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Home > Topics > Fatal Incidents

Family of pregnant woman who died in ambulance sues city

The family alleges she would still be alive today if the responding paramedics were properly trained and had proper medical equipment

NBC10

PHILADELPHIA — The family of a pregnant woman who died in an ambulance nearly two years ago is suing the city of Philadelphia as well as the city’s ambulance manufacturers and maintenance company.

In the wrongful death and infant brain injury lawsuit filed on Thursday, the family alleges that Joanne Rodriguez, a 24-year-old expecting mother, would still be alive today if the Philadelphia paramedics who arrived at her house were properly trained and had proper medical equipment.

On October 1, 2012, paramedics responded to Rodriguez’s Philadelphia home. Rodriguez, who was 9 months pregnant, was having trouble breathing after falling down the stairs. The family says she was asthmatic and on medication for a blood clot.

Read full story: Family of Pregnant Woman Who Died in Ambulance Sues City

Comments
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Juaquin Banagas Juaquin Banagas Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:59:39 PM Chick medics, need I say more.
Suson Hutcheson Pardew Suson Hutcheson Pardew Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:13:15 PM As a chick medic, I'm offended by that remark, Juaquin Banagas!
Brandi Marie Clark Brandi Marie Clark Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:14:59 PM Who in their right mind goes to an emergency without equipment?!
Carl Draper Carl Draper Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:16:14 PM Stop 99.9% of people calling for an Ambulance knowing full well it's not an accident or emergency then!! Less abuse = more money for proper staffing and training.
Jake Hammonds Jake Hammonds Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:18:23 PM I can't understand what the article is. Is it delayed care, lack of knowledge or lack of equipment.
Brittany Renee Brittany Renee Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:18:49 PM What is wrong with being a "Chick Medic". We can do the same thing a man can. Sometimes even better.
Rebekah González Rebekah González Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:20:04 PM Sounds like someone is intimidated.
Angelique Lynn Perkins Angelique Lynn Perkins Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:20:14 PM Sorry for the family
Leigh Tracey Leigh Tracey Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:21:19 PM Disgusting pig. Hope your employer sees this.
Amanda Creveling Amanda Creveling Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:27:33 PM If anyone should know more about how to handle a pregnant woman, it should be a "chick medic" you idiotic pig.
Jason Molitor Jason Molitor Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:46:50 PM So what was the ME's ruling on cause of death? I see she was on Meds for a blood clot, did she have a brain bleed? That's not the medics fault.
Vanessa Renee McInturff Vanessa Renee McInturff Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:52:08 PM Ok . ... I'm not as nice as the rest ! What is your problem Juaquin Banagas with female medics ? Are you freaking kidding me right now . Screw you !!!! So off subject of this girls death . Grow the hell up !!!!
Chris Van Hoesen-Willis Chris Van Hoesen-Willis Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:58:53 PM Proper medical equipment? So was the fall related to the bloodclot, ie; PE? Which caused her to fall down the stairs. Basically, did she code from a PE resulting in the collapse which we know is 100% fatal. So much left out of the article..
Sharon McGehee Sharon McGehee Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:14:49 PM I was thinking the same thing. You always at least have your first in bag!
Roxanne Readman Roxanne Readman Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:14:59 PM I'm proud to be a "chick" medic and I'm proud of my "chick" medic friends for all they do to help others, I feel for the family that lost their loved ones and who knows what really happened I'm sure the medics did all they could .
Michelle Torres-de la Rosa Michelle Torres-de la Rosa Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:16:05 PM As a "Chick Medic" F you!
Brittany Swiedarke Brittany Swiedarke Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:21:41 PM Idiot.
Ed Hillenbrand Ed Hillenbrand Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:26:29 PM Skip the troll. This is bad. No equipment brought in, we have all seen it, maybe even did it once or twice till e learned better. But when the patient fails the look test it's time to get your game on. I have no problem with the 8 minutes getting the patient out of the house; it does take time to move a patient safely and that is plausible. No O2 for a diff breather? Duh. Then an additional 7 minutes on scene? C'mon man, once those doors are closed get thee enroute! (Unless your agency's SoPs are "Stay & Play", then the city is truly screwed.) The doors getting stuck? Murphy worked overtime on this call. Settle out of court if you can Philly, you are gonna lose!
LeAnne Wiedemann LeAnne Wiedemann Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:35:19 PM this 'chick' medic thinks you are an asshole
Alison Vietri Alison Vietri Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:04:31 PM Sad to say that this is probably the medics fault. Any fall pt should collared and boarded. If they had done their job properly, I find it difficult to elite be that they would be getting sued. As far as the door malfunction, can't blame them for that but had they treated the pt appropriately I doubt it would've come to this. Being a medic myself and having the unfortunate opportunity to ride with PFD I can safely say most of those medic are burned out and do the least amount possible to get by.
