“I Don’t Know Why You Are Freaking Out”: Woman Drowns As 911 Operator Tells Her To Calm Down

In a horrific recording, a 911 dispatcher dismisses the cries of panic by Debbie Stevens, 47, (above) as her car fills with water in Fort Smith Arkansas. At one point, the dispatcher, Donna Reneau, says “I don’t know why you are freaking out.” Stevens explained that she was afraid of dying and kept apologizing. She later drowned in the car waiting for rescue.

Stevens was delivering newspapers when she was hit by floodwaters. The call to 911 showed a panicked driver and a less than sympathetic dispatcher, though Reneau (left) may have believed that this was just a case of a trapped car rather than a car filling with water.

Stevens: “Please help me. I don’t wanna die.”
Dispatcher: “You’re not going to die – hold on for a minute.”
Stevens: “Well I need um, I’m scared. I’m sorry.”
Dispatcher: “I understand that you’re scared but there’s nothing I can do sitting in a chair so you’re going to have to hold on and I’m going to send you somebody, OK?”

Stevens was on the phone with 911 for about 24 minutes”

Dispatcher: “You’re not going to die. I don’t know why you’re freaking out. It’s OK. I know the water level is high.”
Stevens: “I’m scared. I’m sorry.”
Dispatcher: “I understand that but you freaking out – doing nothing but losing your oxygen up in there so calm down.”
Stevens: “When are they going to be here?”
Dispatcher: “As soon as they get there.”

In one of the most chilling portions of the tape, the dispatcher chastises Stevens:

Stevens: “I’m scared. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before.”
Dispatcher: “This will teach you next time don’t drive in the water.”
Stevens: “Couldn’t see it ma’am. I’m sorry or I wouldn’t have.”
Dispatcher: “I don’t see how you didn’t see it. You had to go right over it, so.”

Although Police and firefighters arrived about 12 minutes after Stevens’ call, it took more than an hour for them to reach and extract her. By that time, she was dead.

Assuming that there was no negligence in the rescue at the scene, this case could present a question of liability over the dispatcher’s role under a claim of the infliction of emotional distress. It would however not make for a strong such case. It appears that the dispatcher did get the rescuers to the scene and that they arrived relatively quickly. The words of the dispatcher, while shocking, was tragically not the cause of the greater distress. That was the water.

The dispatcher has resigned.

Danny Baker, the interim police chief, correctly said that the dispatcher “did nothing criminally wrong.” However, he then curiously added “I’m not even going to go so far as saying she violated policy.” I would hope lecturing and mocking a woman in distress would violate some policy somewhere in the Fort Smith police department.

266 thoughts on ““I Don’t Know Why You Are Freaking Out”: Woman Drowns As 911 Operator Tells Her To Calm Down”

    1. 40,000 U.S. highway deaths annually.

      Ban cars!

      Opioid addiction epidemic.

      Ban efficacious pain-relieving pharmaceuticals for long-suffering patients.

      Ban Immoral Opioids.

      Legalize Marijuana.

      America has become hysterical, incoherent, chaotic and anarchical.

      A nation cannot stop driving cars, keeping and bearing arms or substance abuse, it can only make those activities unjustifiably illegal.

      It is unconstitutional to infringe the right to keep and bear arms, to ban driving cars or ingesting substances.

      Americans enjoy enumerated rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities.

      Americans also enjoy every other, conceivable natural and God-given rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities not enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights per the 9th Amendment.

      Laws agaisnt causing property damage and/or bodily injury are constitutional, appropriate and extant.

  1. Escaping a sinking car: Staying put is ‘death trap’ says Canadian expert

    ABC Sunshine Coast By Jo Joyce
    Updated 16 Apr 2017, 6:15pm

    Dr Giesbrecht said this was especially tragic.


    In both Australia and North America, a significant portion of drownings in vehicles are from people driving into flooded roads.

    “Your vehicle can float in as little as half a meter of water [so] never drive into water,” he warned.

    He has been working with an inventor who has developed an automatic window opening system for cars.

    “It senses when a vehicle is in water and actually opens the electric windows,” he said.

    He believed the best-case scenario would be for the system to be mandatory in the manufacture of all new cars, in the same way seatbelts were.

    “That would save a lot of lives.”

    1. I only listened to a few minutes of it, but right off the bat Miss Stevens told 911 that the water was all the way up to her window, and was pouring in. She said she was floating in the water inside, all soaking wet. She said the water was already up to her neck.

      That right there indicated this was an extreme emergency, with no time to waste. I am extremely curious to know how this was described to first responders.

      That poor, poor lady. There is something just heart wrenching about someone crying and pleading for their life, but no one got to them in time. This must be unbearable for her friends and family to hear.

      I don’t understand why the dispatcher didn’t instruct her to climb out the window or ask her if she was unable to get the window down or the door open. Maybe she did towards the end and I didn’t hear. Why didn’t the 911 operator use location services on her phone?

      1. “Why didn’t the 911 operator use location services on her phone?”

        She did.

        1. That’s good. She wasted some time with all the “well, you deliver newspapers, so you should know where you are” bit. I’m really disgusted by the 911 operator.

          1. I saw a staged situation on t.v. a few years back of a vehicle sinking in water. The producers of the show advised everyone to keep a hammer in the pocket beside the driver’s seat, so you can smash the window out if your car starts going under and your electric windows short out. But they had a “driver” in the car, and even though he knew that the car was being held by a crane and chains and that it couldn’t go into the water deep enough to drown him, he said he still started panicking when the water was rising up to his chest. He said that anyone in that situation needs to get out IMMEDIATELY, because every few seconds of prolonged panic means that they won’t be able to think effectively enough to extricate themselves.

            1. My experience is that the best place to smash a window is to use a side or rear window as the windshield contains a shatterproof film that would make extrication difficult when using a simple hand tool. It is best to strike the side window in an upper corner. Beating the window in the center will prove difficult to cause shattering or breakage. One should also have the occupant, if able, cover themselves or avert their eyes to avoid cutting from flying glass.

              1. if you keep a gun in the glovebox that’s an easy way to break a window. like not just by whacking it but pulling the old trigger

                guns are useful in many ways

    2. It’s best to listen to the entire video, IMO. Without doing so, one is commenting with limited information and just part of the story.

      This 911 call will likely be used for training, in the future.

      1. You’re right that it’s best to listen to it in its entirety. I was already tearing up a quarter way through, and I didn’t even know her. Lord knows how bad it got by the time her phone cut out. So sad.

  2. Reprised of a previous thread:

    Young Republicans show the effectiveness of communist control of American education wherein propaganda and indoctrination dominate the curricula.

    Decertify all lazy, greedy, striking, thug teachers and professors unions and throw the members in prison for child abuse, corruption and fraud.

    $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is the result of dictatorial communistic redistribution of wealth to teacher/professors. Why are there Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes in teachers parking lots? Why are other public workers awarded “comparable pay” after teachers and professors strike? Striking teachers/professors are the “tip of the spear” for the communists. Have teachers/professors generated even a modicum of wealth? Have teachers transformed the inner city low IQ students into Einsteins? What is the product of teachers when statistically assessed? Answer: Failure and corrupt attempts to mitigate and hide that failure. The pay of public workers dwarfs that of the taxpayers who pay their salaries as workers in the private sector. Why? The answer: Communist redistribution of wealth operations, most certainly not free market supply and demand.

    1. By the time someone enters college and signs a contract for a student loan, he/she is an adult. Old enough to know that if you buckle down and earn a degree in engineering, computer science, nursing or accounting that you’ll have a job upon graduation and the ability to repay your loans. The “kids” who get easy degrees which have no value in the job market, because they wanted the ‘college experience’ of partying, and were too lazy to study for a worthwhile degree, knew that they would have limited job prospects upon graduation. So if they wracked up $40,000 for a communications degree and a job at Starbucks, too bad. They can communicate with their soy boi customers.

      1. $1.5 trillion in student load debt.

        The mission of the communists is to redistribute wealth to teacher/professors and public workers.

        Corrupt elected officials have succumbed to the communists.

        Students are the victims of communist redistribution of wealth campaigns.

        Students are paying the bill for the communistic redistribution of wealth.

        The mission of the communists now is to compel elected officials to compel taxpayers to pay the bill for the redistribution.

        The burden of $1.5 trillion in student load debt will be placed on American taxpayers.

        The communists will have won!

      2. FTR, Kitty, about 1.92 million baccalaureate degrees are handed out in a typical year. Their distribution between disciplinary clusters is as follows:

        Business: 19%
        ‘Health professions”: 12%
        Social science and history: 8%
        Psychology: 6%
        Biology: 6%
        Engineering: 5.5%
        Visual and performing arts: 5%
        Communications and journalism: 5%
        Education: 5%
        Computer and information science: 3%
        Public safety disciplines: 3%
        Fitness and recreation &c: 2.5%
        Multidisciplinary: 2%
        Liberal arts: 2%
        English Literature: 2%
        Agriculture & resources: 2%
        Public administration &c: 2%
        Physical sciences 1.5%
        Mathematics &c.: 1%

        ‘Health professions’ generally means nursing. ‘Public administration’ usually means social work. Communications programs can be vocational or academic in their emphasis. TV newscasters commonly have communications degrees. Psychology is all over the map. It can be vocational or academic. It can be oriented toward experimental science or tests-and-measurements. It usually requires some baseline of instruction in statistics. Teacher-training and social work programs are commonly rubbish, but you have to take them in order to work in those fields. About 20% of those getting social science degrees are studying economics. If you tally up non-quantitative social research, visual arts, the academic wing of communications, shizzy multidisciplinary and liberal arts degrees, and English literature, it sums to about 20% of all diplomas.

        1. I suppose in some cases it works out. Michelle Obama got a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in African-American Studies, and based on that, was admitted to Harvard Law School.

          1. Harvard would look for indicators of intelligence and diligence, then add a large mulligan for her race. The specific degree didn’t matter so long as she’d taken a pre-law menu.

            Didn’t matter. She quit practicing after three years and let her license lapse two years after that.

          2. If Obama had said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming…” Michelle Obama, would she have married him or impeached him for cause with extreme prejudice? How could Obama love something and swear to transform it? Res Ipsa Loquitur – The Thing Itself Speaks. Obama hates America and Obama is an enemy of America. Obama planned to “…fundamentally transform…” something he hated…America. That’s typically referred to as invasion and conquest by an enemy. Obama gave everything he could to Iran, China et al. as he diminished America as much as he could. Wake the —- up, America.

  3. “The dispatcher has resigned.”

    To clarify, from the CNN report:

    “Police spokesman Aric Mitchell said the 911 operator had submitted her two weeks’ notice on August 9. She happened to be working her last shift the morning of the tragedy [on August 24].”

