August 23, 2017

** UK medic struck off after tampering with GPS to get out of responding to calls

** Kentucky medics in Louisville overwhelmed with drug overdose patients

UNITED KINGDOM NEWS

** The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has yanked the licence of a Guildford paramedic after he shut off his ambulance’s GPS tracking system while he was on the job. That is the word from Get Surrey (May 18) which said South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) medic James Daborn made the tracking system go dark so he wouldn’t have to respond to calls. According to the news site, he was sometimes out of contact with dispatchers for longer than an hour. In addition, he showed other medics how to disable GPS and coerced a junior provider to lie about what he was doing. HCPC spokesman Jane Everitt said Daborn shut off the GPS on at least 4 occasions. She said this misconduct resulted in unacceptable response time delays to patients in need.

** The dawn of 2017 has seen Kentucky paramedics in Louisville triple their use of Narcan on patients. WBUR (Lisa Gillespie/WFPL/May 18) said during January and February of this year 703 people received naloxone. The number is also seven times what was used in the same period in 2015. Throughout the state, the figures are equally high. Kentucky Board of EMS stats show 10,000 dosages of Narcan were administered last year. Paramedic Mary Taylor said overdose calls continue to rise despite the government  increasing naloxone stocks, expanding treatment centers, and starting syringe exchanges. Taylor said a new mandatory opioid prescription reporting system for doctors may actually have increased the problem. Since the program’s introduction in 2014, the number of prescriptions has gone down, but drug users have increasingly turned to street drugs like heroin instead. Community paramedics are now being touted as another solution. Pundits are proposing EMS intervene with drug abusers before critical incidents occur.

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