Christine Drinkard Christine Drinkard Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:11:36 PM So we have: 37wks pg, has asthma, had/has a blood clot, it's taking blood thinners, and is using stairs. Did I get that correct? Why was she not on bedrest? Why on earth was she using stairs? How can they possibly believe a "traumatic brain injury" was caused by does being stuck? It seems to me that the TBI was from mommy dearest falling down the stairs that she should not have been using. As for her death, natural causes means not from the fall not from the EMS treatment or lack there of. Family is distraught, money hungry, leaving common sense, or some combination of those and based on the presentation by the article, should not win this suite. It really seams to me that mom was merriment.
Greg LaPlant Greg LaPlant Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:14:44 PM I love my female partners. But saying that they're better than men makes you just as bad as Juaquin. We've all got our strengths and weaknesses. Its about how you and your partner play off each others strengths and weaknesses
Amanda Creveling Amanda Creveling Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:21:26 PM Greg LaPlant - Id have to agree with you Greg, My husband is in the medical field. He does an outstanding job at what he does.
Anthony McCullough Anthony McCullough Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:37:46 PM Its a tough job being a pre-hospital medic today. I doubt the ambulance crew wanted this outcome! And with the benefit of hindsight we can all learn from this.
Arliss Arbeau Arliss Arbeau Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:42:30 PM I am former EMS and some of the best medics I know are ladies.
Chad Redfern Chad Redfern Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:48:44 PM We don't know all of the story. Maybe they were just dispel for a fall possible lift assist. We now they she was pregnant and has asthma, but they may not of known that at the time. I don't think I've ever taken the full house bag in for a lift assist. And my "Chick Medic" is just as compatent if not more.
B Dwayne Armstrong B Dwayne Armstrong Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:02:37 PM Hispanic medic, must be an ass. SEE HOW BAD THAT SOUNDS!!!
John Murphy Jr John Murphy Jr Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:16:52 PM This doesn't really show as to what caused the patient's death.
Daniel Hart Daniel Hart Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:32:44 PM I do not see any malpractice here. Lets get some info in here before judging.
Martial BrotherKnowledge Lee Martial BrotherKnowledge Lee Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:04:05 PM First... Ladies... please stop calling yourselves "chick" medics. You all are so much better than that. You are women. Or ladies. Not chicks. Dont stoop to that ... "person's"... level. 2) They came on scene with no equipment, no stretcher, and no sense about them. Then they took 9 minutes to get oxygen to a patient who they knew had difficulty breathing. WTF? No. That's sloppy pre-hospital medicine at it's finest. And none of us here should be defending that mess. Now, obviously I can't speak on what may or may not have happened in their ambulance. One can only speculate. But if 9 minutes worth of incompetence is indicative of anything... The doors getting stuck surely wasn't their fault. That much is on the company. The final report will tell us all what the patient died of, for sure. But I think we all - or most of us - know that the responders of this call f*ked up for at LEAST 9 minutes strait. And yeah. They should be held accountable for their piss poor care.
Michael Hayward Michael Hayward Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:23:30 PM I agree about WHERE was thier Jump Bag with lifepak ect. ABUTEROL in a Nebulizer treatmeant with o2 should have been given to this patient. ANY clot buster Coumadin is where Medical Control comes into play and due to the Pregnancy this is WAY risky of compromising the babies life possibly IF indeed it was a clot and this med. was administered However why was the Patient not given O2 with Abuterol Therapy en route. ect.
Alan Yates Alan Yates Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:30:57 PM You're a fool. Patient care doesn't depend on gender . Go away troll.
Chasatie Hall Chasatie Hall Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:34:13 PM A medic yourself? Hmm.... So if this pt died from a PE or some other blood clot related death, if you recall she complained of shortness of breath and currently on meds for a clot, you will argue the fact that the pt died from not being immobilized? Not disagreeing that immobilization is a universal precaution protocol, but unless this pt died of a cervical spine fracture, I don't think we can pin it on the fact she wasn't immobilized.
Chasatie Hall Chasatie Hall Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:40:42 PM How do we know what treatment they did or didn't do en route? They haven't released the PCR.... Or have they?
Chasatie Hall Chasatie Hall Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:42:15 PM Not to mention we do not know what they were dispatched to, what if they were dispatched to a lift assist.... We have no idea!
Michael Hayward Michael Hayward Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:52:42 PM Chasatie Hall Its been 2 Years Id say they released the PCR for court purposes by now, The FD KNOWS the 2 screwed up hence thier diciplining of the crew. THEY saw the PCR
Daniel Pacheco Daniel Pacheco Thursday, July 24, 2014 7:37:09 PM This family needs to go to counseling and understand people die almost on a daily basis. We as EMS workers get certified and trained before we are allowed to work out in the field. Sorry for there loss but this crew sounds like they were having a VERY bad day.
Daniel Pacheco Daniel Pacheco Thursday, July 24, 2014 7:41:11 PM Read the article patient died of natural causes at ambulance bay. Sounds like there looking to blame the city over something that couldnt be avoided. Dr assisted crew when staff got to destination. We can point all the fingers at the crew but we dont know the real story...