  4. I would hope lecturing and mocking a woman in distress would violate some policy somewhere in the Fort Smith police department.

    What type of insane society needs a policy in place in order to remind us to act in a humane manner amongst ourselves especially when a person is in distress?

    All is well that Donna Reneau has resigned.

    Mayhap she will rediscover her lost humanity?

    1. She wasn’t ‘inhumane’. She had a certain asperity with the woman, possibly because that’s how she is by default and possibly as an effort to advise her that her problem was mundane in order to improve her equilibrium and judgment. It’s a reasonable wager she didn’t realize how dire the woman’s situation was. Looking at the video, you have to wonder if someone with more physical strength and / or coping skills might have survived – e.g. by kicking out the window and swimming for it. The rescue squad was in wading boots, so the water wasn’t that deep and the vehicle was only partially under water.

      1. “Asperity” notwithstanding, the dispatcher should have been inherently cognizant of and sensitive to the manifestations of victims, having deliberately pursued a career in 911 first response and she should have been well-trained to presume the worst case scenario. The dispatcher was condescending and cavalier – something more appropriate for a Hollywood movie star or a democrat presidential candidate.

  5. Advice to those whose cars get stuck in the flood. Open the door, step out, walk or swim to shore. If you cannot swim then wear a life vest when you drive. Jeso.

    1. Apparently this woman couldn’t swim.

      It’s one of those life skills… Learn how to swim, if at all possible.

  6. Reading what Debbie’s friends are saying about her is heartbreaking. She was a very sweet person, and had a sweet-sounding voice. She was a pre-school Sunday School teacher in a Baptist Church. They don’t understand, after the dispatcher heard that voice, how she could have been so cruel.

    1. I don’t think she was cruel. Feeding her own emotions into the situation would only have fed the panic. Have you ever listened to recordings of aviation emergencies? Pilots and those on the ground maintain such rigid self control that the tone of their voices scarcely betrays that there is a life threatening emergency in play. Panic is your enemy when in trouble. Anyone who adds to the rise in emotion is your enemy. I think the dispatcher was on the right side of this problem. I am less sure about the units on the scene.

      1. Young…..I understand, but you’re talking about the controlled tone of one’s voice. Thst was not the problem here……it was the words used by the dispatcher……the reprimand, the lecture, the sarcasm. Totally uncalled for and cruel by any normal definition.

        1. Making her angry would be better than making her panic. The movie gimmick of slapping someone who is hysterical is not entirely wrong. If you had ever been in a life threatening situation and felt actual panic, not just fear, coming on you would know what I mean. You can be angry or fearful and still function; panicked you can not. Most people never experience true panic. It is different.

          1. You can’t make that type of woman angry in that circumstance. Debbie thought she was an imposition, and apologized.
            Again, doing things like slapping a person in the face can only be done in person.
            It doesn’t work when you are substituteing mean words on a radio.
            This summer my husband and I found ourselves in what was becoming a life and death situation when his aortic aneurysm ruptured. I am usually very calm in emergencies….but I was so frightened and at the point of tears…The 911 dispatcher kept calm and kept telling me help was on the way. If she had started lecturing me, or telling me to calm down etc, I can tell you that would have caused me more distress!! People calling 911 do NOT need added distress, believe me.

            1. A TripleA emergency requires surgical intervention. Panicked or not there was not much you could do once you got help on the way. Debbie, on the other hand, was in a situation that might have allowed for escape if she had worked the problem rather than asking for prayers. How would you feel if a plane you were in hit heavy turbulence and you saw the pilot praying rather than trying to fly the plane? Prayer does not generate much lift. Panic loses opportunities for survival. Until help arrived only Debbie had access to the detail that could solve the problem. The dispatcher could do nothing more than she did. Sometimes, like it or not, you are on your own.

              1. So why didn’t the 911 woman ask her if she could get out of the car and onto the roof? Why didn’t she ask her if she could swim if need be? If she wasn’t willing to offer suggestions that might save a life, then she could have at least shown some compassion.

                1. A person on the phone is not likely to offer good suggestions for handling complex and changing dangers. The person on the scene is best informed and most likely to find a solution. New pilots are told not to sacrifice control for communication. You control the plane first then talk. I think this woman should have spent less time talking and more time thinking and acting.

                  1. Young – 911 operators in a flood zone receive calls for flooding vehicles. It is not a complex and changing disaster at the level of a non op plane, dead stick, or a broken aileron rod.

                    There are only a limited number of options if a car is flooding. The victim was in a panic, and told the 911 dispatch that she did not know what to do.

                    I do agree with you about the vital importance of calming panic, however I disagree that this was all the 911 operator was trying to do.

                    A severe asthma attack is terrifying. When you realize it’s bad, your heart can race, which accelerates respiration. This exacerbates the asthma attack, and can lead to full scale panic. You have to calm your heart rate and respiration, all while slowly smothering. Plus, asthma medications are bronchodilators, which speed your heart rate, so you’re also fighting the physiological effects of the larger dose of meds. That is one of the reasons why it is so important to learn how to quiet and calm the mind.

                    The absolute worst thing that can happen while you’re trying to stay calm is for the person who’s supposed to get your help to say things like, they’ll get there when they get there. I can’t do anything from this chair. It’s no big deal. Or, the stupidest thing in the world to say to an asthmatic, if you can talk you can breathe.

                    In order to remain calm, you have to have confidence that they understand this is a serious situation, are using appropriate speed to get to you, are professional, reassuring, and calm, and are useful.

                    I have asthma, and have had some serious attacks, but not been hospitalized. However, I’ve had friends who have been hospitalized with it, and known one who died of it. I understand the intense fear of a situation like that, and how each second feels like eternity.

              2. Young…..at the time of my 911 call, we did not know what was wrong, since I don’t have a CT machine in my kitchen.
                All i knew was that my husband was screaming, not yelling, but screaming in pain!. He had NEVER sounded like that.
                I thought he might die any minute…..which is how Debbie felt: that she might die.

                1. Debbie did die. She might not have if she spent less time talking about it and more time doing something about it. There are times the cavalry won’t come and we have to fight for ourselves.

                2. Cindy, your options were limited to calling for expert help. Debbie probably had better options than talking, talking, talking. Not long ago there was a story about a young man who encountered an aggressive bear and the first thing he did was call and yak about the mean bear. He should have skipped the phone and gotten out of there. The bear killed him. Talking on these stupid phones is not a substitute for sensible action.

                  1. Not sure. If I were a local official in Fort Smith, I think I’d want an outside evaluator to convene an inquiry into the performance of the search and rescue. The body cam video is quite puzzling to the layman. It looks like they’re all just standing around not doing much of anything.

                    I don’t imagine she had a hammer to break the window of the car to swim out, or that she had the strength to break it with her fist.

                    One thing I hate is the universality of power windows.

                    1. TIA – that’s what I wondered. If her car stalled, she couldn’t roll down the windows. If it was swift water, and there was still some air in the car, it’s supposed to be really hard to shove the door open.

                  2. Well gee, since not everyone who calls 911 in hopes of getting help so they won;t die is a Rhodes Scholar, or a calmly trained EMT person, or member of MENSA, you’re probably going to get frightened panicky foggy headed normal people like Debbie.
                    Is there a Survival Manual for Dummies you can recommend to future Debbies?

                    1. A Survival Manual for Dummies? Yes: Don’t expect a phone to save you.

                      Also, the advice above about having a tool for breaking the window is great.

                    2. “Also, the advice above about having a tool for breaking the window is great.”

                      The tool should incorporate a device to cut the seatbelt.

                    3. Allan says: August 31, 2019 at 8:06 PM
                      “Also, the advice above about having a tool for breaking the window is great.”

                      The tool should incorporate a device to cut the seatbelt.

                      Yes. I guess I posted the wrong video.

                      The tool that one wants does both, as Allan has noted.

                      Thanks, Allan.

                  3. Young……..You seem to be an incredibly cold-hearted person……..hopefully, it’s just for effect; if not that, then, wow. How sad.

                    1. He or she — “Young” — states the reality of the situation, IMO. It’s a cold cruel world…and people need to learn survival skills.

                    2. Cindy – very few people can get out of a bad situation like that. While it’s wonderful when they do, we should also care about and help the majority who can’t.

                      Sure, nature is cruel, and it can be survival of the fittest. But what if it was someone’s Mom in that car, and people said, oh well, she couldn’t break the window or shove open the door, so what did she expect? Compassion?

                      It’s funny that one of the Anonymous posters linked a video to the LifeHammer. I actually got a few of those for the trucks a while back.

                    3. I come from a mountain state. Our paperboy died of exposure overnight in the woods when he was separated from his party. He panicked and threw his coat away to run in whatever direction. He was found hunched over some twigs he was trying to light and about 100 yards from a campground with several families, warmth and food. Within a year of that another boy the same age spent three days in the high woods with very cold temperatures and no outdoor equipment. He came back alive because he kept his head. We took note because we went into the same woods. All the crying, weeping and praying will not save you. Keeping your head might. It is not cold hearted to remember what might save a life.

                    4. Young, along with other things my wife and I always carry at least one large garbage bag in a back pocket. If it rained it became a rain coat. if lost it could be part of a shelter. Sometimes when it would rain while we were sightseein we would find the right kind of structure or tree and use it as a table cloth while we ate our lunch.

                    5. Young said:

                      “All the crying, weeping and praying will not save you. Keeping your head might. It is not cold hearted to remember what might save a life.”

                      Right on the mark.

                      There’s an old saying — for those who believe in prayer:

                      “Pray as if everything depended on God; act as if everything depended on you.”

                3. Cindy – that sounds traumatic. It must have been such a helpless feeling. How is he doing now? Recovering well, I hope. Sending you a hug.

                  1. Karen…….oh thank you, dear Karen.
                    He is doing well, except yesterday we thought the incision had opened….so we rushed into Austin. The surgeon said, luckily, it was just a superficial infection.Not to worry.
                    And the emotional healing has been far slower than the physical.
                    As TIA XIII would say, it’s been an education!

        2. I agree, Cindy. It did not seem like she was trying to get her to buck up or remain calm. She acted put out. I agree about the sarcasm and lecturing.

          This was not a professional remaining calm under pressure. It was outright rudeness.

      2. I would add that her title, “Dispatcher”, well describes the limits of her responsibility and her ability to influence outcomes. Sending help and trying to maintain calm covers it. She isn’t expected to do psychotherapy or administer last rites.

  7. Perhaps the 911 dispatch is due for an audit.

    It also appears the dispatcher failed to ask some pertinent questions:
    1. Is water entering your vehicle?
    2. Is the water level rising?
    3. How high is the water level outside your car – underneath the car, mid door?

