June 21, 2018

** Victorian paramedics in Australia to get special training to deal with drug overdose calls, patients

** New York hospital sued after one of its ambulances got lost en route to choking patient; woman died


** Ever increasing drug overdoses among the public has led EMS and health brass in Victoria to create special training for paramedics to deal with such patients. That is the word from ABC (November 8) which said the instruction is also open to nurses and other front line workers. According to the newspaper, the training will be given over the next four years and will include modules on how providers can stay safe when dealing with overdose patients. At the same time, practitioners will learn how to better handle the chaotic situations that accompany drug calls. In 2014-15, ambulance call-outs for drug related patients rose 30 per cent in the state over stats from the previous year. Crystal meth calls, meanwhile, spiked 48 per cent over the same period, while alcohol calls only jumped 9.3 per cent.


** A Staten Island, New York hospital is being sued for a slow ambulance response that allegedly cost a choking patient her life last year. The Staten Island Advance (Frank Donnelly/November 8) said the Richmond University Medical Center has been named in the suit dealing with the death of Karen Sclafani on January 7, 2015. According to the newspaper, Sclafani’s husband says the hospital ambulance was unreasonably delayed because it got lost. This caused her to suffer oxygen deprivation, heart stoppage, unconsciousness, and a cessation of body functions. The suit further alleges that once medics were on-scene they failed to do a tracheotomy or other procedure to restore air flow to the patient. The Sclafani action is the second lawsuit alleging a patient died because one of the hospital’s ambulances got lost. In the previous instance, the wife of a sanitation worker sued after claiming the EMS delay resulted in her husband dying from a heart attack.


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