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Home > Topics > EMS Management

Probe launched after alleged slow EMS response nearly killed man

The man's wife said the arriving paramedics and firefighters had no sense of urgency

By Shaun Rabb
My FOXdfw

DALLAS — Dallas Fire Rescue has opened an investigation into how an asthma patient was treated in an emergency. His wife said they didn't want to take him to the hospital and it almost cost him his life. Clarence Gray he told his wife to call an ambulance on Dec. 7 because he wasn't feeling well.

"I started having an asthma attack. I couldn't breathe that well so I took three or four breathing treatments," he said.

Engine 12 was the first to arrive six minutes after the call came in. Rescue 50 brought paramedics three minutes after the fire truck was on the scene. Eboni Gray said there was no sense of urgency.

Full story: Wife: Slow EMS response nearly killed husband

Dallas News |

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Rachel Armstrong Rachel Armstrong Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:02:32 AM I don't understand the complaint here, 9 mins for a paramedic to arrive. That's a decent response time, the paramedics probably didn't seem 'rushed' so as not to cause any alarm to the patient which would worsen his condition. I still don't understand why this had even become a complaint, have I missed something?
Steven Horatio Conlin Steven Horatio Conlin Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:17:04 AM Probably going to try and get money out of the system
Skip Kirkwood Skip Kirkwood Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:40:17 AM Rachel, I think you missed a couple of things. Based on just what is here (and I know there is another side of the story), the medics acted like the patient wasn't severely ill, when he was (conveying a lack of compassion and empathy), then after learning he had already taken 3 breathing treatments, they stuck around and did three more, instead of transporting the patient. It is not a paramedic's job to tell the patient to go by POV - it is to treat and TRANSPORT. People on acute respiratory failure getting worse need to be in a hospital, and paramedics need to get them there quickly, with compassion and good care en route.
Rachel Armstrong Rachel Armstrong Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:26:41 AM I agree, there are 2 sides to every story. I won't try and 2nd guess what the medics were thinking. They might have been keeping calm not appear rushing as to not panic family or patient. I wasn't there so can't really comment. Working in the UK I think is slightly different to working in the USA. We just automatically transport all our patients who have rung for an emergency to the nearest, appropriate hospital. I think there are a few questions that the crew will need to answer. It's not a straightforward case
Tim Thompson Tim Thompson Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:17:08 AM True, there is always two sides to every story and both need to be heard in order to get to the bottom of this incident. However, I was a Paramedic for more than 30 years and I always told my employee's and students it's the easiest job in the world, just do what you are supposed to do.
Scott Simontis Scott Simontis Thursday, December 20, 2012 9:43:35 PM Skip, they do treat and transport. But a good medic will focus on a thorough patient assessment instead of throwing someone on a stretcher and driving to the nearest hospital ASAP. A thorough assessment allows in-field treatment to begin and can reveal additional complications the patient was not aware of. For asthma issues, these often can be treated in the back of an ambulance with the proper meds instead of wasting lots of money to do the exact thing at the ER. Medics are supposed to always remain calm and collected. Reading the full article, I believe this woman is lying. The things she say do not add up, her comments about respiratory failure are all unfounded. The medics can artificially ventilate the PT the entirel ride, he wouldn't have "died if they got there a minute later" Respiratory failure doesn't mean there is no O2 in the body(that's called dead), it means you cannot spontaneously breathe. These medics did everything according to protocol, I am sorry she doesn't understand the demands of working a major EMS.
Michael J Carson Michael J Carson Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:00:18 PM 9 minutes may be a long response time for a larger city like Dallas, but out here in the Rural Communities our response times range from 5 minutes to 40 depending on where you are in the county, sometimes Flying is the better option. All to often people expect to see what they see on TV...a bunch of lunatic "Ambulance Drivers" running around lights and sirens hurrying to get you to the hospital because apparently we can't treat much in the field..........People can call me uncompassionate but i will take the extra few minutes to get there safely and I will WALK into the residence so as not to get hurt and cause a second patient and I will always take a few extra moments with my assessment so as not to miss an important finding that could be contributing to the cause....all too often the public has tunnel vision and don't understand exactly what we do.

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