    If the dispatcher had ascertained that the water was flooding the car, she could have given some more helpful advice. You can’t push the car door open with swift water outside, but you could open the window and climb out to get on the roof. Unless the electrical system had broken.

    I have known ER nurses who said that compassion delivered in the wrong way can lead to panic. For instance, if someone comes in all bloody from a car accident, and a nurse winces, does the head tilt, and asks how he’s feeling, poor guy, that looks really bad. Then, the guy will start reassessing his injuries, thinking, yeah, this does look bad, and maybe he’s going to die, leading to panic. Instead, she would say something like, oh, I’ve seen way worse. You’re not going to die, not even close, and we’ve got you. Do you have kids? What grade are they in? In an emergency, compassion is telling someone they are safe, the staff understands the situation so there is no need to be anxious trying to get someone to listen, and the best professionals are working to fix it. Although the dispatcher assured her she wouldn’t die, she also didn’t get enough information, or take her seriously. It’s kind of like an asthma patient telling the triage nurse they can’t breathe, while being blown off.

    Very sad.

    1. Karen S – there is some science behind how to speak to trauma victims. During WWII, they found that as they were taking wounded airmen off of returning bombers, if they said things like, “That looks nasty!” or “Geez, that will never heal”, etc. the wound had a lower rate of recovery. However, if they said things like “Oh, it is just a scratch. A couple days in the hospital and you will be fine”, etc. the recovery rate was very high. So, they ran a study on it.

      1. Paul, deaths from trauma are frequently due to blood loss so one of the major things that counts is the time it takes to get to the operating room the ability or to to stop blood loss on site. Anxiety can raise the blood pressure and thus increase the rapidity of blood loss. As the blood pressure falls the blood loss reduces. This leads to two ways of treating. The wrong way was done with Princess Diana. They attempted to maintain her blood pressure so she bled out. The proper way would have likely saved her life. Get her in the ambulance and treat while travelling with a minimum of replacement necessary minimizing the loss of blood.

        1. Allan – I did not know that about Princess Diana. I thought there was no saving her since the accident was at such speed. If I recall correctly, they weren’t wearing seat belts. Plus they did not follow the royal protocol at all on security, drivers, entrances, etc. And the driver was under the influence.

          If you’re right and she did not receive proper medical care, then it really was a perfect storm of preventable disaster for her. That’s too bad. I always liked her.

          1. Karen, it’s not a matter of right and wrong rather the best procedure. Despite our Liberal friends claiming how bad our healthcare is they should take note of how we save lives. There was a study on trauma with bleeding and the best results correllated with how long it took to get to the hospital. If you think about it, it makes sense to think of time as the essential since whatever was causing the bleeding could not be stopped at the scene.

            Another well publicized death was that of Natasha Richardson from head trauma at a 5 star resort in Canada. My bet is she would have survived in the US at a 5 star resort because there were multiple failures in her care in Canada which on the whole provides good care. In the US a CT scan would have been performed immediately after the second call and likely if the hospital was far she would have been air lifted. One didn’t even need advanced medical knowledge to know it was an emergency when the second call was made. If no treatment could come soon enough one could have used an ordinary drill and alcohol to prevent death and give her time. That was actually done in a doctors office as an emergency in Australia to a toddler who would have been dead by the time he reached the hospital. Well known procedure and ancient, trepanation.

            1. I recall trepanning was featured in one of the Patrick O’Brian novels, which spanned the late 1700s to early 1800s. It made quite an impression on the other sailors.

              I’m sorry to hear that there might have been a way to save Natasha Richardson. Those missed chances must be very difficult for the family.

                1. Obviously, anonymous, you don’t know very much about what happened or about the situation being faced by Natasha Richardson and the medical care involved. All your statement demonstrated was ignorance.

                  Richardson was skiing and had head trauma. The ambulance came and she did refuse treatment like so many others do when they feel OK. She called a second time for an ambulance with symptoms. and a deteriorating condition. That means most likely she is in grave danger because that follows the pattern of head trauma with bleeding within the cranium. That is a life threatening emergency and should have been easily recognized by those in charge since she had head trauma earlier and showed no symptoms. She required immediate treatment and evaculation. That she refused treatment the first time is not a reason to let a person die.

                  She was transported on the ground over a period of hours during which time she gradually lost consiousness and died. Even without a CT scan one knows it is most likely a bleed and the pressure had to be alleviated immediately before death. One relieves the pressure by drilling a hole in the skull permitting the blood a way out.

                  This is an ancient procedure dating back to prehistory and is the oldest surgical procedure proven by archeologists.

                  Sometimes you should withhold your petty statements that lack any knowledge of the subject matter.

            2. Allan,
              I’m not a proponent of Medicare for All or any other similar universal government healthcare delivery system.
              But in the specific case of Ms. Richardson, it looks like she intially refused medical assistance due to the apparently minor head injury she received in her fall.
              She felt well enough to be unconcerned, which is understandable given that she felt fine, at first.
              When her situation clearly deteriorated a bit later….within about 2? hours, I did not see evidence of undue delays or other deficiencies in her treatment.
              It did take a while before the ambulance arrived and then transported her to the hospital, but there was some distance involved that reasonably accounts for that time lag.
              I think her situation deteroriated so rapidly that by the time she or her husband realized the seriousness of her injury and called for help, it was already too late to save her.

              1. Anonymous @ 3:02 pm: You need to get your facts straight, rather than just blathering on and on…

                1. I’m going by facts as presented in numerous articles subsequent to Richardson’s death.
                  If you have information contrary to the timeline, etc. that I presented, then I’d be interested in seeing that information.
                  If you claim that someone needs to “get the facts straight” without challenging what was presented, that’s a pretty weak and lazy comment.

                  1. To Anonymous at 9:34 PM:

                    Allan has it all figured out and has set you straight @ 9:35 PM. It would seem that he doesn’t agree with you either.

                    1. Didn’t realize that you were just latching onto Allan’s comment, which I just read.

                    2. “Allan has it all figured out… /sarc — just to be clear”

                      Anonymous, your “/sarc” doesn’t rid you of your stupidity. Had she received medical attention faster after the second call she would probably be alive.

              2. Anonymous, totally wrong. Refusal of medical treatment when one feels good is common and not necessarily wrong. The delays were substantial and had the delays not occurred she would have been treated before death and most likely survived.

                That you don’t see deficiencies in her care only means that you are ignorant about this type of situation. When the second call was made there was considerable time before she died and those answering the call knowing of the head trauma and the deteriorating condition should have recognized how dire her condition was.

                Your analysis is wrong.

                1. Allan,
                  A big part of the delay was caused by her reluctance to get treatment for what she thought was a minor bump to the head. If everyone who got bumped on the head from a fall ( or whatever) was rushed to an ER for full- bore diagnostic workups, you’d have lines a mile long.
                  Once other symptoms did set in and she and her husband knew this could be serious, there was also the distance factor involved in getting an ambulance to an apparently remote ski resort, then transporting her to the hospital. The CAT Scan done there revealed significant damage; I think she was brain dead by the time she was transferred to a New York hospital.
                  You mentioned the delays, but if someone feels fine and elects not to accept medical attention, it does not seem fair to blame the responders. Obviously there’s no “blame” on her part, either, as she felt OK initially and declined treatment.
                  They delays in transit time did not seem excessive under the circumstances and distances involved. So even in Monday Morning Quarterbacking, it’s not clear from your comments what, specifically, you think the medical personell did wrong.
                  These types of delays are probably more common in the case of heart attacks, where time is also crucial. A heart attack victim may brush off warning signs, if there are any, and delay calling an ambulance. That’s a natural and understandable reaction, and it ( the delay) doesn’t have anything to do with a slow or inadequate response by paramedics or ER Docs.

                  1. Anonymous, the delay due to her reluctance to get treatment is her fault, but there was time after the second call was made. It is the time from the second call until her death or brain death that needs to be looked at. The procedure to save her life takes virtually no time. Look at the timeline. Everything else mentioned is meaningless.

                    It’s difficult to reconstruct now but when I first read about it, it appeared the delays were too long. I’m not going to go back to the original articles to show you. When brain death occurred is uncertain. You can look the facts up and provide the timeline and then we can look at where the timeline could be shortened. Take note, had a helicopter been used she likely would be alive. Her problem in general was the same as the Princess Diana problem, time lost.

                    Your basic question is how long a time was spent getting her from the slopes to where they were going to treat her. The time it takes to drill a hole in the cranium is similar to what it takes to drill a hole in a piece of wood.

                    1. Allan,
                      I’ll correct one thing I said earlier. Her husband was not with her at the ski lodge; he was on location for a film. I don’t know if she was accompanied by friends or family on her trip.
                      There are cases where a nagging spouse prompts a heart attack victim to seek medical assistance rather than brushing off the symptoms. After she fell and was apparently uninjured, a friend or family member’s insistence that she get check out might have made a difference.
                      I remembered that there was a little of “what if” questions after her tragic accident and death, many of which got into the issue of U.S. vs. Canadian health care systems.
                      I did review some of those articles published after Richardson’s death. One skier familiar with the lodge described it as “quite remote”. She was initially taken to a small rural hospital in the town closest to the ski resort.
                      One Canadian MD said that she may have had quicker access to emergency medical intervention if this happened at a ski resort in America. He added that she probably would have had quicker access at another, less remote, Canadian ski resort.
                      We’re experiencing increasing closures of rural/ small town hospitals in America. Some of these didn’t have state of the art technology or quick access to specialists like neurosurgeons. Those types of facilities often act as very temporary layover stops when it’s determined that a patient’s needs exceed what they can provide.
                      Without a more precise timeline or specific details of the medical response to her injuries, it’s not possible to say if could have been saved by a faster response or different decisions at a certain point.
                      My understanding is that Richardson experience a torn artery in her cranium. Drilling burr holes in her skull might have sufficiently relieved pressure, but that pressure part of the problem might have required removal of a substantial portion of her skull.
                      Without repair to the artery, that “skull carpentry” probably would not have been suffient to save her.
                      I can see the same kinds of delays occuring at a comparable remote American ski , especially if medical assistance was initially declined. We probably have much larger Medivac helicopter fleets in the U.S. that might has sped up her transport. Even considering that, there’s a lot of sparsely populated areas where timely transport by helicopter would not be feasible.

                    2. Anonymous, stay on point. The only question is from the time of the second call was there an opportunity to save Richardson’s life? The real purpose behind the discussion is to see if one could modify the actions taken and improve care. Blaming the patient doesn’t help unless you believe that the medical providers on the scene after the first call didn’t make the medical implications clear.

