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Home > Topics > EMS Management
August 14, 2014

6 responders on leave after man mistakenly declared dead

Fire Chief Rick White put all three firefighters who responded, as well as an EMT, a medic and an EMS district chief on administrative leave

JRN.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Six Metro Firefighters were placed on administrative leave following their response to an emergency call early Wednesday morning.

Paramedics pronounced a gunshot victim dead and left the scene, but it turns out the victim was still alive. The 911 call came in just after 3 a.m. A 30-year-old man at a townhome on 735 Tulip Grove Road in Hermitage had shot himself in the head. After Paramedics arrived, paperwork shows they called a Vanderbilt doctor and reported the patient had injuries that were quote, "incompatible with life."

They declared him dead at 3:48 a.m. and left. The physician didn't know as much as he should have when he made that decision," said Corey Slovis, Medical Director for the Metro Nashville Fire Department. It turns out the victim was still breathing, so police at the scene called for another ambulance — two hours after the initial 911 call. The victim was finally transported to the hospital nearly 90 minutes after he was initially declared dead.

Full story: 6 Firefighters On Leave After Man Mistakenly Declared Dead

Comments
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Robert Gift Robert Gift Thursday, August 14, 2014 3:14:28 PM Showed no signs of life and none were detected? Then after everyone left, one sign reappeared. So?
Philip Indorf Philip Indorf Thursday, August 14, 2014 3:20:43 PM Don't ask me to explain why, but in my county if you put on any electrodes you necessarily have to work the patient
Dennis Kerrigan Dennis Kerrigan Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:00:02 PM As in any scene incident, "you had to have been there" to know the whole story of what level of patient assessment was done or not. That said, the patients capnography status would provide arguably the best appropriate technology to confirm either the presence or absence of cardiac as well as respiratory status of this patient.
Becky Heath Becky Heath Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:36:40 PM Let's assume that, say, the patient had blown a portion of his skull out when he shot himself. People do live with those injuries-usually with deficits-but it's not a definite mortal wound. It's kind of hard-but not impossible- to miss chest rise or a carotid pulse-and he would have had to have both to continue to live. It sounds like, maybe somebody got 'carried away' with the fact that it was a gunshot wound to the head. That does happen sometimes. We develop tunnel-vision and forget to look for the obvious. What would take one person out, may not do that to the next one...
KrisAnn Sisk KrisAnn Sisk Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:42:02 PM Some jurisdictions require a II-lead to pronounce in the field, even if the person is in pieces...
Neil R Goheen Neil R Goheen Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:37:21 PM If I recall when i was still in EMS it was protocol that we run a full 60 second lead 2 to confirm there was no cardiac activity.
Lisa Combs Lisa Combs Friday, August 15, 2014 11:00:27 AM Are you kidding me?? One sign of life is one sign and it needs to be worked!!! That means there is a chance for the person to live!! It's not up to us to determine who lives or who dies!! We are to do everything we can to keep that person alive. Quality and Quantity of life isn't for us to decide!!! People no cardiac activity doesn't mean the person is dead!!!! If they are breathing, or have other signs of life, you MUST work that patient. They may not be brain dead and remember Miracles do happen!!!!
Lisa Combs Lisa Combs Friday, August 15, 2014 11:01:11 AM One sign of life is one sign and it needs to be worked!!! That means there is a chance for the person to live!! It's not up to us to determine who lives or who dies!! We are to do everything we can to keep that person alive. Quality and Quantity of life isn't for us to decide!!! People no cardiac activity doesn't mean the person is dead!!!! If they are breathing, or have other signs of life, you MUST work that patient. They may not be brain dead and remember Miracles do happen!!!!
Robert Gift Robert Gift Friday, August 15, 2014 4:10:09 PM Who said there was a remaining one sign? One sign, breathing, reappeared later after everyone had left. No. There are no "miracles". .
Justin Brefczynski Justin Brefczynski Friday, August 15, 2014 11:43:14 PM As a 911 medic for several years i encountered instances where i would bypass vitals and asystole leads because brain matter was sprayed on the wall.
Billy Garrett Billy Garrett Saturday, August 16, 2014 1:05:24 AM I once worked a call where a person shot themselves in the head. Three quarters of their brain was missing and still breathing. No skull left at all, that person missed the brain stem and continued to breath 3 hours more. We transported and the hospital keep that person alive and than harvested the organs later.
Melinda Teaster Williams Melinda Teaster Williams Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:13:43 AM Everytime I read/hear about this happening I shake my head, This should never happen. Why would you call a PT DOA, without first confirming true DOA. it take less than a minute to place PT on a 4 lead montior you then have 3 leads to confirm if "you have a DOA" or a workable rhythm. Plus since when did we in EMS start determing the cause of Death. Would "injury not compatable to life" be up to a Doctor/Medical Examiner to determen? but only after Life Saving Measure's where made

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