We’ve all seen the red cord alarm in a disabled toilet, right?
We know not to pull them unless in emergency as they’re for calling for help. You’d expect in an emergency, that when you pull the cord, something will actually happen and help will shortly come to you, especially in a hospital.
Well for me, it didn’t.
I was at a hospital for an appointment and before I went home, went to use the disabled toilet. As I was leaving the toilet I had a seizure and hit my head on the sink as I lost consciousness (owch!). When I came round, I was in a lot of pain but managed to reach up and pull the red emergency alarm cord as I needed help. I lay there on the floor but no one came and the alarm made no noise or light and clearly wasn’t working!
I called ‘help’ and tried to move but I was in so much pain I passed out. When I came round again I was stuck on the floor and unable to get up due to pain. It was horrible, I had no idea how long i’d been in there, couldn’t reach my phone and had no clue when anyone would realise I was in trouble!
Unable to think what else to do, I finally managed to slide my hand under the door in the hope someone would see my hand. Eventually someone spotted my fingers and called security who knocked and unlocked the door.
When they realised i’d suffered a seizure and been stuck they quickly called for staff to help I told the staff what had happened and remember hearing someone say that the cord alarm didn’t work when they were helping me into a stretcher. If they seriously knew about that, then that’s pretty awful, right?
I was taken to A&E to be checked out, and as ever cannot fault the A&E team, who are wonderful and stretched to the limit (thanks Government). I’ve logged the incident with the hospital and hopefully they’ll sort all their alarms soon so this doesn’t happen again!
To anyone who works anywhere where there is a Disabled Toilet
Please, please ask your maintenance team to check if the alarm is working. Those alarms exists to help people in need and potentially save their lives. The elderly and disabled need to be able to trust that they’re working when needed!
Laters, Ruthy xo
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