                      Stop dealing with the issues that are unimportant and deal with the timeline which was long. First, recognize that air evacuation would have provided her with the best chance of survival. I don’t think Quebec had that capability for emergency situations, at least at that time. We use air evacuation quite frequently especially with auto accidents and that does occur in rural areas. You spend a lot of time talking about heart attack victims but that is not the issue here and is off point. The second call told the medical providers that a bleed in the head was most likely, that death was a strong possibility and that time was of the essence.

                      You say, “She was initially taken to a small rural hospital in the town closest to the ski resort.” Why? The question to be answered is were they able and willing to drill a burr hole? If they weren’t then that was time wasted and that time saved might have saved Richardson’s life. Assessing a patient with this condition is of no help. A CT is nice but not necessary if that removes the time for survival. The diagnosis was already almost certain. They could have called that hospital to have the appropriate team ready to treat her or bypassed it and had an appropriate team ready at the closest site not necessarily a trauma hospital so far away.

                      “My understanding is that Richardson experience a torn artery in her cranium.” She was bleeding. Once again you are focusing on verbiage rather than substance. Time was the vital item to her survival. Releasing the pressure provides more time. I don’t recall hearing reports that an artery of sufficient size was torn that “required removal of a substantial portion of her skull.”. Assuming one needed adequate facilities then the small rural hospital wasn’t adequate either and should have been bypassed. Think of what is killing her. It wasn’t blood loss and it wasn’t just blood within the cranium. It was brain herniation. Treatment: #1 remove pressure #2 everything else.

                    3. Allan, the discussion that we’ve had has centered on #1, the time that passed from Richardson’s fall to the time she was transported to the facilities. That is “on point”, and since you intiated to this discussion with your supposed expertise about proper protocol in these cases, I reviewed that timeline based on published reports.
                      The 2nd point, Dr. Allan, is proper treatment in a situation like this. You want to use it as an example of a failure of the Canadian health Care system. You talk about simply drilling holes in the skull and compare it to boring into a piece of wood.
                      The other point I made was that without more specific information of detailed medical information of her case, it is arrogant to make the kinds of assumptions that you make about what “could, shoulda” been done.
                      So both “on point” areas that I commented on involved the timeline and the appropriate treatment under the circumstances.
                      My feeling is that this particular type of outcome could unfold the same way within the U.S. health care system, and that the eagerness to evaluate the Canadian health care system based on limited knowledge of this one case is unfair.
                      You’ve made some pretty stong, definitive statements about this case, perhaps based on your years as a practising MD and armchair quaterback.

                    4. ” the delay due to her reluctance to get treatment is her fault, but there was time after the second call was made. It is the time from the second call until her death or brain death that needs to be looked at.”

                      Anonymous, you would have liked that to be the discussion but even from the earliest replies my focus has been on #2 because refusal of treatment is common and one can only look at #1 to see if Richardson was provided with enough information. Other than that you are twiddling your toes trying to resurrect your comments. Look at just one of the statements I made and one can see your direction is off point and wrong.

                      I previously wrote: “the delay due to her reluctance to get treatment is her fault, but there was time after the second call was made. It is the time from the second call until her death or brain death that needs to be looked at.”

                      Stop trying to be right and start trying to discuss the knowledge that is available.

                    5. “The 2nd point, Dr. Allan, is proper treatment in a situation like this. You want to use it as an example of a failure of the Canadian health Care system. You talk about simply drilling holes in the skull and compare it to boring into a piece of wood.”

                      No, anonymous. I was not blaming the Canadian system because that is a choice people make. What is generally done by leaders is to look at what went wrong and see if there was a way to improve a system failure. It need not be limited to health care. After doing that step one decides if the improvement is worthwhile. I don’t think you have experience in this area.

                      As far as drilling into a piece of wood, ancient civilizations did exactly this procedure though they used different tools. If you think the problem is too great to overcome then tell us what you think the problem is so it can be discussed.

                    6. “The other point I made was that without more specific information of detailed medical information of her case, it is arrogant to make the kinds of assumptions that you make about what “could, shoulda” been done.”

                      Anonymous, it would be arrogant if it wasn’t thought out and appropriate. You are arrogant in your method of trying to prove yourself right.

                    7. “this particular type of outcome could unfold the same way within the U.S. health care system”

                      Anonymous, of course the patient could die in the US, but as discussed over and over again, knowing the procedure most likely needed to save a life left TIME as the most important factor and I think time was wasted and that is where improvement can occur. As just said this type of thinking occurs in all areas of our life even in Kayaking that was recently discussed. Try and think more and stop worrying about being right or wrong.

                      I would also suggest you use a specific name so it is easier to separate your comments from all the other anonymous comments that were made. To you it is clear who is talking because you already know which comments are yours. To everyone else the comments become a jumble and that can impact the way you are addressed.

                    8. “Rural Americans at higher risk of death from five leading causes”

                      So? what does that have to do with Natasha Richardson’s death or trying to improve systems of care.

                      “Sh*t happens, people die. We do our best to make things better”

                      That is the objective of the excercise. In this case it had to do with a death that happened on Canadian soil. I guess your answer is “”Sh*t happens” so why bother to think. That is the problem with our educational system. The teachers are not teaching students how to think. Maybe they have the same problem because “”Sh*t happens” is a common excuse for the young.

                2. Read the article, Allan. If you don’t understand the relationship between the article and Natasha R’s death, then you might want to exit the “discussion.”
                  Here’s another article that may be of interest to some — though not Allan, one might guess.

                  “Did VIP syndrome contribute to Natasha Richardson’s death?”



                  1. Again anonymous you are not on point and are dealing with generalities. You voluntarily jumped in on the Richards case. Are there other cases where care could be improved? Of course and improvements can occur all the time but they will not occur with people like you that are unwilling and unable to analyze systemic failures.

                    1. Anonymous I am glad you are finally learning to laugh at your own ignorance. It is the first step in becoming a more inquisitive individual. If parents and teachers aren’t inquisitive how will children ever learn?

                    2. It’s good that you have blogs like this one to use as an outlet, Allan. It keeps you occupied and in a place where you can’t do any real damage.

                    3. The same thing is not true for you anonymous. You have damaged your ego which probably has been suffering for a long time. I’m still waiting for you to answer the question, since Richardson was obviosly not having a baby what do you think was occurring and what was the treatment that was most needed? You couldn’t answer it before and it is doubtful you have learned anything since but let’s wait and see.

                    4. Allan,
                      You initiated the discussion of the Natasha Richardson case. In a comment section with the opportunity to reply, you can expect that others might “jump in” to the discussion. Those odds often increase when you make the kind of stupid, rash statements you made in second guessing what could shoulda been done with the benefit of perfect 20/20 hindsight.
                      Also, when you quote yourself and put the quote in quotation marks, you might indicate that you’re repeating yourself, rather than trying to attribute one of your comments to someone else.

                    5. Quick-thinking doctor in Australia uses household drill to save boy’s life

                      “you can expect that others might “jump in””

                      No problem anonymous. Just stop bellyaching. Your comment about stupid rash statements apply to what you said. Everything I said was reasonably accurate and backed up by the literature. I think you ought to complain to Dr. Carson. Right now you are sounding like the fool that kept arguing many months ago even though he didn’t know what he was talking about. I think you now use the anonymous label because of those prior interactions with me and several other people.

                      This is the event I wrote about earlier. I suppose you think the doctor was stupid and rash. Take note how a phone can be used to help make appropriate decisions. It can also be used to save TIME and figure out where one can get the emergency treatment as quickly as possible. That type of management should be used by emergency personal.
                      Quick-thinking doctor in Australia uses household drill to save boy’s life

                      By Posted May 20, 2009

                      MELBOURNE, Australia — A doctor in rural Australia used a handyman’s power drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.

                      Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike on Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his father, Michael, said earlier today. By the time Rossi got to the hospital, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.

                      The doctor on duty, Rob Carson, quickly recognized the boy was experiencing potentially fatal bleeding on the brain and knew he had only minutes to make a hole in the boy’s skull to relieve the pressure. But the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills — so Carson sent for a household drill from the maintenance room.

                      “Dr. Carson came over to us and said, ‘I am going to have to drill into [Nicholas] to relieve the pressure on the brain — we’ve got one shot at this and one shot only,’ ” Michael Rossi told The Australian newspaper.

                      Carson called a neurosurgeon in the state capital of Melbourne for help, who talked Carson through the procedure — which he had never before attempted — by telling him where to aim the drill and how deep to go.

                      “All of a sudden the emergency ward was turned into an operating theater,” Michael Rossi told Fairfax Radio today. “We didn’t see anything, but we heard the noises, heard the drill. It was just one of those surreal experiences.”

                      The procedure took just over a minute, said anesthetist Dr. David Tynan, who assisted Carson.

                      “It was pretty scary. You obviously worry, [are] you pushing hard enough or pushing too hard, but then when some blood came out after we’d gone through the skull, we realized we’d made the right decision,” Tynan told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

                      Rossi was airlifted to a larger hospital in Melbourne and released Tuesday — his 13th birthday.

                      Carson was modest about his feat.

                      “It is not a personal achievement, it is just a part of the job and I had a very good team of people helping me,” he told The Australian.

                      Michael Rossi was more effusive.

                      “He saved our son’s life,” he said.

                      Carson did not immediately respond to messages left today by the Associated Press. The hospital said he was busy delivering a baby.


            3. Allan,
              You kicked off this exchange with your comment about ”’multople failures in her care in Canada”, as if Dr. Allan would have immediately “known” how her case should have been handled.
              I pointed out some of the logistical difficulties involved in that remote Canadian area. That was a”time factor” involved that was worth mentioning. I also pointed out what the Canadian doctor said about the likelihood that Richardson would have likely been transported faster to a major medical facility in the U.S., while he also noted that in that she would have been transported faster had this occurred in some other parts of Canada.
              You pretend to know that immediately drilling some holes in her skull would have been appropriate, when in fact you display ignorance about the nature of her injuries.
              You’ve basically skipped over anything that I pointed out, claiming that it was not “on point”. In doing so, you demonstrated that you are not interested in a rational discussion. You are simply wasting my time.

              1. “You kicked off this exchange with your comment about ”’multople failures in her care in Canada””

                Anonymous, there were multiple failures despite what you wish to believe. With ignorance you responded when you didn’t have to. You even opined and drew conclusions as to the care provided yet you didn’t demonstrate any expertise in the subject matter nor were you trying to gain any.

                You continued to talk in generalities rather than look and see if the system could be improved. System improvements can be utilized by many different systems of healthcare. Perhaps this event should have been directed differently perhaps by better trained people in a central medical center available by phone. Maybe that center should have found a quicker way to provide the needed care.

                You say: “You pretend to know that immediately drilling some holes in her skull would have been appropriate, when in fact you display ignorance about the nature of her injuries.”

