futurepilot16
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Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:45 pm

Well, i've found the disgusting story of the week.

Quote:
New York officials are investigating two emergency medical practitioners [EMT] after they allegedly refused to help a pregnant woman who collapsed while they were taking a break, the New York Post has reported.
According to witnesses, when the Fire Department paramedics were approached for help during their coffee break, they suggested the staff call 911.

To me, this is more disturbing than the guy that infected his wife wife HIV. Imagine, someone is DYING and you are a paramedic, trained to save people's lives, and you wouldn't help her out because you're on a "coffee break"? This is so inhumane, it's impossible to believe. Very hard to comprehend that people could be so heartless.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-...s-after-paramedics-refuse-to-help/
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NIKV69
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:06 pm

Yep. Bloomberg was livid during the presser. Hard to believe these people exist. Sad.
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futurepilot16
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:00 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 1):

The least is they should be fired.
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Airstud
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:02 pm

I simply do not believe it.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:24 pm



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 2):
The least is they should be fired.

You think? They are probably going to get sued along with the dept.
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Airstud
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:39 pm

Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:02 pm



Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

It should be, their job is to save people, that's what they get paid to do, so in this case they refused to do their job.

Give them 5 years in prison, and teach everyone a lesson that life > coffee break + anything else you got going on.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:20 pm



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 2):
The least is they should be fired

Fired for what...? They are guilty of nothing at this point and have been found of no wrong doing at this point....

Now is it plays out as reported......another story
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:50 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):
You think? They are probably going to get sued along with the dept.

What they did was totally wrong and if they have a conscience, I don't know how they will live with the fact that they could have saved a life and watched it die as they spent 15 minutes for a coffee.

However, legally, can they really be sued? they refused to work during their break time which legally appears to be right ( legally only, not humanely/morally/ethically). So can they really be sued?
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:10 pm



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Thread starter):

To me, this is more disturbing than the guy that infected his wife wife HIV. Imagine, someone is DYING and you are a paramedic, trained to save people's lives, and you wouldn't help her out because you're on a "coffee break"?

And the thing is that if you are on break, you are protected by Good Samaritan laws. I've helped people in distress all over the place. During my three years in New York I assisted in four different medical emergencies on the subway and one on the street. On one occasion, I had an off-duty EMT with me who also assisted. She was concerned that she'd be late to work and I actually called her supervisor to tell him that she would be late to work because she had to unexpectedly do her job.

Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 2):

The least is they should be fired.

The question is whether they can be. Technically, if they are on break, they are not bound by any oath (of which I'm aware) to assist, nor is it part of their job description.

I'm not defending them, of course. But what I'm wondering, and perhaps a lawyer on the boards can answer, is whether they have a legal obligation to assist. Obviously, they have an ethical obligation, but is it a matter of law?
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Airstud
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:14 pm

Dudes, there's all sorts of legal exemptions to the break requirements. Executives and other salaried folk are legally exempt from overtime entitlement; there absolutely have to be similar exemptions to the "15-minute break" rule when, for gosh sakes, there are lives in jeopardy!!!!!
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:18 pm

I know this is cliche, but I think there's much more to it than the story is telling.
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:36 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 11):
I know this is cliche, but I think there's much more to it than the story is telling

There almost always is...........
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:04 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
And the thing is that if you are on break, you are protected by Good Samaritan laws

There is no such thing for NYEMTs. They are on duty from the moment they report for their tour till they are done with their tour. There is no such thing as break time.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:16 pm



Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

I hope so. In Germany, there's a charge named "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung", which is Article 323c of the Federal Penal Code, punishable with a fine or up to a year in prison. This not only applies to EMTs or Paramedics (what we call a "Notarzt"), but this applies for anyone who doesn't even at least call for an ambulance, or tries to provide some assistance.

I don't know what the punishment is in the US for EMTs who deliberately refuse to provide assistance, but I do hope that for this, they get charged with at least negligent homicide.
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:21 pm

Were they in uniform? If they were they are obligated to help in that situation. If they didn't want to be bothered they should have been dressed in civilian clothes. I think the same applies to police officers, if you're in uniform the public will consider you on duty.
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Hel

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:41 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 14):
Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

I hope so. In Germany, there's a charge named "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung", which is Article 323c of the Federal Penal Code, punishable with a fine or up to a year in prison. This not only applies to EMTs or Paramedics (what we call a "Notarzt"), but this applies for anyone who doesn't even at least call for an ambulance, or tries to provide some assistance.

