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Home > EMS News
February 18, 2013

Medic assaulted after unsuccessful CPR

Angry family member of deceased woman also damaged equipment

By EMS1 Staff

KIRYAT TIVONF — A paramedic who unsuccessful in his attempts to save a woman with CPR was assaulted by a family member of the patient.

Ambulance crews told police the man lashed out when they told him nothing more could be done to save the woman.

The medic sustained a significant injury to a hand the family member also damaged the crew’s equipment in the ambulance, according to The Yeshiva World.


 

Comments
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Ray Lott Emtiv Sstn Ray Lott Emtiv Sstn Monday, February 18, 2013 2:20:20 PM WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE ANGER NO EXCUSE FOR THIS.
Brodie Verworn Brodie Verworn Monday, February 18, 2013 2:30:18 PM if the situation smells of instability of any sort, load them in the ambulance, go, and call them a block down the street.
Alan Trice Alan Trice Monday, February 18, 2013 2:59:41 PM scene safety.
James Barber James Barber Monday, February 18, 2013 3:09:26 PM you cant argue that scene safety should be first in this situation. Walking into a house that seems fine and family seems normal. That was just pure ignorance on the family for harming the medic, when he clearly was trying to help.
Jake Stein Jake Stein Monday, February 18, 2013 3:13:24 PM Looks like you have not worked very many codes or been around death very much. This is called grief. It used to happen alot in hospitals until they started explaining what was happening to the family. EMS tends to shove people out of the way.
Ernie Sharp Ernie Sharp Monday, February 18, 2013 3:14:56 PM Fifty two percent of all EMS responders report having been physically attacked on the job at some time within the previous twelve months. According to the University of Maryland, the risk of nonfatal assault resulting in lost work time among EMS workers is 57 cases per 10,000 workers per year. The national average for all professions is about 1.8 cases per 10,000 workers per year, making the relative risk for EMS workers about 30 times higher than the national average. This isn't just EMS getting hurt: in 1999, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 2,637 nonfatal assaults occurred to hospital workers--a rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers. Healthcare providers are twice as likely, and EMS workers 15 times as likely, to be assaulted on the job than police officers or prison guards are. Some locations and cities are obviously seeing injury rates that are far above the average. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified violence in the medical setting as a potential hazard, and found the training of medical staff to identify and deal with potential violence ineffective. It is the third leading cause of on the job injuries in EMS (only lifting patients and vehicle collisions injure more EMS workers) and the second leading cause of on the job fatalities (behind vehicle accidents), yet the only training we get is "don't enter the scene unless it is safe." This approach is obviously not working. There remains a reluctance on the part of EMS agencies and hospital administrators to provide training to effectively address workplace violence. This begs the question: Why are EMS agencies so reluctant to face this issue? In most agencies, there is no policy for dealing with violent encounters, training for dealing with such encounters is rare, yet the problem seems endemic. There appears to be a variety of reasons, some may not recognize the extent of the problem, and thus don't perceive the need for training personnel in basic defensive measures, while others erroneously perceive using defensive tactics as fighting, or a form of aggression. Still other agencies feel that the liability that defensive uses of force would bring upon the agency is greater than the costs of treating injured employees. Whatever the reason, allowing the situation to continue as it is now is resulting in seriously injured workers, and the problem is not going to get any better until we as a profession find a way to deal with this issue. Some changes are desperately needed if we are to see an improvement in the number of injuries that are inflicted upon EMS workers by their violent patients. It is obvious that the current policy of "scene safety" is not working. There is a definite need for research into this area that impacts the safety of our medical workers, so that a solution can be found for preventing and dealing with this epidemic of violence.
Will Roberts Will Roberts Monday, February 18, 2013 3:26:35 PM I am a advocate for in-the-field termination of resuscitation efforts when survival is unlikely to occur (i.e prolonged down time, etc) But we have to consider the family patients as well. Just because it is "not called for" and "no excuse" for assaulting anyone under any circumstances. The fact is you never know how a stranger will react in that situation. That is why it is imperative if you desire to go the route of in-the field termination (caveat to traumatic injuries incompatible with life NEVER disturb the crime scene if you can avoid it). Involve the family in that decision. If they feel that care would be better done on the way to, and in the hospital. That makes your transport decision despite after explaining that we are going to do no different than what the hospital is going to do, poor CPR bouncing down the road, ET dislodgement etc. If you make the decision for the family, you can be perceived as callus. If the patient has rigor mortis, protect the scene or follow local protocol and wait for law enforcement. Be as tactful as you can, but never let your guard down. Bail if the family seems the least bit aggressive towards you. They are not mad at you, but the situation.