Lella Zhang Lella Zhang Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:44:27 PM Don‘t be panic is right, but don't feel so relax to rescue a pregnant women.
Juaquin Banagas Juaquin Banagas Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:35:39 PM Sorry folks somebody typed for caught it now.
Dominick Walenczak Dominick Walenczak Friday, July 25, 2014 3:51:48 AM I would appreciate it if the news article would refer to these personnel by their proper title -- stretcher fetchers. "Medics" are medical professionals that come prepared with necessary tools, equipment, and mentality. From what has been presented so far, the care delivered does not appear to be consistent with the standards of our profession. If the facts, as presented, are accurate then a 2 day suspension is getting off light.
Brett Nathan Gillet Brett Nathan Gillet Friday, July 25, 2014 4:22:40 AM Allison vietri: you're wrong. Not "every fall patient" needs to be boarded, that's why we have spinal immob protocols and the ability to think.
George Yaworski George Yaworski Friday, July 25, 2014 5:37:28 AM Not knowing the nature of the initial 911 dispatch, it would not be prudent to saunter into a patient without a trauma/airway bag. Breathing difficulty would also require a med kit, the team took nothing, my teams would not have gone empty handed.
Buddy Alton Buddy Alton Friday, July 25, 2014 7:03:15 AM Left out of this "news article"; Was any mention of difficulty breathing made when 911 was called? Was the Asthma something the medics new about going in? Was the pregnancy something they knew about going in? Or was it simply called in as "she fell down the stairs & needs help"? Each of the above would change what got carried in. Once they arrived they should have made more haste in transporting but what they carried in is often dependent on how it was reported to them at time of dispatch.
Robert Munson Robert Munson Friday, July 25, 2014 8:30:39 AM Ed... ALWYS stay and play in the back of the truck. Why risk stabbing myself with a needle going down a bumpy road? We had a high majority of the same meds the ER is going to give them...chew n screw aka load n go....those days of Roy/ Johny squad 51 are over...we are trained professionals....no need to chew n screw!!
Scott Wright Scott Wright Friday, July 25, 2014 1:05:59 PM Juaquin Banagas what a looser. What are trying to hide your own shortcomings by slamming women medics.
Skip Kirkwood Skip Kirkwood Friday, July 25, 2014 5:35:35 PM Robert Munson - sitting on the scene, in the back of the truck with the patient, is an invitation to trouble. Do your care inside, then load the patient and roll.
Skip Kirkwood Skip Kirkwood Friday, July 25, 2014 5:35:55 PM All of the above.
John Webb John Webb Friday, July 25, 2014 8:12:10 PM Affirmative fall with PE. No obvious trauma. Stay and play police except for load and go trauma. 2 VERY knowledgeable medics with tons of experience. A symptom of an abused overworked system and the complacency of too many nonsense calls.
Jake Hammonds Jake Hammonds Friday, July 25, 2014 9:59:36 PM All I'm saying is after reading the article over and over. And I can't understand why they are bringing a law suit against the manufactures and the maintance companies. But it says the medics weren't properly trained or had the right equipment. You get your training in school and you are responsible for checking your truck and your equipment. So it's a very sad outcome but I can't understand why their is a lawsuit against these people.
Lori Morales Lori Morales Friday, July 25, 2014 10:35:10 PM First maybe u should think before u type cause the family isn't money hungry and she didn't have any traumatic brain injury. Mommy dearest like u calling her didn't fall down the stair
Ian R Frankel Ian R Frankel Saturday, July 26, 2014 7:00:31 AM 9 month pregnant female fell down steps and NO equipment brought in?!! Red flags all over the place! That crew was asking for trouble.
Johnathan MacIntyre Johnathan MacIntyre Saturday, July 26, 2014 8:19:06 AM The blood clot killed her long before the paramedics got there.
Ed Hillenbrand Ed Hillenbrand Saturday, July 26, 2014 9:14:32 AM Robert Munson Sorry, this dinosaur does most treatments enroute. I understand the lawyers want us to stay & play, but I know that often definitive care is bright lights & cold steel.
Christine Drinkard Christine Drinkard Saturday, July 26, 2014 3:56:44 PM Article said mom fell down stairs and infant had TBI. I didn't know her and I wasn't there as you apparently did know her and witnessed the event, perhaps you should correct the author of the article so the wrong impression will no longer be given. I did read the full version from the link if that matters to you/helps you make your goal.
Lori Morales Lori Morales Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:02:27 AM So because they are having a bad day it k not to perform you job duties accordingly I don't think so. They come in with no equipment then to top it off after they take her out of the house they smack her face and chest are those proper EMS procedures. Cause if its like that then maybe EMS worker need to go back to school.
Daniel Pacheco Daniel Pacheco Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:42:24 AM Lori Morales..im not standing up for this crew..im just saying everything that could go wrong did go wrong.... not everyone is cut out for this job and you can't teach compassion..you either have it or you dont..crews like this give us a bad image
Lori Morales Lori Morales Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:51:23 AM Daniel Pacheco I agree on you not everyone is cut off for that type of job it just frustrate me when people make assumption YES I understand death happens but when it cause of lack of care then I don't understand. Being in a medical field isn't a easy job I know. I am not judging all EMS I am judging these 2 EMS who didn't perform there job duties correctly.
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