I don't know what the punishment is in the US for EMTs who deliberately refuse to provide assistance, but I do hope that for this, they get charged with at least negligent homicide.

Small correction: An EMT or paramedic would be a Rettungssanitäter or Rettungsassistent. A "Notarzt" is a fully qualified physician, mostly a surgeon, an internist or anaestetist, who has additionally received training in field emergency procedures (means that he can work, e.g. if necessary performing emergency surgery, outside a fully equipped hospital, just with the equipment on his specially equipped ambulance).

Jan

[Edited 2009-12-22 15:44:00]
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:59 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):

Whether they can actually be sued is a bit tricky. I don't know how it works in NYC but where I live, you can be sued in civil court if you are found to be negligent in the performance of your duty. Now, because they were on a break, I don't know if the laws that apply while they are officially on duty also apply in this situation. My opinion is that they should have helped the woman out regardless of whether or not they were on duty and that they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing so but I'm not entirely certain that a lawsuit against them will be successful. My  twocents 
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futurepilot16
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:47 am



Quoting T prop (Reply 15):
Were they in uniform? If they were they are obligated to help in that situation.

According to the story, they were on a "coffee break" which would suggest that they were on duty and just stopped in for some coffee and relax a little. When they were asked for help, people said the EMT's said "call 911, i'm on a break". Again, this is coming from witnesses, so it could always be a bit exaggerated.

The fact is, there might be a lot more to this story than is being told, because as one person said, I cannot believe this story, but as of now, this is all we know. I know however, that even if there is more to it, I simply cannot understand why they wouldn't help her. Even if they didn't say those things, strong evidence indicates that they did not help her at all.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:09 am

Also the baby the woman was carrying dies as well. It was only at 6 months and died later in the hospital. I would assume that the EMT's could be considered responsible for it's death to due to their indifference and inaction.

The whole thing is sad because it didn't need to happen at all, that is what upsets me so much about what they did (more accurately didn't do). They could have helped her, been hero's, she might have survived, and at the very least her baby may have been able to have been saved.

Instead we have four lives lost, two to death from inaction and two people who have lost their livelihoods, possibly their freedom, and most certainly the life they had prior to this.

Stupid.

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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:12 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Small correction: An EMT or paramedic would be a Rettungssanitäter or Rettungsassistent. A "Notarzt" is a fully qualified physician, mostly a surgeon, an internist or anaestetist, who has additionally received training in field emergency procedures (means that he can work, e.g. if necessary performing emergency surgery, outside a fully equipped hospital, just with the equipment on his specially equipped ambulance).

I couldn't find a proper translation for Notarzt, so I used paramedic because it does sound related (at least to me).

Quoting OA412 (Reply 17):
My opinion is that they should have helped the woman out regardless of whether or not they were on duty and that they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing so but I'm not entirely certain that a lawsuit against them will be successful.

Isn't it so as well that doctors, even if they're off duty, should also immediately provide assistance when they see or hear about a nearby medical emergency?

This is slightly OT, but since I'm on the subject, here at work, one of the doctors refused to attend someone who complained about flu-like symptoms. From what I've heard, she probably had fear of the swine flu, so she refused to treat him, or provide him any assistance. And one time, when I had to visit the company doctor immediately after what turned out to be a panic attack (my heart was racing, I was sweating cold and I felt that I was about to pass out), she chewed me out because I came without an appointment. So I wonder about her: If I e.g. have a heart attack, nobody chooses to help me and the infirmary is nearby, should I ask for an appointment first even if I was about to die? I'd expect physicians to take the hypocratic oath more seriously instead of not attending a genuine emergency due to lack of paperwork. Since then, I've been seeing another doctor and she helped me get better.
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:19 am

Not entirely related but didn't we recently have a thread on here about whether a doctor (or medically trained person) on an airplane is required to "volunteer" to help if there is a situation on the flight that calls for it?

