Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fail of the day

A Pittsburg man is dead because EMTs could not get to him through the storms last month. Curtis Mitchell died at his home during the blizzard that shut the town down. He had pancreatitis, and duringthe storm his condition became so bad they called 911. Ten or more times. Ambulances were dispatched on three occasions, but were stopped short of his residence by the snow. In each case he and his girl friend were told they would have to walk, and in each case they canceled the call. This is harsh. I feel strongly for them, but why didn't they tell the 911 operators they could not walk him out. It is abundently clear now that that he could not have made it out.
That to me is the only thing I can fault the couple for, not insisting that help walk to them. As far as the ambulance staff, I don't want to see them fired, disciplined, yes. They screwed up, as did the 911 dispatch folks for not telling the EMTs to get out to the couple.
IMHO, if the 911 folks could tell a sick man to walk out, they could have made two able bodied EMTs walk in. had the ambulance not been able to get close, that might have been another matter, but we also must remember that we live in modern times with equipment that could deal with this situation. snow blowers and plows are on inventory in nearly every US northern city.
If Whyoming can get a man to a Denver hospital for a transplant in a blizzard, then Pittsburg can get plows to respond as well. Unions will object to that idea, bet your bottom dollar, but unions should be barred from government sector jobs entirely. JFK is still screwing us like Marilyn, but thats the Kennedy way.

1 comment:

Rogue Medic said...

Each ambulance became stuck in the snow, called dispatch for help getting to Mr. Mitchell. Each time the medics were refused help, but were canceled and sent to the next patient. The medics dug themselves out and went to the next patient.

On that day, the medics treated and transported almost three times the normal number of patients. The paramedics were not being lazy. The medics were working non-stop helping people.

The official review by the city's medical director did not blame the paramedics.