

I think you have to decide if the person is in a life threatening situation or not. Is it likely the person has a spinal injury? Otherwise I would put them into the recovery position and make them as comfortable as possible. It is relatively safe to vomit in the recovery position.

Pico2 Sat 13-Dec-14 19:34:02

Falling down the stairs covers a wide range of events from falling the length of a staircase to slipping down the last couple of stairs. Carpeted stairs might be less injurious than concrete or stone ones. So I think the context matters.

MrsCosmopifairylight Sat 13-Dec-14 19:34:26

I think I would. You don't necessarily know if they are drunk or in a Hypoglicaemic state.
Even if they are drunk, if they've fallen down the stairs then they could have sustained a number of injuries.
Better safe than sorry.

LaChatte Sat 13-Dec-14 19:36:08

Thursday evening DS's DDad fell down the stairs because he was drunk. His XP found him, dragged him onto the sofa, changed his clothes as he had wet himself, put another log on the fire and left him sitting there. She came back the next morning and found him sitting in the same position, stone dead. I'm trying so hard to not hate her for not calling an ambulance, she was just so used to seeing him totally drunk that it didn't occur to her that a fall down a full flight of stairs was potentially fatal.

Flimflammer Sat 13-Dec-14 19:36:48

Calling for an ambulance doesn't mean that one will immediately be dispatched. I'd call and let the 999handler prioritise the call, its what they are there for. If the situation should deteriorate your drunk is already on their system and they will respond as appropriate.

FastWindow Sat 13-Dec-14 19:37:43

If you can't rule out a head injury then I might, yes. Manhandling into a car in that state could be impossible. Otoh, being that drunk means you fall limply and so tend not to hurt yourself the same way as if you were sober and had been able to try to brace yourself.

Nicknacky Sat 13-Dec-14 19:38:38

That's horrible op, really sorry to hear that.

What I would ask is, at this point you won't know the cause of death, do you? So it might not by anything to do with the fall.

GingerLemonTea Sat 13-Dec-14 19:38:45

Oh my goodness that's awful flowers

ladygracie Sat 13-Dec-14 19:38:56

I am sorry that this has happened. It is utterly tragic.

ReallyTired Sat 13-Dec-14 19:39:12

LaChatte I am sorry that your son has lost his father.

FastWindow Sat 13-Dec-14 19:39:16

Just seen your update. He may have choked. Do you not know the cause of death yet? So sorry.

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