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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:32 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Technically, if they are on break, they are not bound by any oath (of which I'm aware) to assist, nor is it part of their job description.

By this standard, a traffic officer, directing traffic can check their watch, see that it's break time, and simple walk to a coffee shop? Can you imagine the uproar if the fire department showed up at a 5 alarm blaze, and then pulled out their lunch and started eating? Emergencies and such do NOT happen on schedule...
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:53 am

Fired, sure. Legally punished, not IMO. No one should be forced to perform services against his or her own will. And it doesn't matter how awful the situation is. You don't fix a wrong with another. This is certainly ethically reprehensible, but not a crime, though I agree it feels borderline criminal.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:55 am

The latest news stories on this are saying they are suspended (probably with pay, due to obscene labor union rules) and are under investigation. I would hope they get fired promptly, or be forced to resign, all benefits cut off and no pension benefits. Screw them to the wall for their horrible irresponsability
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:58 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 20):
Isn't it so as well that doctors, even if they're off duty, should also immediately provide assistance when they see or hear about a nearby medical emergency?

I believe so but I think that is because of the Hippocratic oath which the EMT's, as far as I know, are not beholden to. I'm sure DocLightning can shed more light on this.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 24):
The latest news stories on this are saying they are suspended (probably with pay, due to obscene labor union rules)

Um it's not only in unionized industries where people are suspended with pay.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:11 am

There has to be more to this story. The link says that these two were 'dispatchers', but had some medical training. Would it have made any difference if the EMTs had intervened? I highly doubt it...but guess the people involved didn't want to screw things up further, maybe because they didn't have the right tools for the job, and without them, these EMTs would be as useless as anyone else.

But... what was everyone else doing while this occured? CPR is not just for healthcare workers, almost anyone can take a class and learn it. Why didn't anyone else try to help her?
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:15 am



Quoting OA412 (Reply 25):

I believe so but I think that is because of the Hippocratic oath which the EMT's, as far as I know, are not beholden to. I'm sure DocLightning can shed more light on this.

Eh... it's tricky. If I'm on a plane and there's an emergency, I am not legally required to assist. But ethically, I am. I am protected by Good Samaritan laws.

Why might I refuse? Well, suppose I'd just downed three double-scotches (not that I'd do this on a plane). That's a good reason to refuse.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 24):
The latest news stories on this are saying they are suspended (probably with pay, due to obscene labor union rules) and are under investigation

The story in the OP says without pay.

I have to say, when I read the title I said "Lemme guess. New York or LA, right?" In my time working in medicine in New York City I never met so many healthcare workers (not counting MD's and RN's) who seemed to have a very defined sense of "that's not my job." Working in our ER, I can remember two occasions where a member of the ED staff (not an RN or an MD) declared that she was going on break right in the middle of an emergency. Now, policy or not, simple decency and common sense dictates that you delay your break until someone isn't dying in front of you.

I could give story after story about how various members of ancillary staff delayed and obstructed patient care, sometimes for critically ill patients. The radiology tech who found excuse after excuse to delay the STAT head CT on my 15yo boy with a known infection inside his brain and increasing symptoms. He managed to delay that scan for over three hours and his supervisor could do nothing about it. The radiology tech who declared that he was on break when we had a 14yo kid in the ER with his foot literally hanging off the ankle (skin intact). The lab tech who, when presented with a STAT lab, told me that he'd run it "when he got around to it," but I needed the results right away. The lady in Blood Bank who talked over me and yelled at me when I told her that I needed O-negative blood for a newborn baby right now or the baby would be dead. What if it were *her* baby? It happened time after time after time. Never once in any other place have I ever had this issue so consistently. But in New York City, it just seemed like the norm.

I got sick and tired of the attitude of "I just have to do my job and nothing more." That might work in some industries, but not in healthcare. Healthcare REQUIRES that you go above and beyond the call of duty from time to time. Don't like it? Go flip burgers.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:00 am



Quoting Blrsea (Reply 8):
However, legally, can they really be sued?

It's the good 'ole US of A - they'll find a way.  Yeah sure

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 23):
No one should be forced to perform services against his or her own will.

