WASHINGTON, DC USA -- HEALTHCARE UPDATE NEWS SERVICE -- NOVEMBER 18, 2022:
A young man with intellectual disability who lives in a group home goes into distress. He is non-speaking, so he has difficulty communicating his needs.
NOW IMAGINE THIS HAPPENING INSTEAD...
He begins to act out, with potentially harmful behavior.
Staff on duty that weekend don't know him well, so they call an ambulance to take him to a hospital.
In the Emergency Department, he is left on a stretcher - cold and exposed to bright lights, noise, and chaotic activity.
His anxiety and agitation get worse. Things escalate. Multiple staff members end up wrestling him under control.
Then they sedate him.
Imagine the staff at the group home had a "digital snapshot" of our young man, containing key information that takes only 90 seconds to read.
The ambluance and emergency teams would learn that he can communicate when he's in a quiet environment.
They would learn he does best when one person engages him by asking about his favorite activity - watching basketball.
Now, they know to find a closed room for him, where it is calmer. They know to offer him a letter board or a picture of a body.
Now, he can point to the place he feels pain.
Now, they can discover -- and treat -- his acute appendicitis.