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Home > Topics > EMT

Doctors defend EMTs who didn't realize girl was shot in head

They said it was obvious after an evaluation took place, but lacked knowledge of family history; the girl's 13-year-old brother is in custody


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Even though doctors at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital called it obvious, they defended EMTs who didn’t realize a 10-year-old girl was shot in the head.

Dr Trey Eubanks is head of the trauma program at the hospital.

He said, “Once the evaluation took place, it was pretty obvious it was a gunshot wound.”

The girl’s 13-year-old brother is charged with shooting his younger sister at their home on the 4900 block of Orleans Monday.

Read full story: EMT Crews Didn’t Know Girl Was Shot In The Head

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Dominick Walenczak Dominick Walenczak Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:41:39 PM I could see how this could be overlooked. If the initial information presented to the providers did not include information about it being a shooting, they would likely see bleeding. Especially if it's a smaller caliber with no exit wound somewhere up in the hairline, it might be initially evaluated to be a laceration from a fall or other blunt trauma. If the patient is unstable, they might not have done a detailed assessment to determine blunt from penetrating injury. Besides the obvious thoughts and prayers with the little girl and her family, I also extend it to the EMS personnel involved. A 10-year old girl shot would be a difficult enough call to take on its own without beating yourself up over a mistake (that likely did not significantly impact care) and being second guessed and armchair quarterbacked in the media.
Jessica Krause Jessica Krause Wednesday, May 14, 2014 2:04:10 PM You make a good point Dominick. At first, I thought 'how could they not know?' But how many times have we picked up someone who fell, or was in an MVC or had some other traumatic accident, and could not accurately assess their head injuries because we didn't have a good visualization, or one at all? A thick head of hair + matted hair from blood makes a good visual assessment incredibly difficult. Combine that with environmental issues (lighting) and more pressing issues (establishing an airway) and it could be next to impossible to say definitively what caused her injuries.
Marlene Elena Sangalang Marlene Elena Sangalang Tuesday, May 27, 2014 6:03:53 PM Very well stated, Dominick.

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