Luis Fernando Sanchez Mondragon Luis Fernando Sanchez Mondragon Monday, February 18, 2013 3:58:12 PM Esperemos que no copien esto en nuestro país, siempre damos nuestro mejor esfuerzo....¡¡.
Lev Borukhov Lev Borukhov Monday, February 18, 2013 4:39:46 PM safes scene can quickly become unsafe.
Lev Borukhov Lev Borukhov Monday, February 18, 2013 4:40:22 PM safe*
Jd Howell Jd Howell Monday, February 18, 2013 7:27:41 PM YOU CANT FIX STUPID!
Gabe De Baltz Gabe De Baltz Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:20:40 PM Yeah that's smart... turn your ambulance into omi or a crime scene.
Donna Graham Hammond Donna Graham Hammond Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:40:04 PM This happens more often than people realize. If scene appears unstable or family isnt dealing well with the grief, load and go, then call medical control. Safety of crew is #1.
Mackle Mart Mackle Mart Tuesday, February 19, 2013 11:20:05 PM Unfortunately if you speak to the public they will just say "well the person was upset". Seems like it is accepted by society that EMS crews are fair game. Somehow they will probably be blamed and have to pay for the damaged equipment.
Mel Oakley Mel Oakley Wednesday, February 20, 2013 2:44:32 AM I am not in any way at all condoning the behavior of the family member (assailant), but think back to your training. How much time was spent on your role as a social worker (ie breaking bad news to upset people)? And while you are reminiscing back to those good ole training days, tell me how much time you spent learning how to stay safe on the job. As a career path, we need to start investing more time and energy into our professionals. Sure, you can graduate from medic school able to run a code in your sleep, but did you learn how to read people, how to predict who would turn violent, and then were you armed with any (and I mean any at all) knowledge on how to handle these people through either verbal judo or even physical evasion? If you look into the goals of paramedic education, I believe you will find these topics are frightfully missing. My thoughts and prayers are with the provider who was injured in the attack, I hope that they have returned to work and can continue to serve as professionally & proficiently as I am sure they did before the attack. But lets take a long hard look at our professional development as a whole and see how WE can prevent further attacks on our own. An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us. No one is looking out for EMS, we must be our own advocates.
Beth Blake Beth Blake Wednesday, February 20, 2013 6:08:44 PM what do people see on TV...CPR for 30 seconds and then they "wake up" that's what people believe! I have been a medic for 15 years and can tell you this no matter how well you can "read" people you are not always right.. the one thing I have learned over the years is this..unless you were on the call you don't know all the details. everyone can hear of a call and say I would have done xyz...everyone is a perfect medic when hearing what someone else did.. yes more education about death in the field is a good thing... but maybe just maybe this medic did everything "right" and this person went crazy....our job is dangerous. we do the best we can but sometimes bad things happen.. how about we pray for the medic rather than over analyzing what could have, should have been done!
Velvet Scheidler Velvet Scheidler Thursday, February 21, 2013 7:39:46 AM I was actually in a similar situation when I had to tell a mother that her 27 yrs old son was dead and there was nothing I could do to help him. I completely understood her anger and lashing out. I don't know that I would of taken such horrible news any better, but I did have to call law enforcement for help.
Jake Stein Jake Stein Thursday, February 21, 2013 9:49:17 PM Who are you referring to? The Paramedic or the family member?
Jake Stein Jake Stein Thursday, February 21, 2013 9:53:14 PM Police Officers and Prison Guards are well trained to avoid being attacked. When they are, they usually end up dead. I doubt if you know how serious it is to be attacked by an inmate locked up in a prison with not future. EMS is just inadequately trained to handle interpersonal communication for situations such as this. They are also inadequately trained to recognize potentially violent situations. 110 hours of EMT training barely covers enough first aid to be of much use. Paramedic training does not cover all that much more either especially for the stressful situations which might be encountered.
Maurice Brown Maurice Brown Friday, February 22, 2013 8:51:38 AM people want everything their way... when are they going to realize that we are not GOD!

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