Minn. EMS releases statement after allegations of racism during medical call

A woman accused Hennepin Healthcare EMS and Minneapolis police of racism after her boyfriend was administered ketamine

By Laura French

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota EMS agency has released a statement following accusations from a Minneapolis woman that her boyfriend was mistreated and administered ketamine during a diabetic emergency because he is Black. 

The woman wrote in a Facebook post that Hennepin Healthcare EMS providers waited seven minutes to administer glucagon to her boyfriend and then called Minneapolis police for backup when he became disoriented and combative.

In her social media post, the woman wrote that the police repeatedly asked what kind of drugs her boyfriend had taken and that first responders then administered 20 milligrams of Versed and 500 milligrams of ketamine. She said her boyfriend was on a ventilator for two days following the incident, which she called "attempted murder" and compared to the death of Elijah McClain in 2019

"We have seen the social media discussion about the care a patient received in our system. We do not discuss individual patient care publicly, but when a patient or family member has concerns we answer their questions about the medical decisions that were made," Hennepin Healthcare EMS said in a statement, according to CBS Minnesota.

The statement continued: "It is critical that we listen to the perspectives of people of color who are concerned that the care and treatment they receive may be different based only on the color of their skin. We see and acknowledge the data that shows huge disparities in health outcomes in Minnesota based on race. We own this reality as a health system and are committed to working to ensure that health systems do not contribute to these harms." 

Minnesota House Rep. Mohamud Noor has called for an official investigation into the allegations. 

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