For the second time this year an investigation has been started into why a Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department crew pronounced a person dead who was still alive. This afternoon PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark Brady released a statement confirming that two career paramedics assigned to Medic 846 (Largo) have been placed on limited public contact status after the crew’s actions at a home in the 8600 block of Glenarden Parkway in Glenarden “resulted in a delay of care”.
According to Brady, the call came in around noon today from the Glenarden Police Department indicating there was a possible dead man inside the home. Brady said the medic crew arrived on the scene within four minutes and concurred with police the elderly man was dead.
According to the press release, “At about 1:30 PM, an official from the County Police Department’s Forensic Services summoned the Fire/EMS Department to return to the scene as the adult male was displaying signs that he was alive. A different EMS unit arrived shortly thereafter and transported the patient to an area hospital.”
At last word the man was still alive.
Sources not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation say it is being investigated why the crew spent what appeared to be little time in their initial assessment of the patient, and possibly didn’t follow state protocols for determining if a person is dead. Other sources indicate there is a question whether the medics just took the word of the police officers and possibly never went into the room with the patient. One of the paramedics is described as “seasoned” while the other more recently became a medic.
The medical protocol issues will be covered in what the department calls a quality assurance review. According to Brady, the medics have already been interviewed by PGFD’s medical director.
The press release indicates there is a also a review by the Office of Professional Standards. That review will cover whether general orders and standard operating procedures were followed.
Brady says, “Actions of personnel are taken very seriously by the Fire/EMS Department. We will ensure a complete and through review and if warranted take whatever corrective action is called for to avoid any reoccurrence.”
Radio traffic from January 24th incident on I-95 in Laurel. Click here to read that story.
This is the second such incident for PGFD in a little more than two months. STATter911.com reported that on January 24 a man whose vehicle crashed and burned on I-95 in Laurel was initially pronounced dead on the scene. As crews helped police remove the body a short time later, it was determined the man was alive.
A quality review was also initiated in that case. While Mark Brady says that state law requires those reviews to be confidential, he can confirm a volunteer from Station 849 (Laurel Rescue Squad) received remedial training following the I-95 incident.
Brady tells STATter911.com that there were no inquiries from reporters about today’s incident. Prince George’s County officials say they released the information in an effort to be transparent about issues involving the service the department provides.