[Libs-Or] when to call 911 for medical intervention when patron says no

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org
Sun Nov 15 13:12:42 PST 2015

We recently had a staff first aid/CPR training, and what we were told is that if the patron is refusing medical intervention but there are concerns that it might be life-threatening, we should call 911 anyway and let them know that the individual is refusing transport, but we've observed x, y, and z and think they need medical intervention.

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, MLIS
Library Director
Driftwood Public Library
801 SW Hwy 101, #201
Lincoln City, OR 97367
541-996-1251 (desk)
541-996-1262 (fax)
>>> Maureen Cole <mcole at ci.oregon-city.or.us> 11/14/2015 12:18 PM >>>

Hi everyone:

Yesterday we had a situation in which a person, with a scary but according to her non-life-threatening medical condition, had what appeared to be a seizure; however, she requested that we not call an ambulance. That request went out the window when she appeared to be having trouble breathing. But it raised the very real question-when do you call for medical assistance against a patron’s wishes? 


Obviously, we all have to make judgement calls based on the information at hand. In addition to the person with the medical need, we have to think about the rest of the library. But, in your experience do you have any wisdom that helps quide you when this comes up? I believe all medical personnel would say call them immediately; what are your thoughts as a library employee charged with the safety of all patrons?


Thanks for your collective wisdom and feedback. Have a great weekend!



Maureen Cole

mcole at orcity.org

Library Director

Oregon City Public Library

606 John Adams St.

Oregon City, Oregon 97045

503-657-8269 ext. 1010 Direct phone

503-657-3702 fax

Website: www.orcity.org/library

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