                That is a strange comment. What else do you think was happening? Do you think she was having a baby? The woman was dying of a problem recognized and treated by ancient civilizations and well known to those that deal with these things. The course of her injury leading to death was not something that was difficult to recognize and is recognized all the time by many different types of people especially those more worldly and educated.

                “You’ve basically skipped over anything that I pointed out”

                Actually I didn’t. I even stated where #1 could be pertinent but you just like to repeat yourself without keeping your eye on the ball. Your pride has caused you to waste your own time because you started off ignorant and ended up just as ignorant without even trying to analyze what could have gone wrong.

                1. You are to be congratulated for ruling out the possibility that she was “having a baby”, Allan. It was clear that she suffered a head injury. Not everyone has your supreme ability to immediately diagnose the nature of the head injury; drilling holes in someone’s skull for what might be a concussion might not best the best course of action.l
                  Lacking your ability to immediately and instinctively know the exact diagnosis, they had to perform a CAT Scan to get a better idea of what they we’re dealing with.

                  1. You do realize anonymous that this procedure was done before CT’s were ever envisioned. Indeed you do sound like that ignorant fellow of many months ago who, when delivered by his mother, probably was dropped on his head.

                    Take note that in real life outside of your fancies others have done what I was suggesting (see prior note where Dr. Carson in Australia saved a child’s life). You made mention that you were a teacher and that explains why the young are so poorly educated. This is not a criticism of all teachers, just some. I thank many in the teaching profession for helping to advance my education by teaching me how to think.

                    1. Allan, you sound like a blowhard who pretends that he’s an expert in all areas. You do not know enough about the case of Natasha Richardson to act as though you know that there were “multiple failures” on the part of those treating her.
                      It appears that you have a lot to say about everything under the sun, spewing a very high number of comments here. So now you are faulting the MDs in Richardson’s case for not immediately drilling holes in her skull. You have shown damn little actual knowledge of the exact nature of her injury, and I tried to explain to you that there is no one size fits all proper treatment course for severe head trauma.
                      There are cases were there are indeed the “multiple failures” you blab about in the Richardson case. But think if one is to make a statement like that, they should have a good knowledge of the details of the case. Outside of claiming that Dr. Allan would have known what to do, you haven’t demonstrated even a basic understanding of the actual diagnosis, the timeline, or the distances involved in transporting her.
                      That why you are in the blowhard category.

                    2. ” So now you are faulting the MDs in Richardson’s case ”

                      Wrong again anonymous. I am not faulting any person in particular. My commented was that there were system failures but you are not smart enough to stay on track or even remember the prior comments.

                      I provided you with a copy of an article from the AP to demonstrate how intelligent minds think. One would think you would be at least intelligent enough to recognize how foolish you sound. Instead you provide generality after generality when specifics are available.

                      The woman died. Time was of the essence. One has to think how the time span could be lengthened so that she could get adequate treatment before she died. Your answer earlier was that CT scans are needed but the necessary procedure was performed thousands of years before CT scans were invented. You want the “the exact nature of her injury”. I hate to inform you but it is seldom that the exact nature is known but you are too ignorant to understand that.

                      ” no one size fits all proper treatment course for severe head trauma.”

                      Why don’t you list all the other alternatives that exist based on what was known at the time. You won’t because you can’t. The preponderance of evidence is that the pressure in the cranium needed to be released or she would die. Most people by now would recognize it. Not you because you live in a fantasy world where you have a brain and are able to think.

                      In the article I provided there was too long a distance to get the child appropriate treatment so the procedure was performed on the spot. I wonder if Richardson should have been taken to a place that could not do the procedure. I wonder if she went directly to the trauma center if she may have survived. I wonder if there were spots along the way that had the treatment facilities but were closer. I wonder about their air lift system if any. If any of that were true then there was a systemic failure. That doesn’t mean the system should be definitely changed because there are many other considerations but unless one looks into the system one never knows how to improve it.

                      That is what teachers need to teach. Unfortunately that seems to be above your level.

        1. The tThe reason that I was at first interested in a discussion with you, Allan, is your statement that there were “multiple failures” in Canada in handling the Natasha Richardson case. I thought that you might actually have some knowledge about the actual timeline, the condition she was in as she was intially transported by ambulance to the nearby hospital, her condition at arrival, and the remaining events prior to her actual death.
          I read a fair amount of articles subsequent to the Richardson accident, and I thought from your strong statement about “multiple failures in Canada” was something you could expand on.
          The problem developed you you demonstrated little or no knowledge of the things I mentioned above, and immediately starting just “blowing smoke” to cover up the fact that you could not back up your accusation about the “multiple failures” that you claim occured.
          I’m not going to get on anyone’s case, including yours, just because of the fact that they are ignorant about a certain issue or event.
          But when someone as ignorant as you seem to be act as if they are experts qualified to make the kind of accusation that you made, that’s a different matter.
          I haven’t read enough of your other voluminous comments to know for sure if that is a consistent trait you demonstrate here, but if blowing smoke in the absence of knowledge is your normal style, I can see why you spend an enormous amount of time on this blog pretending to be knowledgeable.
          Good luck with that, Dr. Blowhard.

          1. “The reason that I was at first interested in a discussion with you, Allan, ”

            Anonymous, you are making excuses. You say you have read a lot but one of my first statements was that you should create a timeline. Dispite all the articles you read you never could do so. I have provided you with alternative ways that this problem may have been managed but you don’t bother spending your own time on figuring out how to extend the TIME to prevent Natasha’s death. You are too busy proving yourself ignorant and making excuses.

            I even provided you an article “Quick-thinking doctor in Australia uses household drill to save boy’s life” to show you that it is likely there were better alternatives avilable. You are only trying to prove yourself correct when you have been wrong on almost every point. My statements are validated by that article along with a lot of other material that is available to all.

            Why don’t you simply stop replying and change your name like you have done before when you persisted in proving your stupidity.

            1. I did provide a general timeline, Allan.
              I could give a a very specific timeline right now, but given that you demonstrated that you have no knowledge of that timeline, that you are too lazy to learn the timeline and provide it, and that it would make no difference to Dr. Allan Blowhard, I won’t go to the trouble.
              You cite BC medicine and an extremely unusual case in Australua to back up your claim about the “multiple failures” of Richardson’s care in Canada.
              I was interested in learning additional details about her case, and there is reasonable expectation that the one making that accusation actually has some knowledge about her case.
              You’ve clearly demonstrated that you were just shooting off your mouth with that claim, which esrms you the Dr. Blowhard title.
              I’ll consider not replying, out of consideration of the fact that you probably have thousands more words to post here before the day is out.
              I sure would not want to take up your valuable time interrupting your hobby here of spouting off.

              1. “I did provide a general timeline, Allan.”

                Anonymous you did not provide a timeline. You are a fraud. You also didn’t explain why they wasted time at the first hospital when that hospital didn’t have the facilities to treat the patient. You sound just like another jerk that was on the blog many months or a year ago. He finally embarrassed himself so much that he left, changed his name, and then changed his name again and today is known as anonymous. What a putz.

                You apparently have never heard of the word trephanation before or seen pictures of that ancient procedure. Somehow people that couldn’t read or write got the picture and you can’t seem to get it. Apparently Dr. Carson got it and saved a life of a child. But that doesn’t fit your desired scenario so you dismiss it as you dismiss dismiss helicopter transfer, using the telephone so that a useless stop isn’t made, getting a closer center so the pressure could be released giving the patient time. These system failures increased the time it took to treat Richardson and by the time they were able to treat her she was brain dead. You sound brain dead as well.

                  1. https://wikem.org/wiki/Burr_hole
                    I’m not especially interested in reviving or continuing this exchange about the Natasha Richardson case, but I think there have been some misconceptions and very inaccurate comments made here by one individual in particular.
                    (BTW, I did not write the comment above)
                    The link provided is recent, from May 2019. It ( and other) publications point out that one of the contraindications of performing emergency burr hole surgery is “lack of imaging”. That is, that you rely on the results of a CAT Scan and/ or MRI before proceeding.
                    While it’s true that burr holes were performed in ancient times to release evil spirits, and that burr hole surgeries were done before more advanced imagining like CAT Scans were around ( snce the early 1970s), proper modern procedure is to confirm a diagnosis through imaging before proceeding.
                    That is not “wasting time”.
                    Another key point in the linked article is that while an ER MD or other non- specialist, other than a neurosurgeon, have performed emergency burr hole surgery, this is very uncommon. An extremely unusual case of an exeception in the Australian Outback should not be viewed as standard or acceptable medical practice.
                    If there is some specific legimate support for an earlier claim here that there were multiple failures in the medical treatment of Natasha Richardson, those claims are not supported by some of the wild speculation that has been presented here.
                    InitiallyI taking Ms. Richardson to the nearest hospital for diagoses and treatment seemed reasonable and in line with accepted medical practice, rather than one of the alleged “failures” in the response to her injury. It’s true that Quebec, at least at the time, was the only Canadian Province with little or no Medevac- type airlift service. The province is about twice the size of Texas, so I don’t know if that made Quebec more likely to concentrate on medical resources where most of its population resides, near the southern border with America.
                    In the specific case of Natasha Richardson, the ambulance averaged about 85 MPH when transferring her from the small town of Mont Tremblant to Montreal, completing the trip in less than a one hour. A medical transfer by helicopter with a cruising speed of about 120 would have saved a bit of time, but the ground transfer seemed to be completed in a very reasonable time frame.

                    1. Anonymous, earlier you indicated you were a teacher. I hope you are not because that would not be to the betterment of any student. First you need to read and then learn to research and check your work over.

                      I don’t remember the exact amount of time it took once Natasha became a priority one but it was slightly less than 4 hours and more than 3.5 hours. That is a lot of time to take for an advanced nation to provide emergency life saving treatment. The ski resort was a 5 star resort and trauma is expected on the slopes.

                      Your summary like everything else you write is inaccurate and wrong.

                      For example you say:

                      “While it’s true that burr holes were performed in ancient times to release evil spirits”

                      I’ll quote from Wikipedia since looking things up at Wikipedia is the extent of your knowledge: “Evidence also suggests that trepanation was primitive emergency surgery after head wounds”.

                      It is true that making the proper diagnosis with CT is a good idea, but if the person is going to die in the next few minutes one takes the person directly to the operating room relying on the clinical evidence and in Natasha’s case there was loads of clinical evidence. When listening to your ignorant response one wonders what doctors did before CT scans were invented. They operated without CT scans.

                      If Cindy’s husband came in and there wasn’t time for a CT Scan to confirm the diagnosis of a rupturing aneurism they would have opened her husband up and tried to save his life despite the lack of a CT scan.

