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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19448
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I work with a very underweight colleague. she has collapsed

Customer Question

I work with a very underweight colleague. she has collapsed at work often I have picked her up from the floor 3 x this week. she will not go to the doctor. I worry that she will die at work . she has no relatives here. I believe she has been sectioned in the past and will do anything to avoid this. she looks like a concentration camp victim. what can we do as colleagues/employers
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information/clarification:
Do you mean that she was willing to be seen by her GP after one of these incidents?
Has she shared with you what diagnoses were made in the past?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we have taken her to the doctors and we can see her deteriorating and we worry she will die at work and we haven't done enough


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

she has seen a GP but refused sick line, won't take time off work. she is gaunt, yellow and weak


Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
If she can be convinced and is willing to be taken to the GP, then that is good, but some additional steps can be considered. When she is next taken to the GP, it will help if the observations of the co-workers will be conveyed to the GP. Once in the exam room, she may not be accurately communicating what symptoms she is having. But if the co-workers observations can be communicated to the GP, either by verbal or written communication, them the GP will better be able to assess the situation and determine what treatment is necessary.

It is true that one of the considerations by the GP would be whether she would need to again be sectioned. Doctors typically do not wish to force treatment on patients, but sometimes this is truly the best option for certain people in certain circumstances in which there is significant danger to the individual.

The lay people that work with an individual that is struggling are not usually trained to be able to recognize whether someone is at that level of danger, but if the full information can be provided to the GP, then the GP can better judge what level of danger exists. Additionally, even if she is not at that level of danger, then with full information, the GP can properly determine what interventions are appropriate to avoid further deterioration so that she will not get to that level in the future.

Therefore, the best option is to again take her to the GP, but to also fully communicate the observations of the friends and co-workers so that the GP can better assess and treat the situation.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
I have not heard back, so wanted to assure that you have reviewed the answer. If I post again to the question, then there will also be a link sent to your e-mail.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. If I have answered all your questions, please remember to provide a positive rating.