Medics suspended after pregnant woman dies in ambulance
After a two and a half month investigation, family members wonder if incompetence and problems with the city's 911 system played a role in the woman's death
By Marisa Brahney, Lauren DiSanto, Harry Hairston and David Chang
PHILADELPHIA — Two Philadelphia paramedics have been suspended for two days following a 2 1/2-month investigation into an incident in which a pregnant woman in their care died. Now family members are wondering if incompetence and problems with the city’s 911 system played a role in her death.
On Oct. 1, 2012, the paramedics responded to a 911 emergency in Philadelphia. Joanne Rodriguez, 24, was 9 months pregnant and having trouble breathing when she fell down the stairs at her home. The family says she was asthmatic and on medication for a blood clot.
"I told her (dispatcher) she fell down the steps, she's 37 weeks pregnant, she's hurt, and she's lying down,” said Joanne’s aunt, Carmen Morales. “I told her she was responsive but couldn’t breathe.”