In Massachusetts, the family of Charles F. Rondeau is considering filing a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuit for his wrongful death. Rondeau died on May 11, 2008.
UMass Memorial EMS paramedics arrived at his home after he complained that he wasn’t feeling well. The two paramedics walked him down three flights of stairs. He died three hours later from a massive heart attack.
Rondeau’s family filed a complaint asking why the 48-year-old, who had a history of heart disease and was having serious problems breathing and experiencing chest pains, was even made to walk down such steep steps. After conducting an investigation into the incident, Massachusett’s Department of Public Health made some disturbing discoveries.
Not only did Rondeau walk down the stairs but records were later falsified to make it appear as if he had been carried. The DPH’s Office of Emergency Medical Services blames UMass Memorial EMS paramedics Jonathan Hanson and Seth Peters for neglecting to give Rondeau the care he required in accordance with treatment protocols as outlined by the state of Massachusetts and for purposely falsifying the trip record and giving false information about the incident during interviews.
Peters told investigators that he wrote that Rondeau was carried down the stairs by accident out of force of habit and because he was in a rush to get the paperwork to the hospital. UMass Memorial EMS fired the two paramedics and the DPH’s Office of General Counsel is calling on the suspension of their EMT certifications.
Other deficiencies noted extended beyond the incident involving Rondeau, including failure to comply with state laws, failure to ensure the fulfillment of state regulations, failure to provide personnel with proper polices, and failure to keep up an effective quality assurance program. The ambulance service was also criticized for not ensuring the patient was immediately placed on advanced life support rather than waiting untll he was in the ambulance.
Examples of Paramedic Malpractice:
• Wrong diagnosis
• Delayed ambulance arrive • Administering the wrong medication • Not following proper procedures and protocols • Negligent care
Paramedics accused of lying in Worcester death, Telegram.com, April 26, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Medical Malpractice Overview, Justia
UMass Memorial EMS