Last week, an incident took place at the Régie de l'Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) Montreal office that has raised concerns about how prepared employees are to deal with emergency situations, alleges one eyewitness.
Ana B.* was at the RAMQ office in Montreal last week, when a man with a broken elbow began losing consciousness. Security guards advised the man to sit on a chair.
This shocked Ana B., who is CPR-certified. She immediately started intervening, asking security guards to call 9-1-1.
Meanwhile, she "laid the person down [to] adopt a specific position of the legs, the head and the arm [and] put their arm under their head to relieve the physical stress put on the body and the neck."
It is not clear why the man with the broken elbow presented himself at the RAMQ office.
Meanwhile, she said that "to my surprise, the security guards were not aware of any of those [procedures], and were hesitating about whether they really needed to call 911."
Ana B. also noted that the CPR kit was not in view during the intervention.
She was surprised by the guard's reaction, and had this to say about their level of training: "This was at the RAMQ, a governmental organism supposed to regulate the health system."
"The security guards, in my opinion, need to be CPR or first aid trained and know exactly what to do in such situations."
We reached out to the RAMQ for comment. They say that they are aware of the incident but insist that, as per their contract, all security guards must have a first aid certificate.
They go on to say that many other employees are CPR-certified, as required by law, but security guards are always the first responders in emergency situations. There are also defibrilators in every office.
The discrepancy between this eyewitness testimony and the response of the RAMQ leaves many questions unanswered. It may point to inadequate first aid training at the RAMQ office, says Ana.
It was "very shocking, because every second counts and can be decisive for or against surviving. The availability of a CPR kit is also decisive."
*Ana's last name has been omitted to preserve anonymity.