                      You worry about not conforming to the best of medical care and using the CT to prove the diagnosis and location but when time is of the essence one has to act before the patient is dead or or in this case brain dead. You stupidly hold onto your beliefs because being right is more important to you than learning something.

                      You say: “those claims are not supported by some of the wild speculation that has been presented here.”

                      Almost 4 hours of time passed before Natasha could be treated. Do you think most of Canada is 4 hours away from emergency life saving care? Why did they waste time at a hospital that could only let the patient die? Why didn’t they call to find the closest neurosurgeon or surgeon available to do what everyone should recognize was the necessary treatment? All that involves is planning and a telephone.

                      ” but the ground transfer seemed to be completed in a very reasonable time frame.”

                      The problem is that too much time was spent getting the patient to the wrong hospital which then had to transfer the patient to another hospital. Canada has relatively good medical care, do you believe that the closest available treatment was at the hospital she eventually went to but was already brain dead? I doubt that was the only facility but if it was shouldn’t she have been taken there immediately without any stops in between? The idea is to get adequate treatment and not to complete a checklist created by those like you that can’t think for themselves.

                      Finally you say: “her from the small town of Mont Tremblant to Montreal, completing the trip in less than a one hour.”

                      All I can ask is for the timeline you could never provide. What happened to the other 3 hours of time?

                  2. Anonymous, you are an idiot and have the mental capacity of a third grader. You can only use insults. Since you couldn’t provide a time line I will fill you in on the most basic time line. The call was listed as a priority 1 (highest priority) and it took them almost 4 hours to deliver the patient to a place the patient could be treated (I don’t remember the exact timing). Is that reasonable? I don’t think so. Do you think it takes almost 4 hours to get people to a hospital with adequate facilities in Canada. I don’t think so but apparently you think that is par for the course in Canada.

                    1. Allan – 4 hours would not be unusual in Canada, depending where the patient was picked up. Check out Crowder’s examination of the Canadian Health System.

                    2. Thank you Paul. If Canada is indeed as slow as you are indicating then that is a sign of something very wrong. However, it might be the time span for the average of all cases not Priority 1 cases where death or severe disability is involved. That is one of the reasons we have developed air evac systems and have people on the phones that give advice in the field. That is why ambulences may be diverted from one hospital to another.

                      It is hard for me to actually believe the amount of stupidity I am hearing from the anonymous sector of the blog. Now we know why they keep even a phony name secret and why they no longer wish to be associated with earlier names where they demonstrated the same stupidity.

                    3. “Dr. Langer added that if a patient undergoes surgery — ideally within an hour of the injury — to relieve the pressure, remove the clot and stop the bleeding, the patient can recover.”

                      — Dr. David J. Langer, the director of cerebrovascular neurosurgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center and Long Island College Hospital

                      (NR sustained her head injury shortly before 12:45 and the ambulance that finally transported her to Ste.-Agathe didn’t leave Mont Tremblant until ~3:45 — a full 3 hours after her fall.

                      *** As we know, she refused to be treated, initially, delaying any medical intervention by 3 hours. ***

                      At what point did brain death begin? We don’t know. (We know that brain-death had occurred by 7 pm when she finally reached Montreal, but she had already lost 3 hours by refusing care after falling at around 12:45 pm.)

                      Would Allan have whipped out a drill at Mont Tremblant?

                      Is Allan interested in morbidity — or just mortality?

                      Would it be okay with Allan if NR had survived, but with a certain amount of brain damage?)

                      Allan’s great at pointing fingers at others. And we know for certain that Allan is one of those guys with all the answers — even when they’re ill-considered or just plain wrong.

                    4. “*** As we know, she refused to be treated, initially, delaying any medical intervention by 3 hours. ***”

                      The patient is not a medical professional. The patient refused initial treatment which turns out to be her error. Medical professionals don’t blame the patient but try to carry on from that point and do the best they can. The best they could do wsa to get her treated as fast as possible. That was not done. Because you are frustrated by the facts and your inability to undertand them you now seem to want to blame the patient for your failures.

                    5. It seems the Canadian government recognized a problem and is trying to correct it. That problem was a system failure something the government of Canada recognizes yet you don’t.

                      “But given the initial three hour delay — due to Ms. Richardson’s initial refusal of care — it’s unclear whether Natasha Richardson would have reached Montreal before some brain death occurred.”

                      You may feel God like and wish to make the decision that her life was already over when the ambulance came the second time but I don’t think most are that arrogant.

            2. Dr Gary Benfield:

              “If Natasha Richardson had received prompt medical attention, resulting in an accurate diagnosis of her condition and prompt drainage of the clot, might the outcome have been different? Obviously, we’ll never know. Just remember, it’s possible that even if everything had gone perfectly, including immediate diagnosis and treatment, she might have survived, been left severely brain damaged, and occupied a bed in a nursing home for the rest of her life, unable to walk, talk or feed herself, a mere shadow of the vibrant and talented human being that she once was.”

              And she did not want to live in a vegetative state, according to her husband.

              1. .” It sounds like everything was managed appropriately and this was one of these rare catastrophic events” – Dr. Keith Black, head of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles.

                To “the other anonymous”,
                There was a good deal of coverage in the aftermath of about Natasha Richardson and how her case was handled.
                I reviewed some of it to refresh my memory. For the most part, experts in the field of neurosurgery refrained from the rampant speculation and second guessing that appeared in some of the fringe publications.
                Obviously, if you have a life threatening medical emergency, you’re better off having the heart attack or the stroke or the hematoma or whatever across the street from a major urban hospital with a trauma center staffed with specialists.
                The town nearest to the ski resort where Ms. Richardson was first taken had a population of about 10,000.
                It had a small rural hospital, probably similar to some of the remote rural hospitals one might see in the U.S.
                I doubt that it’s common procedure at these types of facilities to perform cranial burr hole procedures.
                I’m not saying that it could not be attempted or has not been attempted, but liability concerns, on top of all of the other limitations, would likely prevent a non- specialist from doing that procedure.
                If there were “multiple failures” in the medical response to Richardson’s injury, I have yet to see them.
                If Canadian patient privacy protection laws are similar to America’s, detailed medical records from the Canadian institutions involved probably could not be released without her family’s consent.
                Based on the information that is available to the public, I don’t see evidence of “multiple failures” alleged by those with 20/20 hindsight.

                1. “Based on the information that is available to the public, I don’t see evidence of “multiple failures” alleged by those with 20/20 hindsight.”

                  Nor do I. And as you (or someone else) may have already indicated, without access to her medical records, there are unanswered questions about medical history, medications she might have been taking (including anticoagulants), any conversations with NR’s husband that might have influenced decisions that were made, GSC scores (one was “12”), etc.

                  Burr hole surgery is great when it works — and it does work well, in many cases. Having said this, it’s obviously not a risk-free procedure — especially when done by someone who is inexperienced. And I agree that it would have been a bad idea to have done one without a CT scan, in her case.

                  She might have had a good shot if they had rushed her to Montreal immediately after the fall. As someone noted (you?), they made the trip to Montreal in approx. an hour, though I realize that this was from the first hospital rather than the resort. While en route, they could have assembled a team in Montreal. In addition to the trauma center, there’s a neuro center.

                  Anyway, I’m done with this. The name-calling and insults are defensive and immature.

                  Thanks for all the good input.

                  1. Gosh, it seems all the uneducated anonymous are coming out of the woodwork. Explain what happened to the other 3 hours of delay not mentioned by a similarly uneducated anonymous. You seem brain dead so should we take the advice of anonymous and have you die? Maybe you aren’t brain dead enough. Does that count?

                    If she were on anticoagulants then everything I said would be even more urgent. The scores certainly should have influenced the way they handled the emergency since the numbers were going down not up.

                    “She might have had a good shot if they had rushed her to Montreal immediately”

                    The sooner the better but this is what I have said all along whether she was rushed to the treatng hospital immediately or the second time the ambulance appeared. She wasn’t and that is a system failure.

                    Once at the hospital where she would be treated the decision of what was needed would be made by the physician in charge. If there was enough time he would order a CT or operate immediately. Instead there was a system failure. She arrived at a hospital where she could not be provided definitive life saving treatment, she was signed in, “stabilized” and finally signed out and sent to the next hospital where all of that took time that wasn’t available.

                    “And I agree that it would have been a bad idea to have done one without a CT scan, in her case.”

                    This is one of the stupider comments being made. What this comment actually says is that you would let her die if there wasn’t time for the CT scan.

              2. “And she did not want to live in a vegetative state, according to her husband.”

                The longer the delay of treatment the more ikely she would live in a vegetative state or die. That is why time was of the essence and everything should have been geared to the timeline.

                  1. What was said by me was known long before the incident. But thank you for recognizing that what I am saying is right. The benefit of hindsight hasn’t changed the facts.

                  1. You think that because you are a stupid person and don’t know anything about the subject matter. All I have done is repeat known facts.

                    1. It seems there is nothing more for me to say than I did the first time.

                      You think that because you are a stupid person and don’t know anything about the subject matter. All I have done is repeat known facts.

                    2. Somewhere along the line, Dr. Allan said “I wonder if” this or that had been done differently that Natasha Richardson would have survived.
                      It was closer to the end of his string of about 20? comments he’s made about the Richardson case. If he had said “I wonder if” to start with, we would not have had this contentious argument.
                      Instead, Dr. Allan’s first comment on the topic, which was the first mention of the Richardson case, was a confident judgement that there were multiple failures in how her case was handled. A statement that, despite his claim, goes well beyond “repeating known facts”.
                      It’s one thing to “wonder” about different “what ifs”. But kicking off this exchange by flatly stating that there were “multiple failures” in how her case was handled is a different matter.

                    3. Anonymous you will not be able to resurrect yourself. Your modest but limited verbal skills will not make up for your lack of critical thinking skills.

                      You are reaching below the bottom of the barrel. The latest thing you cling onto is to blame the multiple postings on another. These postings would never have existed but for the fact you responded in a very arrogant and unintelligent fashion where your facts and conclusions were wrong. (I strongly believe you embarrassed yourself before, around a year ago, under a different name only to return as anonymous so you could blend in with the other anonymous posters hoping to avoid further embarrassment.)

                      In discussion I brought up examples of systemic failure in two prominent people. You prolonged that short subtopic which had already ended trying to show how smart you were by talking about things you knew little about.

                      Your main complaint now is the wording used saying: if he had said “I wonder if” to start with, we would not have had this contentious argument. Instead of stating “I wonder if” I said “my bet is”. You are an arrogant individual whose knowledge is tiny and linked to even worse critical thinking skills.

                      My initial statement I believe to be correct and you have done nothing to show the statement wasn’t correct. Show us how the other 3 hours were spent and why they should have been spent in that fashion. It’s all in the timing.

