punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Why we need editors: Health posters?

We have a giant first aid placard in all our kitchens. Among the standard list and graphics of the Heimlich maneuver, how to deal with people who faint, splinting broken arms, and so on ... is a small section dedicated to heart attacks. Here's what it states (punctuation intact) below a vague graphic of the "zones" of the pain:

Heart attack.
Symptoms: pain in chest,
arms, jaw, or back. Nausea, dizziness,
Profuse sweating-anxiety.
Shortness of breath, denial

There are two things I'd like to bring to attention, here. First, I realize that they skipped articles, prepositions, and conjunctions like newspaper headlines, so we all know how to really read something that goes like, "Treason: Ambassador Found Guilty, Sentenced." But in this case, they mix their own rules. But the real goof here comes from "Profuse sweating-anxiety." I can just imagine:

Dude1: How is he?
Dude2: Not good. He's dizzy, complaining of chest pain, and REALLY afraid of sweating!

But I wonder about the last item, "Denial." Now, I am sure they put that in there because a lot of times, people go, "No, no... I am not having a heart attack. I am just short of breath, that's all. Leave me alone, and it will go away." Even if they really are having a heart attack. But nowhere else on the placard does it list denial as a symptom of other things. Some of them are obvious, you can't easily deny a broken arm, choking, a serious burn, or being electrocuted ("Nice hair, Bob!"). But how about sun stoke, asthma, or concussion? Then I thought about the line from "The Life of Brian:"

Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly!
Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
Brian: What?! Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!

By this reasoning, any of you reading this right now, if you claim you are not having a heart attack, I say this placard says you should call 911 immediately! Denial of heart attack means you are having one!

I know, I know, "they mean with all the other symptoms." But since they don't seem to follow any rules of order at all, it would stand to reason than an idiot who is looking at such a placard to determine someone's health will also be foolish enough to claim, "If he says he's not having a heart attack, he probably is."

"Only a true heart attack victim will deny his symptoms..."

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000618.html
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