Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some Insight on Sick Passengers

From Loretta:

Date: August 19, 2010
Time: About 9:08 a.m.
Line: Green Line to Greenbelt
Station: Congress Heights

A man collapsed from his seat into the aisle. Passengers jumped up to see what was going on. Someone hit the red button at the end of the car to notify the train driver. We gathered around the man, moved his heavy bag out the way and checked his medical bracelet. He has epilepsy.

Of course, the train couldn't move until the sick passenger was removed.

Seemingly, out of nowhere a woman walked up the aisle, announced she is his wife, and bent down to check on him. She called his name repeatedly. Someone told her an ambulance/help was on the way. She became irritated and said, "this happens all the time, he's alright, he passes out about 2-3 times a week."

The folks nearby looked at each other like what the ... ? The train driver entered the car and told everyone they had to get off because the train couldn't move until the sick passenger was removed. The wife said the man was okay, and he didn't need an ambulance. The train driver said he couldn't move the train because the man couldn't move on his own.

Everyone else got off the train except for the couple and the driver. A Metro employee, perhaps the station manager, rushed down the escalator, looked at the man and woman in the train, and vented: "He passes out 3 times a week, and they NEVER want an ambulance!"

Eventually, the man was able to get up. I assume they refused treatment because the train driver allowed the rest of us to get back on the train with the couple. The man and woman acted like NOTHING JUST HAPPENED.

I rode on in silence and frustration to L'Enfant. I'm not sure what, if anything, Metro can do. I just find it extremely insensitive and foolish to repeatedly put one's self at risk, cause delays, and then refuse medical treatment.

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