                    4. “Did the Canadian healthcare system fail Natasha Richardson?”


                      Three more opinions:


                      Allan reads something like the Michelle Malkin opinion piece. He then jumps on the bandwagon and runs around half-cocked trying to prove his point and insulting anyone who disagrees with him. (And part of his agenda is to discredit the Canadian healthcare system.)

                    5. My friend, despite your challenged critical thinking skills you provided an interesting article by Michelle Malkin. What pertaining to the system failure did she say that you think is wrong?

                      What happened in the other 3 hours that were necessities and critical to Natasha’s life? You still haven’t answered the basic question.

                      Malkin does provide a major difference in how the two nations, Canada and the US, provide medical care but that wasn’t the subject of our debate.

                    6. As I noted earlier, Allan is an embarrassment — to himself and others.

                      (And by the by, Allan. If Richardson had a GCS of 12 prior to arriving at the first hospital, she may have already had a moderate brain injury and, therefore, some brain-death had likely already occurred. If surgery had been done at the first hospital, it’s unlikely that she would have survived without some residual symptoms, i.e., she would likely not have been the same person that she was when the accident occurred — something that she apparently didn’t want.)

                      I pity Allan’s doctors.

                    7. ” If Richardson had a GCS of 12 prior to arriving at the first hospital, she may have already had a moderate brain injury and, therefore, some brain-death had likely already occurred.”

                      Anonymous, you demonstrate more and more stupidity every time you open your mouth. That she had a 12 and it was falling meant she didn’t have time and that again points to a system failure.

                      Later you add the kicker. You believe that without knowing what damage occurred those in charge should utilize benign neglect so that she would die rather than have a chance at life where she may or may not have some brain damage.

                      Along with being stupid you want to kill a significant number of people. If you had power to do the things you suggest you would be placed in jail or in some states executed. At various times there have been medical professionals whose brains were warped like yours leading the death of many people. You are no different than those killers. You just don’t have the power.

                  2. To the other anonymous,
                    Not quite perfectly. Dr. Allan is a Category 5 Blowhard. Despite presenting the comments of prominent neurosurgeons and others, Dr. Allan clings to the delusion that he is the expert.
                    The Beverly Hillbillies’ Dr.Granny was also touchy when her “expertise” was challenged.

                    1. I can’t help it if you can’t read anonymous. None of the opinions of neurosurgeons that was posted on this blog took issue with the things I said. In fact they agreed with what I said. Take note how you can’t quote what I said that was wrong or what the neurosurgeon said that would make me wrong. That is something you are too ignorant to do. The only thing left in your arsenal is to lie.

                    2. “It sounds like everything was managed appropriately and this was one of these rare catastrophic events. Even for patients that do have delayed bleeds, most of them tend to do very well, particularly younger patients. They normally don’t deteriorate that fast, and one has time to stabilize the situation, control the swelling and operate to relieve the blood clot if necessary”. – Dr. Keith Black, Chairman of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles
                      I’ll post this AGAIN for you, Dr. Allan Blowhard. Since it did not register with you the first time, I don’t expect you to get it the second time around.
                      Contrary to your claim that there were multiple failures in the medical care of Natasha Richardson, the procedures followed were considered appropriate.
                      Now that the NFL season is underway, I look forward to your Monday Morning Quarterbacking after each game. That seems you be your speciality, Dr. Blowhard.

                    3. What is the everything Black is talking about. That is not clear. What happened to 3 of the 4 hours which were crucial to her survival?

                      “They normally don’t deteriorate that fast, and one has time to stabilize the situation, control the swelling and operate to relieve the blood clot if necessary”.”

                      Take note one has to operate to reieve the blood clot which was not done and the patient died. They took a patient with a deteriorating mental status to a hospital that could not offer definitive treatment which was necessary to save the patient’s life.

                      This statement is taken without context and without the doctor analyzing the 4 hour period of time. For all we know he didn’t recognize that a lot of time was wasted. That statement is valueless without his comments that show it was appropriate to delay definitive treatment permitting the patient to die.

                      Justify the 3 hours before taking Natasha to a place where life saving treatment could be provided. So far you can’t but you latch onto a statement that is near meaningless and without context. That doesn’t demonstrate your critical thinking skills.

                    4. Anonymous, as I thought, the quote was taken out of context. The question was “Did the fact that she delayed treatment for an hour put her at further risk?” and had nothing to do with the almost 4 hours before treatment after the second call even though it was recognized as a priority 1. He wasn’t talking about the care provided only what happened when the ambulance came the first time.

                      This is typical of you and puts you into the class of liars.

                    5. To Anonymous @ 1:30 PM:

                      I pity Allan’s doctors and any other healthcare professionals with whom he interacts, especially as a patient.

                    6. “I pity Allan’s doctors”

                      Yes, pity my doctors if they provide negligent care and commit significant malpractice. In your case the malpractice committed was your education that left you without the ability to think.

                    7. Let’s not get him going on Princess Diana. (There’s a comment upstream, I think.) If he’d been handling things, she’d be alive today. He knows best.

                    8. “Let’s not get him going on Princess Diana.”

                      You have a problem anonymous. You lied and intentionally took a quote out of context to prove a point. That quote had nothing to do with the discussion of whether or not the care of Richardson was appropriate. You should be hanging your head in shame but apparently lying is your modus opperandi.

                      The Princess Diana care has been discussed by the experts and the medical literature agrees with all my points. Would you like to find another out of context quote so you can lie again?

                    9. “What happened to the 3 or 4 hours that we’re crucial to her survival?”
                      You should have a better on sight into that than I would, Dr. Blowhard. It appears that you have consulted with your colleagues at the nearby hospital where she was first taken, reviewed her medical records, the CAR Scan results, the lab tests, the attempts to stabilize her, etc.
                      You sure don’t seem like the kind of person who would keep running his mouth about the “multiple failures” in her care without some specific knowledge of the case.
                      Nor would you you be enough of a moron to claim that the Dr. Allan procedure in her case was superior to the established procedures that they followed.
                      On second thought, you are that big of a moron. I hadn’t planned on dwelling on that fact, but your fondness for calling others “ignorant”, “stupid”, and “liars” resulted in a change of plans.
                      I’ll let you get back to your patients, Dr. Blowhard, if any of them are still alive.

                    10. “You should have a better on sight into that than I would”

                      In other words anonymous, you have no idea of the time line or what actually happened. Instead you find quotes from prominent surgeons and use them as proof even though those quotes had nothing to do with the discussion and only proved you to be a liar. But we already learned that about a year ago when you did the same under a different alias. You think you are smarter now because your post is hidden among a lot of anonymous’. You are no smarter than you were before and you are no less a liar.

                      My entire focus has been on systemic failure. Those 3 hours are crucial to improving systems. You are so stupid that you would have an ambulance taking a person with a heart attack to a birthing center wasting time and then transferring that heart attack to a center that could treat the patient. That would be a system failure but if the patient died on route because of the additional transfer time you would think that normal.

                    11. As I noted earlier, Allan is an embarrassment — to himself and others.

                      (And by the by, Allan. If Richardson had a GCS of 12 prior to arriving at the first hospital, she may have already had a moderate brain injury and, therefore, some brain-death had likely already occurred. If surgery had been done at the first hospital, it’s unlikely that she would have survived without some residual symptoms, i.e., she would likely not have been the same person that she was when the accident occurred — something that she apparently didn’t want.)

                      I pity Allan’s doctors. In fact, I pity anyone in Allan’s sphere.

                    12. Dummy, you repeated yourself. You can see my reply above. I wonder if you are a Dr. Barton deciple who appointed himself to decide who warranted euthanasia. That is what your comments seem to say.

                      “Hospital Killed More Than 450 Patients in Massive Euthanasia Campaign By “Shortening Their Lives””

    2. Karen….yes, you’re correct. Very good points.
      But the dynamic is totally different in a situation where the person directing the orders is not actually with the victim in person..
      Facial expressions, hugs, etc are not there.
      Also, this took place in the South. I don’t know where the Kevorkian dispatcher is from originally, but Debbie apparently was a cradle Arkansan.
      She was a true “church lady”……..with her honey sweet voice (according to friends) she.taught little children in Sunday Svhool, was always sweet, always apologetic, as church ladies always are.
      Tough love in the South is not for a Baptist, Southern lady who teaches little children….tough love is for wayward teens and felons.
      Debbie’s cruel and tragic end is about the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

        1. Karen,
          I know I won’t be able to listen. I grew up in the 1950’s with women like that in the Baptist Church.
          They were my Sunday School teachers, my Girls Auxiliary leaders, my church camp counselors, my chaperones.
          Such sweet ladies…….but most had little knowledge about mechanical things. And many, not all, but many had led sheltered lives.
          They were not stupid. They just lived their lives putting everyone else first.
          You are so on point when you ask ” what if that was someone’s mother in that car?”
          I do not know for a fact, but my guess is that Debbiie led a sheltered life, probably a young spinster, and may have still lived with her mother. But she deserved a calm, constant voice of support, guiding her through what came to be her last moments on earth. She deserved to be spoken to with dignity and understanding….and yes, compassion, especially since it was obvious that she was so terribly afraid!
          I appreciate your comments, Karen.

        2. Karen…….I found Debra on Public Data. She does live with her mother, as I suspected.( her mother has a different last name)
          Also, her mother turned 80 this year.
          Debra would have celebrated her birthday next month.
          Not to be dramatic, but Debra’s senseless, heartbreaking death could kill her mother, depending on how frail she is.

          1. don’t get too wound up about it. death is part of life for all of us. it comes one way or another.

  8. Stevens: “When are they going to be here?”
    Dispatcher: “As soon as they get there.”

    Dispatcher: “This will teach you next time don’t drive in the water.”
    Stevens: “Couldn’t see it ma’am. I’m sorry or I wouldn’t have.”

    What?! There’s snideness in that first comment by dispatcher. There’s blame and shame being directed at the victim in the second comment. OMG. How awful to be on the receiving end of that dispather’s comments while in a state of panic. Just awful.

    Better Ways to Say It: Help is coming, they’re on their way, any second, hang on, breathe, take a breath, here, do it with me, breath in, aahhhh breathe out, try to calm yourself down a bit, you’re gonna be okay, help is coming, you’re doing fine, you’re gonna be fine, hang on, I’m right here with you, they’re almost there…..ETC !!!

    Also agree with Paul in that the “victim” needed to communicate urgency to the dispatcher, and to keep apologizing for being in distress was perhaps sending a mixed message to the dispatcher. What a tragic story.

    1. I completely agree with you on the snideness, and blame in the dispatcher’s comments. Your way of dealing with the situation would be much better.

