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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Could Have Done That

I'm sure that most of you reading my blog that deal with the public in emergency situations will be able to relate to this story.
We were called to assist a citizen that found a confused old man standing on the corner of the street with blood coming from the mouth. By the time we got there the old man had wandered back home to his family with the concerned citizen in tow. We asked the family, who were from the Philippines if we could check out their father/grandfather. They readily agreed. Our patient spoke very little English. Since we had family members that appeared to speak English I asked if they could translate. Here's more or less how it went.

"Ask him where he fell."

"I don't know where he fell."

"Ask him."

(in English) "Hey. Where did you fall?"

"No. Ask him in Tagalog.".....

"Ask him how long ago he fell."

"I don't know, I wasn't there."

"Ask him."

(again, in English) "Hey, when did you fall?"

"No! Ask him in Tagalog."

We tried with several different family members translating with the same results. Eventually we used AT&T's phone translating hot-line. I didn't know AT&T had that service. PD called for us. The patient signed out AMA.


Fire Wife Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fire Wife Katie said...

Oooh, does AT&T have an option that translates what the opposite sex is saying? Being able to translate "guy" would really be useful sometimes! ;)

brian said...

I LOVE it when family members do that! Drives me frickin' crazy...

You just want to say, "OK, your dad has the hematoma, but apparently the rest of you got the mental deficit!"

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