No one forced anything. This is a question of morality - of which these EMT's failed beyond miserably.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:07 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
I have to say, when I read the title I said "Lemme guess. New York or LA, right?" In my time working in medicine in New York City I never met so many healthcare workers (not counting MD's and RN's) who seemed to have a very defined sense of "that's not my job."

Interesting! I rarely say this but the people you describe are clearly in the wrong line of work if they are more worried about what their job description does and does not entail rather than helping someone in an emergency.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:29 am



Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 28):
No one forced anything. This is a question of morality - of which these EMT's failed beyond miserably.

I know, I was just stating my position on some of the opinions expressed above.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:07 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
I could give story after story about how various members of ancillary staff delayed and obstructed patient care, sometimes for critically ill patients. The radiology tech who found excuse after excuse to delay the STAT head CT on my 15yo boy with a known infection inside his brain and increasing symptoms. He managed to delay that scan for over three hours and his supervisor could do nothing about it. The radiology tech who declared that he was on break when we had a 14yo kid in the ER with his foot literally hanging off the ankle (skin intact). The lab tech who, when presented with a STAT lab, told me that he'd run it "when he got around to it," but I needed the results right away. The lady in Blood Bank who talked over me and yelled at me when I told her that I needed O-negative blood for a newborn baby right now or the baby would be dead. What if it were *her* baby? It happened time after time after time. Never once in any other place have I ever had this issue so consistently. But in New York City, it just seemed like the norm.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark  AND  checkmark 

I can't remember how many times, even half way through my intern year, that I've had patients with active STEMIs who I rush their bloods to the lab only to call a half hour later and get attitude from the lab tech because they are going through so many specimens" or the xray tech that takes 35 minutes to come up and do a stat xray on a surgical abdomen. Society expects the doctors to always be calm and amicable to hospital staff, but they shit all over us like their break or "so many requests" are more important. I get really tired of it and it probably won't be long till I chew someone out over the phone.  Silly

About the EMT's, the story seems fishy but it's pretty damn sad if all of it is true.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:28 am



Quoting OA412 (Reply 29):

Interesting! I rarely say this but the people you describe are clearly in the wrong line of work if they are more worried about what their job description does and does not entail rather than helping someone in an emergency.

Well, duh! But once hired and in a union, just try to fire them. Hell, we had a unit clerk who was functionally illiterate and who didn't speak intelligible English. And she was a CLERK. Could they fire her? Nope.

There was another case like this in LA a couple of years ago. A lady collapsed on the floor of the ED waiting room vomiting blood and the staff did nothing to help her. No physician was around at the time to even know that it was happening because they were all back working in the ED. Her husband called 911 and tried to get her transported, but was told that they couldn't because he was already at a hospital. She died.

Again, only in NYC and LA could I ever expect to see such inhuman, uncaring behavior.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:38 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 32):
Again, only in NYC and LA could I ever expect to see such inhuman, uncaring behavior.

Yea nothing like this could happen anywhere else. sarcastic  What an idiotic statement.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:02 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 32):
There was another case like this in LA a couple of years ago. A lady collapsed on the floor of the ED waiting room vomiting blood and the staff did nothing to help her. No physician was around at the time to even know that it was happening because they were all back working in the ED. Her husband called 911 and tried to get her transported, but was told that they couldn't because he was already at a hospital. She died.

There was also that case in the Brooklyn Hospital maybe a year ago where a woman collapsed and eventually died in an ER. Apparently no one bothered to help her out. R
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:06 am



Quoting OA412 (Reply 34):

There was also that case in the Brooklyn Hospital maybe a year ago where a woman collapsed and eventually died in an ER. Apparently no one bothered to help her out. R

That was a slightly situation. That patient was known to be mentally ill, and, if I recall, had a pattern of faking illness in the ED. So apparently they thought she was doing it again. This is why faking illnesses is a bad idea.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:13 am



Quoting Mdsh00 (Reply 31):
I've had patients with active STEMIs

What are "STEMIs?"

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
Go flip burgers.

Or pancakes. (Mmmmm, pancakes...)
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:23 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
That was a slightly situation. That patient was known to be mentally ill, and, if I recall, had a pattern of faking illness in the ED. So apparently they thought she was doing it again. This is why faking illnesses is a bad idea.

Ah OK. I couldn't quite remember all the details of that case.