      From what I heard, the victim explained that the water was up to the window, coming in through the window, the water inside was up to her neck, and she was floating in the water inside. She also said that she believed she was going to die.

      Although she was extremely nice while explaining this situation, and kept apologizing when reprimanded (!), as was in her sweet nature and upbringing, it is my opinion that she did communicate this was an imminent life or death situation.

      1. Yes, but I have learned through experience that urgency needs to be communicated with urgency in your voice, not a calm polite description of how dire your predicament is and how sorry you are for finding yourself in this dire predicament. The calmness of the words being said and the direness of the situation did not match and perhaps that’s why the dispatcher was speaking the way she was toward the victim.

        I had tried in the past to get a doctor to get me in for a certain test on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend. They said they couldn’t fit me in till Monday. I said I needed it done now, today, and they said ‘sorry, we’re booked till after the holiday.’ Since I have a high pain tolerance, and had been so calmly telling the doc that I was in pain, and that I knew something is really wrong despite the labs and tests thus far saying all is fine, he was not “hearing” me.

        It took me finally standing there saying to him in a louder, much
        more urgent tone of voice, “I am in so much pain right now, that if you don’t get me in for this test now, today, I am leaving here and going straight to an Emergency Room.”

        They got me in for the test. It showed a major problem, just as I suspected. I was wheeled in for emergency surgery later that night. So I learned the lesson of the disconnect in how I was communicating my level of pain and certainty that something was VERY wrong despite test results to the contrary.

  9. That’s murder!

    “Woman begins jail sentence for texting suicide conviction”

    TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman who sent her suicidal boyfriend a barrage of text messages urging him to kill himself was jailed Monday on an involuntary manslaughter conviction nearly five years after he died in a truck filled with toxic gas.

    Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail in 2017 for her role in the death of Conrad Roy III, but the judge allowed her to remain free while she appealed in state court. Massachusetts’ highest court upheld her conviction last week, saying her actions caused Roy’s death.

    – AP

    1. That story about Michelle Carter pressuring her boyfriend for weeks to commit suicide, and then during the act, made me ill.

      1. I think kids are mostly playing and kidding – fantasizing. She may not have taken the situation seriously. She may have had truly malicious intent and been truly evil. Who knows? For my money, the protagonist was entirely responsible unless he was an incompetent, in which case he should have been under direct and constant protection, making the guardian responsible.

        1. From what I read about the case, it was deliberate malice. He brought up suicidal thoughts, and she egged him on for weeks. He was a teenager during a time of his life when every emotion he felt was amplified. She pushed and pushed and pushed him to do it, went over exactly how to set it up. Then, when he texted her that he got out of the car, she called him names and demanded he get back in.

          Sounded like a psychopath grooming a victim, getting the hooks in, and then getting enjoyment out of getting him to take his life.

          While I agree with the philosophy that if someone asks you to jump off a bridge, you shouldn’t do it. I also know that pressure from someone he thought he could trust was insidious. Psychopaths are surprisingly common among us, and one shouldn’t underestimate their ability to target the vulnerable.

          He was experiencing depression, but appeared to be in the cry for help stage. She shoved him over the line.

          The texts used as evidence were heartbreaking. I cannot imagine what his parents went through when they were discovered.

  10. I am going to wait for the entire tape to be released. With the information given it sounds like the soon to be dead woman is not giving enough information to the 911 operator and the 911 operator is operating on a lack of accurate information. I can see some of the operator’s responses making sense, However, I want to be sure about that.

    Arizona has a Stupid Motorist Law. You get caught in a flash-flood after the barriers are up, you pay all the costs of rescuing you and your vehicle. However, if the barriers are not up yet, the rescue is free, including towing. They are called flash-floods for a reason.

    1. They located her in 12 minutes. It took them an hour to get her out of the vehicle for some reason.

      My wager would be that the dispatcher thought it serious but not dire and wanted to communicate that to the trapped woman.

    2. Fire brigades within Ireland’s counties mostly charge fees for responding to collisions and house fires. This is a controversial assessment as you might imagine. Generally I believe fatalities were not charged. The amounts seemed to be in the three hundred euro range. Much of this was, at least from what I discovered in my limited reading of the history, when public funding for the departments dried up and they sought other streams of revenue. At least most insurances will indemnify the homeowner/car owner for such billings.

      I do not agree with the practice since in especially the case of house fires there will be those who avoid calling the fire brigade at the onset of a small fire due to the fees and as a direct result what would have been a minor fire erupts into a life threatening conflagration.

      Back in the 1980s a county in WA considered charging non-county residents for search and rescue services had they required such services. The county later abandoned the effort. I believe it would have violated the state’s constitution, namely Article 1 Section 12 (SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROHIBITED) because it granted residents of the county immunity from the fee but residents without would have been subjected to it.

      1. Darren Smith – we have “county islands” that are free from city taxation. We have had cases where the fire dept. watched the house burn down. Now there is a system for paying a monthly fee for fire service. The sheriff takes care of their police needs.

  11. Send her back to where she came from. With a name like that it might be France.

  12. There’s nothing shocking about what the dispatcher said to her. The dispatcher was speaking to her under a certain understanding of what the situation was which later proved to not be the case. (While we’re at it, the term ‘mocking’ does not mean what you think it means).

    One curio is that she drowned even though the vehicle wasn’t fully submerged and the water wasn’t so deep fire and rescue couldn’t reach her with wading boots. Another curio here is that it took fire and rescue an hour to extract her from the vehicle. That isn’t the dispatcher’s fault. (It was the dispatcher’s last day on the job. She was already due to leave the department).

    1. +1

      The dispatcher is trained to calm the caller down and reassure them, not support a tendency to panic.

      1. I had the same thought. There was nothing the dispatcher could do but summon help to the scene, which she did, and try to speak calmly and firmly to reduce panic, which she did.

        But for her panic the woman might have been able to save herself.

        Would it have been better if the dispatcher had been a snowflake who said, “oh, you poor, poor dear. I will pray with you because you are about to drown.” Yeah, that ‘compassion’ would have helped a lot.

    2. It sounds like the dispatcher was making assumptions when she should have been asking questions to determine the actual situation. Having the woman focus on answering the questions would have helped calm her down.

    3. TIA…….I disagree…..But I know some yankees have different views re: language they consider to be compassionate.
      But, hey….diversity, right? (;

      1. The dispatcher’s clearly Southern.

        And the point in that situation is not to be compassionate, but to get the rescue squad there and assist the caller in any way you can. And if being curt helps the caller survive, be curt. Not sure it did, in this case. Either the woman was in an impossible situation or she lacked the skill and strength to save herself.

        1. Disagree, TIA……Compassion. Had the dispatcher had any, she would have understood what Debbie needed and would have allayed Debbie’s fears. And she could have done that in a controlled, calm voice.

  13. its hard to believe someone working at 911 would not have been better trained. Although training would overcome her lack of compassion. It’s is an extremely sad story.

  14. Smugness, and a complete lack of empathy are key criteria for the job, apparently. Bureaucrats are most often people given power way above their level of competence.

    1. Most Southern states don’t have collective bargaining for public employees.

      1. Collective bargaining criminal extortion.

        Elected officials should be ashamed – and prosecuted for massive abuse.

        Collective bargaining for taxpayer funded public workers is deliberate bias, favoritism, negligence and dereliction of duty by elected officials. It is pure corruption and an unconstitutional abuse of power. It is simply immoral under the American thesis of self-governance through freedom and self-reliance.

        Elected officials have, should have and must have a FIDUCIARY relationship with the ONLY the taxpayers or source of funding for the largesse of public worker compensation. Expensive education for inferior intellects is a mismatch and an endeavor bound for failure and an outrage.

        Clearly public work should be bare bones leaving the infinite expanse of the free markets of the private sector for creating wealth and purchasing superior goods and services.


    2. Yes, there’s no reason for public employees to waste $50 per month on union dues, because government managers (such as Lois Lerner, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, etc.) are such fair and ethical people who can be counted on to always follow the law and never allow personal bias to effect their decisions. 😹😹😹

      1. We have an chronic problem in this country with (1) inflated compensation of public employees, (2) opaque compensation for public employees, (3) overstaffing of public offices, and (4) weak disciplinary regimes in public offices. Collective bargaining for public employees is a driver of these problems, though there are other forces at work. And I bet you Lois Lerner was an AFGE member.

        1. Reprised of a previous thread:

          Young Republicans show the effectiveness of communist control of American education wherein propaganda and indoctrination dominate the curricula.

          Decertify all lazy, greedy, striking, thug teachers and professors unions and throw the members in prison for child abuse, corruption and fraud.

          $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is the result of communistic redistribution of wealth to teacher/professors. Why are there Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes in teachers parking lots? Why are other public workers awarded “comparable pay” after teachers and professors strike? Striking teachers/professors are the “tip of the spear” for the communists. Have teachers/professors generated even a modicum of wealth? Have teachers transformed the inner city low IQ students into Einsteins? What is the product of teachers when statistically assessed? Answer: Failure and corrupt attempts to mitigate and hide that failure. The pay of public workers dwarfs that of the taxpayers who pay their salaries as workers in the private sector. Why? The answer: Communist redistribution of wealth operations, most certainly not free market supply and demand.

        2. Lois was IRS management. Managers are, by definition, non-bargaining unit. They aren’t allowed to be unionized.

          1. KDUB, the IRS should not even exist.

            Freedom does not require massive and oppressive taxation.

            Communism is expensive.

            The IRS is a symptom of unconstitutional taxation. Congress has the power to tax for “…general Welfare…” not individual welfare. Congress has no authority to regulate anything other than trade, exchange or “…commerce among the several States.” Private property means that the government cannot order businesses to pay minimum wages or engage in rent control, affirmative action, quotas, “Non-discrimination” laws, “Fair Housing” laws, etc.

            The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional and must be eliminated.

            There is no constitutional rationale for the existence of the IRS.

            America was established under tariffs, poll and property taxes only in 1789 without the crushing burden of the welfare state.

            I’m just sayin’!

            Article 1, Section 8

            The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

            To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

            To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

            5th Amendment

            No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

            Private property is “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

            – James Madison

          2. Chuckles. My old supervisor in the court system was paid $50k in 1990 and had two post baccalaureate degrees, both of which were hiring screens. He also had a union card. (CSEA / AFSCME). I quite liked him personally.

          3. My mistake. For Lois it would be the National Treasury Employees Union.

            1. I read somewhere that the IRS forced Lois to retire when the sh!t hit the fan, because the agency hates it when the Commissioner gets drug in front of Congressional investigators. But other than that, nothing happened. All of her top deputies are reportedly still with the IRS and drawing fat salaries for doing who knows what…..

Comments are closed.