Skip to comments.D.C. woman’s number of 911 calls prompt city to request that she be given a guardian
Posted on 11/10/2013 11:41:27 AM PST by Kip Russell
Martha Rigsby collapsed to the ground for the first time in 1977. The spells continued, and she began calling 911 for help.
She hasnt stopped.
In the past year alone, shes accounted for 226 calls to 911 and been whisked by an ambulance to a hospital 117 times.
Among firefighters in the District, shes a dreaded legend. They can recite her date of birth and Social Security number from memory.
Over 30 years, Rigsby has become the most frequent 911 user in D.C. history, totaling thousands of emergency calls and trips to the hospital after falling down, court papers say.
Dubbed super users or frequent fliers, repeat 911 callers have long been identified as burdens on the health system and a drain on public-safety resources. Thats why a group of city officials met earlier this year to figure out how to solve their problem with Rigsby.
The situation has led to the first known attempt in the city to seek guardianship for a serial 911 caller. The Department of Behavioral Health filed a court petition in April, alleging that Rigsby, 58, has bipolar and borderline personality disorders and does not have the mental capacity to handle her medical affairs.
These are uncharted waters, said David Miramontes, medical director of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.
Public documents and legal proceedings detail Rigsbys 911 habits and assessments of her mental state and medical problems. They also reveal continued concerns from D.C. officials about the impact of one womans troubles on public-health and safety resources.
Although Rigsby has had various medical insurance plans throughout the years, she has an outstanding balance of $61,366.33 owed to the D.C. Fire and EMS for ambulance transports, according to Andrew Beaton, the departments management program analyst.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
lock her up in a mental institution FOR OUR safety
No kidding. Stake her to a “whirlwind round the world” trip - it would be cheaper and give EMT’s a chance to catch their breath!
She isn’t the first and she won’t be the last.
There are a lot on passengers for the DC Ambulance service,that drivers and EMT’s know by sight and name and age.
I remember taking one patient to the hospital; for seizures and on arrival the nurse said he isn’t having a seizure. I said Ernest. The nurse says you aren’t having a seizure, well Ernest went into one of the best seizures I had seen for a while and the nurse ended up cursing me for getting him started. Ernest put on a helluva show in public and people would call. We would show up and say Ernest calm down we will take you and Ernest would usually calm right down. The whole Ambulance service knew Ernest. There were others of course, there always are. We had a woman who called each month when her period came around. We called her Bloody Mary amongst ourselves . And then there was Mumbles.
Do you think an underlying issue with these people might be plain old loneliness?
Not so sure I buy that. For years mentally ill people were set aside to protect them and us. Somewhere in the seventies mentally ill people got the right to be mentally ill and be a burden on everyone else. Hopefully the tide of 30 years of idiotic public policy is turning.
There was a time I’d side with the city on this. But with someone like Obama or Hillary in the White House, I don’t want the government declaring they have Guardianship over a citizen. That’s mighty dangerous.
People would be shocked at the amount of abuse that occurs in the EMS system.
I can’t count the number of transports we have have made on fake seizures at the jail. I have seen guys flopping around on the floor “seizing” and when ask, say “I am having a seizure” and then continue to flop around.
I can’t count the times we have carried someone who said “I didn’t call a cab because I would have to pay them.”
We have had diabetics that you could almost set a clock by to the point we modified our dinner schedule to not get interrupted every day.
I think my truck could drive itself to many addresses in this town.
-——These are uncharted waters,——
So the state (taxpayer) will burdened with paying for a fulltime babysitter...?
That will become the new “entitlement” for the mentally ill...
How about putting her in the mental ward on her next trip to the hospital....
Betcha her “spells” decrease after a “flew over the cucko nest” stays...
There is a woman out here who used to call county EMS and fake seizures or suicide attempts with annoying regularity. Yes, it even happens here in BF Egypt-she is a former teacher who was diagnosed as bipolar many years ago, and frequently went off her medication to get attention-that is when she called 911.
I do not mean to be unkind-and as a former case manager, I cringe to say it-but she has never had a seizure disorder, or any other physical disability-she is simply as crazy as a s***house rat. In this small county with mostly volunteer services, and the nearest hospital over 45 miles away, her game got old after a couple years, and when she called, the operator would call one of her neighbors to go over to see her instead or sending EMS. Amid a lot of yowling and complaining, the neighbor would take her to the nearest town with a psych facility.
After going there and getting admitted for a suicide attempt a few times, she quit doing that. Maybe someone in DC should try this with the frequent flier mentioned in the article...
Actually, this might be clinical.
People usually make an adjustment to their system so we can get up from a prone position to standing without passing out.
“When we stand up, the blood goes down from the chest to the distensible venous capacitance system below the diaphragm. This fluid shift produces a decrease in venous return, ventricular filling, cardiac output, and blood pressure.
