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NYC victim's mom: EMTs were 'inhuman' not to help

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21 Comments
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Its strange that she died. What killed her exactly? Could these medics have saved her? Or did they know she was a goner and did not want to be blamed for her death?

If they could have saved her, I bet they feel like crap. And they should be treated the same. But if they could not do anything it makes you think.

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Typical attitude of union laborers.

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Very nice Christmas story from America. They are not capable of assuming personnel responsibility for anything! In Japan they would be in jail facing charges of professional neglect resulting in death.

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In Japan they would be in jail facing charges of professional neglect resulting in death.

That is very untrue. It would be, that is not my responsibility and they would just look away.

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I'm willing to bet that they didn't have the information to know if it were an emergency or just someone having needing an ambulance ride to the hospital. Assuming the latter they told the people relaying the info to call 911. At least I hope that is the way it went. I really hope these people didn't abandon someone in an emergency situation.

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It really is incredibly bad journalism (reporting) to assume that all readers are of the same nationality and will therefore understand what an EMT is. Yes it can by reading the story be guessed at, but is that the best way of writing a news story? I can guess what an EMT is, but still do not know for sure.

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"Emergency Medical Technician"

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These two were dispatchers -EMTs with little real EMT skills and no equipment. -Still they could have taken control of the situation (as anybody could have). Maybe not even insured as EMTs.

-Many are afraid of getting sued so don't want to get involved. Even most specialized doctors will not get involved in this saying it's out of my speciality. Typical New England Lib mentality.

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Badsey, I'm not sure about this but I believe the article states they had to take a

120-hour course, plus put in 10 hours of clinical time. They also have to pass an exam, and must periodically be re-certified. Plus train with the fire department.

which would indicate some skills in their chosen field even if they were dispatchers. They may have had no equipment but they did have more life-saving skills than the average donut shop customer.

As for cause of death, asthma can kill if you can't get to your inhaler fast enough.

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Well I don't know exactly how the rules work in NY, but in CO there is a rule that says if you are in a medical uniform and present in an emergency situation you are required by law to assist as much as possible. Considering these 2 were EMTs more than qualifies them to do their duty in saving peoples lives it is bad that they did not do what they are supposedly trained and skilled to do.

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Monkeyz at 08:02 PM JST - 23rd December

Thank you.

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I blame these EMTs for not doing the basics. Contact 911. The time telling the workers at the eatery to call 911 was a waste.

Keep the patient calm and treat for shock.

Stay with the patient till 911 arrives.

All they needed to do this was their radios. No medical equipment or transportation needed to do this.

These two EMTs screwed up. < :-)

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It says that they take an oath to help people whenever emergency medical care is needed so yes, I think their inaction was inhumane.

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My understanding is that if a lay person with no medical background tries to help an injured or sick stranger on the street and that person dies, the lay person is shielded from lawsuits; however, it would be different if the person who renders aids has medical trainning. Is this correct?

Perhaps the two EMTs were worried about being sued if something went wrong.

Or may be they were on an unauthorized coffee break and didn't want to get into trouble for staying away from their station too long.

So many questions but so little information.

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I won't defend this one specific instance at all, but I will say that EMTs have an extremely difficult, dangerous, and dirty job. They certainly do not get paid for that, and I am a little surprised to see that they even have "breaks."

Imagine the places that they have to go in the US--with all the drugs and diseases--unarmed with no support whatsoever. They do ALL of the heavy lifting themselves. Medical personnel at hospitals will blame them, as will victims and loved ones. Nobody in medical school wants to be an EMT. Anyone who can afford medical school has too much going for them to waste their time binding up stab wounds.

So this is sad and all that, but EMTs, if they have people rushing up to them making crazy claims every time they stop to have a donut, might have a standard response that they use, such as "call 911" just to get some time to recharge. In this one case, the claim seems to have had some merit, so they look terrible. I wonder, DID the lady call 911 as they told her to do? Did she even follow their advice?

I guess another thing to consider is the way paper trails work in the US. If you miss a step, you could get sued. A call comes in. The dispatcher chooses an EMT unit. The unit responds. The unit finds a hospital and goes there. It is possible that if they had tried to take a case WITHOUT having been dispatched, then they might not have been able to find a hospital that would take them. After all, neither the patient nor anyone else had actually ASKED for care by making the 911 call. Even if they had, there was no way to prove it, so the EMTs would be stuck with a patient they would be unable to help. A pregnant woman with breathing trouble... choose the wrong medication and your career is over. Maybe you lose your house too.

Who knows? It is clear that the situation is all screwed up. I sure am glad I am not an EMT.

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Many are afraid of getting sued so don't want to get involved.

This was the first thing that entered my mind. The EMT's may not have been covered by malpractice insurance since this woman was not specially assigned to them by their company. They would personally be responsible if anything went wrong. It's the lawyers fault.

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Medical professionals are the only ones not covered by the "good samaritian" laws, plus they would be working out of their practice and uncovered by their insurance.

An EMT crew would need to be dispatched to be covered.

These EMTs actually did the right thing legally. -If the good samaritan laws covered medical professionals they could have helped -but lawyers would never allow it.

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Now do you people understand why I got out of the medical field and why I have such a hate on for government employees? The VA and the USPH were full of idiots like these and this story is only one out of many. Had this not been NYC, it wouldn't have even left a local paper.

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Under tort law, these two had to help this women because of their EMT certification. If they had given this women medical treatment even though they might have not had any medical equipment, they would still be protected under the good samaritian law and other laws with the guidance of their medical training. If they had helped the women without any malpractice, negligence, or ommision then they would not be liable for her death. Because they did nothing, they should never be able to work in the medical field again. This is a prime example of people not wanting to do their job when they are medically trained to do so.

I am an EMT and a Firefighter and I have used my training to help other in distress. I have never once been punished for helping people, I have had quite the opposite. If you have all of the training and the good will to help which most people who enter the medical field have, there is nothing wrong with using your knowledge and training to help people who do need it. As long as you go by your training and never harm the patient, you will never get punished.

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I am an EMT and a Firefighter and I have used my training to help other in distress. " Are you under the same state law as these two? If they worked for the VA or PH, nothing would happen to them.

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http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/ems/art30.htm#BM3013

-3013

I still think they made the right choice by not doing anything -plus this lady actually died later. EMT dispatchers, no equipment, little experience, not dispatched, on payed break? = lawsuit.

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