Quoting Airstud (Reply 36):
What are "STEMIs?"

I googled it and found out that it's a type of heart attack.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:42 am

Ahh, that would make sense b'cuz MI is myocardial infarction.

But, unclear on what makes an MI a STEMI...
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:07 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 32):
A lady collapsed on the floor of the ED waiting room vomiting blood and the staff did nothing to help her. No physician was around at the time to even know that it was happening because they were all back working in the ED. Her husband called 911 and tried to get her transported, but was told that they couldn't because he was already at a hospital. She died.

Again, only in NYC and LA could I ever expect to see such inhuman, uncaring behavior.

Doesn't have to be either of those places..I was vomiting blood and was brought by ambulence to a local hospital in North Mississippi near Memphis. Well they put two IV's in me and left me. I was still vomiting blood by the buckets..Now I don't know too much but all the medical shows I have seen seem to take this seriously but this ER did not. By morning I was still alive somehow then a doctor shows up and they put me in a room ..Well by then I knew I had stopped bleeding because I was feeling better then all of a sudden they were concerned..I told them to pound it and signed out AMA against medical advice..I was so angry after that ER session that I didn't care..As long as I could walk out I was going to walk.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:16 am



Quoting Tugger (Reply 19):
Instead we have four lives lost, two to death from inaction and two people who have lost their livelihoods, possibly their freedom, and most certainly the life they had prior to this.

Well the Mother and child are a loss..But if this story has any merit..Then if these two lose their careers than so be it..No tears here.. That is totally uncalled for. I work in aviation and even I working line maintenance when I took lunch it is understood if a problem arises you take care of it..I have had many a lunch interrupted for a broke DC-9..So I don't have any sympathy for these two if it is proven to be true.
 
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:51 am



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 39):

Did you at least find out what was causing you to vomit up all that blood?
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NorthstarBoy
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:05 am

Just to play devil's advocate, is it possible that they didn't have the proper equipment on them? or that they didn't have the training to assist in a meaningful way? sometimes it's better to do nothing and cause no harm than do something and injure the patient even more, especially if you have no idea what's wrong with them.

Now, if there was an ambulance parked right outside, they don't have an excuse, they should have done something, but if they're just dispatchers as someone suggested, what can they do? besides get on the radio, if they even have a radio, and call for an ambulance?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
I could give story after story about how various members of ancillary staff delayed and obstructed patient care, sometimes for critically ill patients. The radiology tech who found excuse after excuse to delay the STAT head CT on my 15yo boy with a known infection inside his brain and increasing symptoms. He managed to delay that scan for over three hours and his supervisor could do nothing about it. The radiology tech who declared that he was on break when we had a 14yo kid in the ER with his foot literally hanging off the ankle (skin intact). The lab tech who, when presented with a STAT lab, told me that he'd run it "when he got around to it," but I needed the results right away. The lady in Blood Bank who talked over me and yelled at me when I told her that I needed O-negative blood for a newborn baby right now or the baby would be dead. What if it were *her* baby? It happened time after time after time. Never once in any other place have I ever had this issue so consistently. But in New York City, it just seemed like the norm.

I suspect it's that way in any big city with a mix of very wealthy and very poor people. Whether we like it or not, people just don't give a sh*t about the poor, they're considered to be expendible and pretty much worthless. I also suspect that when you're working in an inner city hospital you just become indifferent after a while, you see the same thing over and over again so many times, poor kid comes in with stab wounds, gun shot wounds, drug overdose, etc and you know the kid "Is just going to die anyway" so you just stop caring, Furthermore, given that it's a Medicaid hospital, these people aren't exactly paying customers, I'm sure that the hospital gets paid by the government no matter what and the chances that the parents of some kid on welfare are going to sue because you didn't do your job fast enough to save their kid's life are pretty much non-existent because they don't have the resources. I'm sure such behavior doesn't happen at places like Cedars-Sinai or any other hospital that caters to the upper class. Those people are going to get the best care because they and/or their insurance company is paying for it and if a wealthy patient dies because the staff didn't move quickly enough, there will be a legal sh*tstorm over it.