“This gravity-induced drop in blood pressure, detected by arterial baroreceptors in the aortic arch and carotid sinus, triggers a compensatory reflex tachycardia and vasoconstriction that restores normotension in the upright position. This compensatory mechanism is termed a baroreflex; it is mediated by afferent and efferent autonomic peripheral nerves and is integrated in autonomic centers in the brainstem.”
“Drug therapy alone is never adequate. This condition has no cure, symptoms vary in different circumstances, treatment is nonspecific, and aggressive treatment can lead to marked supine hypertension.”
That is, when they stand up, their blood pressure drops so much that they feel faint, but if given drugs to increase their blood pressure, when they lay down, they get high blood pressure.
And so starts the narrative that 1) Health care services must be rationed and 2) Political institutionalization of citizens is acceptable.
I agree this is an extreme case, but that is how they got abortion on demand started - with a very extreme example. The purported reason for Obamacare was to cover all of the people who could not get coverage due to pre-existing conditions. That turned out to be 7,000 people. So, we are spending over a trillion dollars for insurance coverage for 7,000 people and forfeiting our own insurance.
And it started just like this article, with an example so extreme that anyone would agree with it. . .
Please help us keep our liberty by not buying this idiocy. Someone should have done something for this woman long ago. It is pure negligence on the part of the medical and emergency service communities for not determining what was wrong and correcting it.
It’s not like they never had access to her to do a diagnosis, whether mental or physical. Having low blood pressure and not eating regularly would cause those exact symptoms.
This is not to say that is her problem, but it is a possibility.
We must all become alert to the media brainwashing that has been used to coerce us to forfeit our liberties. This is a classic example of the emergence of a new narrative to convince us to give up our liberty voluntarily.
“Do you think an underlying issue with these people might be plain old loneliness?”
In that normal folks shy away from crazy people, probably.
There was nutty frequent flyer here in the sticks too...she abused the system so much a judge finally ordered her into a care facility of some sort- nursing home type place and I had no idea they could even do that.
“putting her in the mental ward” GMTA-see my post below-a reported suicide attempt will get you a mandatory few weeks stay in a psych facility, complete with a psychological evaluation, counseling and update and eval of meds, if needed. I’ll bet little Ms I-want-attention would get her heels cooled by a visit or two there...
It varies from state to state-here, there are a lot of low-to-moderately mentally retarded adults in assisted living facilities-they have been adjudicated as being unable to sustain themselves in an independent living situation-but it is really, really hard to get someone who is not violently dangerous committed-thank God.
Boy, since they’re so considerate of others, it’s shocking that they’re alone.
It’s possible she is taking thyroid medication - which has a great tendancy to make you dizzy.
Or .. it could be that she’s not taking any medication and her thyroid is causing her to feel dizzy or faint.
This event is very prevelant in nursing homes; and the reason why so many seniors fall.
There’s nothing “mental” about it. It’s a physical condition - and a thorough blood screening could have illuminated the problem.
Hubby used to work in a small town here that is 99% Mexican, probably 80% of them illegal. They used the ambulances as taxi cabs to city.
It is possible, but not likely, given her 30 plus years of attention-seeking behavior and the diagnosis of mental health issues. If she is being seen by a mental health professional for bi-polar disorder, and taking prescribed anti-psychotic meds as would normally be the case, she would have blood tests every few months to be sure these meds were at proper levels, to keep her even and healthy. Any symptoms of fainting, or anything else not ordinary would be checked out. It truly sounds as if the woman is just plain mentally ill.
People in nursing homes are notoriously overmedicated to keep them caged and quiet-we have too many laws already, but there really should be one against drugging and confining non-violent people against their will, period. It is inhumane.
There was a story some time ago about a local Buffalo woman on welfare who called for an ambulance any time she wanted to go visit her family who lived near the hospital.
once there she would miraculously recover and walk to her families house for a visit
by some conservative (heh heh) math estimating she has called over 6,500 times
at 50% transport and $480 per trip, that’s over 1.5 million dollars JUST for the ambulance trips
She’s obviously not paying. In my town you are billed for services of the EMT crew and the ambulance. So who’s paying for this? We are, suckers!
The 911 operators have more important things to worry about.....like if McDonalds runs out of french fries. /s
Martha Rigsby is just being cautious. She doesn’t want to die like her sister Eleanor, the one the Beatles wrote a song about.
It’s the same all over.
Cities are a bit worse than rural ambulance services ,but the problems are the same.
A possible mitigation for this effect may be for the “patient” to do a few leg isometrics before attempting to stand. The muscle squeezing forces blood from the lower limbs to the heart where it can be routed to a useful location in the body (head).
Buy her a mobile home, put her in it and park it on a hospital parking lot.
Put her in a cabin in the woods. Check up on her next spring.