I've just finished untangling what happened on the message boards over the weekend, and I thought it only fair to let everyone know what's happened. The thread in question has now been removed in its entirety.
Thank you very much to everyone who PM'd me with their concerns. Particular thanks to Bex, whom I know did a lot of work to try to contain and calm the situation.
As a modding team, having examined all the PMs and posts that were available to us, we are almost certain that the situation had been fabricated. So please be reassured by this. The account concerned has now been suspended.
It appears that both Woody-som and Glynis were drawn into a bad situation with very honest intentions, and should not be vilified for their part in it. They are both going to take a break from the boards for a short period of time to allow all this to blow over. Please do not feel you have to PM them about this issue any further. I understand the whole situation has caused significant distress, particularly given the recent death of a message board member, and the traumatic experiences suffered by a number of members. For this I apologise. Steve and I were (ironically) holed up in meetings at Asthma UK HQ all day yesterday and were never in a position to access the internet to moderate the threads, else all would have been dealt with more promptly.
Moderating this issue has also been a minor nightmare due to multiple deletion and editing of posts. It is usual netiquette, when editing a post, to simply add to the bottom of the post (if you have forgotten to include something, or wish to clarify an issue) or add a note as to why you have edited the post. However, we will be in discussion with Webeditor over the next few days as to whether it is appropriate to continue to allow self-editing/deletion of posting given the difficulties this can pose for the moderating team.
Please can I re-iterate that these message boards - INCLUDING the PM system - are not, and never have been, a place to obtain emergency medical advice. This is quite clearly set out in the terms and conditions. It causes a great deal of distress to many members to see (or receive) this kind of message, and please also remember that these message boards are read by a wide audience including children. If you ever see or receive one of these posts, please be aware that you may be on rocky legal ground to respond to it by offering advice - beyond pointing them towards the AUK ""Advice in an asthma attack"" - even though your motives for doing so would be laudable. I know that sounds terrible, but unfortunately this is the kind of world we are living in today.
A few issues of technicality were brought up by the thread. The message board does indeed log you out automatically after 30mins of inactivity. More importantly, the Ambulance service will never hang up on you if CPR is in progress, and callers are always told to ring back if the situation deteriorates. In addition, even if you have no credit on a mobile phone, they can stil be used to call 999 (or 112).
Any queries please PM me direct.
On behalf of the Mods.