The City of Columbus, Ohio has agreed to pay $1.2 million to the family of a 76-old-woman who suffered a cardiac arrest and died after paramedics failed to treat her for nearly 25 minutes after she vomited and turned blue while at an MRI facility where she was getting an MRI of her hip.
The woman had complained that she was having problems breathing and had chest pains, causing the MRI facility staff to call for the paramedics, advising that the woman was suffering a cardiac arrest.
The paramedics allegedly failed to take the woman’s vital signs, failed to hook her up for an EKG, and failed to treat her as a cardiac arrest patient, but instead advised the woman’s son at one point that he should drive her to the hospital in his personal vehicle. The woman’s family was incensed that the paramedics were more concerned about the pot roast that they intended to have for dinner back at the fire station rather than the welfare of the woman. Staff at the MRI facility were appalled at the apparent lack of concern by the two paramedics regarding the woman’s condition, leading them to write letters of complaint to the city.
Finally, after 26 minutes of failing to properly evaluate and treat the woman, the paramedics loaded her into the paramedic unit, after which the woman slumped over and lost consciousness. The paramedics performed CPR on the woman during the transport to the hospital but the woman died a few days later due to the lack of oxygen to her brain that proved to be fatal.
It was reported that one of the paramedics, who was 66-years-old and had been employed by Columbus since 1997, testified during his deposition in the family’s Ohio wrongful death lawsuit that he was confused as to the woman’s symptoms at the MRI facility (“We were not getting sufficient information about the patient. The patient had no history of congestive heart failure.”). The Fire Chief reportedly stated about the incident, “This incident, though, is very concerning to me. What happened on this run is not even close to the standards we hold ourselves to and we feel awful about what happened,” promising better training for the city’s paramedics.
The two paramedics were subjected to discipline for the incident – they were required to undergo counseling.
In a medical emergency, responding paramedics are often the first line of medical evaluation, triage, and treatment for what may be life-threatening medical conditions. We rely on paramedics to have the proper initial and ongoing training and experience to timely and properly respond to any situation that they may encounter in the field. If paramedics fail to comply with the standard of care expected of them, the results can be catastrophic or fatal.
If you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of paramedic malpractice (the failure of a paramedic to comply with the applicable standard of care under the circumstances), you should promptly seek the advice and professional services of a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your paramedic malpractice claim for you and represent you in a claim against a paramedic, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you with a claim involving paramedic negligence.
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