On May 1, 2004, a 19-year-old African-American female waitress working at a bar died from an asthma attack. The bar was divided into two separate areas, the bar area with limited seating and a room with a disc jockey (DJ) booth. When the victim arrived at work at 9:45 p.m., she talked with the DJ who was setting up in the adjacent room, then walked about 25 feet to an open section of the bar. The bar owner stated she was not experiencing any difficulty breathing at this time. There were approximately 30 people in the bar area. No individuals were in the room with the DJ. According to the owner, the bar was not "overly smoky". Shortly after the victim went behind the bar, she grabbed the bar manager, saying she needed to get to the hospital and that she needed fresh air. The victim said she wished she had her inhaler with her. As the two walked out from behind the bar and toward the back door, the victim collapsed onto the dance floor. The bar patrons were asked if anyone had an inhaler. Someone did, and the victim attempted to use the inhaler, but was unable to do so. According to the bar manager, the inhaler mist came back into her face. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) was called and she was transported to a local hospital where she was declared dead 30 minutes from the time of the call to EMS. Recommendations: 1. To protect the health of employees, private business owners, including bar and restaurant owners, should consider prohibiting smoking within their establishments. 2. Business owners should develop, implement and train employees in the business' emergency response plan.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Smoke-inhalation; Training; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma