Thankful to now be a Golden Grizzly

Last December, Oakland University was ranked by as the second safest four-year university in Michigan. The rating took into account assault, burglary, rape, arson and vehicle theft. However, there was an aspect of campus safety that wasn’t addressed — emergency medical situations.

Last week, during what was a normal midterm review, a female student behind me collapsed.

After hearing a commotion, I turned around just in time to see her head narrowly miss a desk as she fell unconscious to the floor.

Immediately, the professor recognized an emergency situation and asked a student to call for assistance. The student, instead of calling 911, called the OU emergency line (248-370-3331), which was admirably saved in his phone.

As this was being done, other students cleared away the desks from around our fallen classmate.

The professor then asked a student to bring a wet paper towel from the restrooms before temporarily dismissing class. Most students left, but many remained behind, ready to offer further assistance.

Our professor, without delay, offered the young woman a soda retrieved from her bag as another student asked her if she’s injured or needs anything — to which she replied “a cold towel.”

After applying the paper towel to the back of her neck and slowly drinking the soda, our classmate informed us that she hadn’t eaten much that morning and was standing to leave the room when she fell.

Fortunately, a nursing student had remained in the room and recognized signs of hypoglycemia (insufficient levels of glucose to the brain). She offered our classmate a brownie. With small bites of brownie and sips of soda, our classmate instantly began looking and sounding better. It was at that time OU’s emergency medical team arrived — taking them less than three minutes to get to our classroom.

The medical team immediately dismissed the rest of the students before they focused on our stricken classmate.

Once in the hall, some of the remaining students discussed the unexpected turn the review had taken. Concerned over their classmate, the conversation became about how this could happen to anyone.

Through this experience I learned that hypoglycemia should be taken seriously. In addition to rendering someone unconscious it can also, in rare cases, even result in brain damage or death.

I also took away a sense of safety and through that safety, pride.

It took less than three minutes for medical professionals to arrive and during that short time, my professor and classmates behaved marvelously. Our fellow student had fallen and they treated her with the utmost respect, caring and consideration. No one made light of the situation and no one made the situation worse.

We were fortunate that we had a student in class with the emergency number programmed into his phone and also that we had a nursing student who is training to deal with situations just like that.

I am a transfer student. This is my first semester at OU and this was my initial taste of how students are treated in an emergency situation, not only by the professor and the medical staff, but also by fellow students.

I think most of us, through either first or second hand experience, can relate to being in a high stress, emergency situation. To see how quick and considerate my classmates were, it makes me more than happy, it makes me proud.