EMTs and paramedics have a tough job. For them, every day is stressful because each call they go on is different. If you have ever had to call 911 for yourself or a loved one, then you understand the importance of what they do.
However, mistakes can be made by EMS providers. Sometimes they are smaller mistakes, ones that would ultimately make no difference to the emergency outcome. Some are bigger mistakes, made by negligent and ill-trained providers. Often, these errors are never made known because records are falsified to cover them up.
Whether the mistake is large or small, it can worsen a patient’s condition and possibly even cause death.
The Little Things
The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) recently brought an alarming poll to light. JEMS cited a poll of EMS personnel which reported that 18 percent of respondents thought that over 75 percent of EMS personnel falsified EMS documents.
Let’s clarify – many EMS professionals think that a majority of their associates lie on paperwork.
Many of these falsifications are likely smaller things that the EMT or paramedic thought wouldn’t have worsened a patient’s condition. Maybe a paramedic wrote that they took vital signs on a patient three times when they really only took them twice. Perhaps they documented that they obtained a complete medical history on a patient when they really didn’t.
If it was the end of a twenty-four-hour shift, a common EMS practice, they may have just wanted their day to be over and thought that these small things wouldn’t matter.
But what if they failed to notice that a patient’s blood pressure was rising because they skipped a set of vital signs? What if, while obtaining a medical history, they had learned that their patient has a history of high blood pressure?
Those two simple steps that they skipped led them to miss the signs that their patient may be having a stroke, a medical condition in which the long-term outcome of a patient depends on every minute of critical care.
At Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation, we recognize that this is a problem. Not only is it a problem, but it is medical malpractice that can lead to injury or wrongful death.
People call 911 in stressful situations. Someone is hurt and needs help, whether it is you or a loved one. You expect, rightfully so, that the EMS providers that show up will be professional. They are the frontlines of medical care, trained to handle medical emergencies.
We recognize that the majority of EMTs and paramedics do their jobs well. We tip our hats to them and we understand that they work in situations that are hazardous and stressful day in and day out.
But we don’t accept negligence, whether it is a small act of deceit or a blatant case of negligence.
What To Do?
If you think that you or a loved one have suffered from a suspected mistake made by EMS professionals, contacting a California medical malpractice attorney that also specializes in wrongful death may be your best bet. It may have been a car wreck in which you didn’t receive proper treatment or a medical emergency where you were given the wrong medicine.
You can reach out to us on our website by clicking here or calling us at 818-783-5757. Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation will help you figure out what went wrong and if someone was at fault. We will work to ensure that the rights of you and your loved ones are upheld.