And that's not to suggest i condone the attitudes of those staffers you referenced, but,i do understand it. I think it happens with the cops as well, the attitude becomes, "Another dead inner city black kid, big deal."
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:34 am



Quoting Airstud (Reply 36):
What are "STEMIs?"

Sorry I was talking in Doctor  Silly. A STEMI is an ST Elevation MI, the type of heart attack that is much more worrisome, which you can detect on an EKG and most often leads to an emergency angiography to try and see if there's a block in the coronaries which can be opened.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:13 pm



Quoting Mdsh00 (Reply 31):
from the lab tech because they are going through so many specimens"

With all due respect as a former blood bank lab tech you don't have the big picture when you call in your request. You have no idea what other issues we are dealing with all of which can be critical. One has to triage in the ER and pick which patient to work on same thing happens in other hospital departments there is only so much labor and equipment to go around.

Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 39):
Well by then I knew I had stopped bleeding because I was feeling better then all of a sudden they were concerned..I told them to pound it and signed out AMA against medical advice..I was so angry after that ER session that I didn't care..As long as I could walk out I was going to walk.

You sure showed them.  Yeah sure
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:39 pm



Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

Almost certainly not.

Quoting Airstud (Reply 10):
there absolutely have to be similar exemptions to the "15-minute break" rule when, for gosh sakes, there are lives in jeopardy!!!!!

1) In most states, its actually a 10 minute break.

2) This isn't about being legally defined as exempt or non-exempt. This is about basic human decency.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 13):

There is no such thing for NYEMTs. They are on duty from the moment they report for their tour till they are done with their tour. There is no such thing as break time.

That is almost certainly untrue, unless there is some sort of exception written into the New York State Labor Code.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 25):

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 24):
The latest news stories on this are saying they are suspended (probably with pay, due to obscene labor union rules)

Um it's not only in unionized industries where people are suspended with pay.

I have never met a unionized EMT. Firefighter Paramedics are a different story, but also a different animal.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:43 pm



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 42):
or that they didn't have the training to assist in a meaningful way? sometimes it's better to do nothing and cause no harm than do something and injure the patient even more, especially if you have no idea what's wrong with them.

Even if you can't directly do anything to help the person, if you're a professional it seems like there's an option between "go screw yourself, I'm on break" and performing surgery on the floor of the coffee shop.

Presumably if nothing else they could have called 911 and provided more detailed information than a lay person; possibly preformed CPR (if this is a situation where CPR would have helped) etc., etc.

Even not doing anything, but acting helpful would have cast the EMTs in a better light.

I've been had "emergency"-within-the-scope-of-my-employment (not medical emergency, but "someone's going to be pissed if this isn't dealt with now") situations crop up while I'm "on break" or "out of the office" and I've dealt with the situation then resumed my "break" (or just took an appropriate amount of comp time the next day) -- it's not like they would have "lost" the time had they helped.
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:59 am



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 42):
Just to play devil's advocate, is it possible that they didn't have the proper equipment on them?

You need your hands, brain, and mouth. At the least you can do CPR. You can take charge of the situation, keep everyone calm, clear the area so that paramedics can get through, and give bystanders clear roles so that they can help you.

You can do a LOT with your hands, brain, and mouth.

Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 42):

I suspect it's that way in any big city with a mix of very wealthy and very poor people.

I have worked in London, San Francisco, Madrid, Ann Arbor, and New York City. There are bad apples everywhere, but the only place I saw it over and over and over again without anyone doing anything about it was NYC.
-Doc Lightning-

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mdsh00
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:20 am



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 44):
With all due respect as a former blood bank lab tech you don't have the big picture when you call in your request. You have no idea what other issues we are dealing with all of which can be critical. One has to triage in the ER and pick which patient to work on same thing happens in other hospital departments there is only so much labor and equipment to go around.

right but when i call ahead to say "this patient has active chest pains and is having a heart attack" I would hope it be given some priority since the window to cath is so short, not an irritated "we'll get to it"
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RE: Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'

Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:27 am



Quoting OA412 (Reply 41):
Did you at least find out what was causing you to vomit up all that blood?

Nope I never did..I even went to my gastroenterologist and he performed a endoscopy and could not find what caused it.. I have to say I knew I lost some blood because when I left the hospital I was pretty woozy..Thankfully I recovered.

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