George Floyd Paramedics

What do you think you would've done?

  • Remove the patient from the scene (possibly transport to hospital or just to a safer spot close by)

  • Stay on scene and treat

  • Other (please explain)


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Aprz

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I keep seeing people online debate about what they would've done if they were the paramedics that responded to George Floyd. Some people argue that they believe the scene was too unsafe or unpredictable to work the patient on scene. Some argue that some angry bystanders isn't a scene safety issue and they would've worked the patient on scene. It seems pretty split online and I am curious what EMTLife thinks.

If you haven't seen the video or do not want to watch it, here is a description.
An officer is on the patient's neck while the patient is prone. The patient is awake and talking, he's telling the officers he cannot breathe, and bystanders are getting agitated. About 3-4 minutes before EMS arrives, it looks like the patient becomes unconscious and isn't breathing. The bystanders recognize that the patient may be in cardiac arrest and beg officers to check for a pulse, but the officers' actions do not change. When EMS arrive, they check the patient's pulse while he is still prone with an officer on his neck (a lot of people missed this and thought it was another officer, but Hennepin EMS looks like highway patrol/officers). The officer gets off the patient and they roll the patient while he is still handcuffed. The patient is loaded into the ambulance with no ventilation or chest compressions. There's no mention if the patient is in cardiac arrest yet or not.

WARNING: The video contains an officer on the patient, the patient saying he cannot breathe, angry bystanders, and ultimately the patient becoming unconscious and dying. The video is right here.

What do you think?

*** Please keep this civil and on topic (would you stay, go, or other?). This is not meant to be a discussion on police brutality or black lives, but assessing the paramedics' actions. I personally believe that there is no true right answer, it's a judgement call or preference, and I think there are pros and cons to each way. It's hard to tell when you don't work in a certain area (eg might feel fine working in Mountain View, CA with low crime rate, but not fine in Oakland, CA with high crime rate). It looks like resource is limited, and maybe some of us would be fine if we had more hands on deck (eg fire on scene as well), but since it didn't look like fire was on scene, those paramedics were by themselves. Feel free to add your thoughts on this or conditions that might make you change your mind on staying or going. Hopefully this will prepare you when you might end up in this situation, recorded, and judged by the rest of the world for your action or perceived lack of. ***
 

GMCmedic

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Taking off to the hospital leaves me with fewer resources and the science says stay and play. I'd probably do just that, though I didn't watch the video but from reports ive read, the crowd only wanted help for the man.
 
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Aprz

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@GMCmedic I tried to put in the options that you could just simply move him away from the scene without transporting.
 

ffemt8978

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You ALWAYS leave an unsafe scene. ALWAYS.
If you are able to.

You've been in this field long enough to know making absolute statements like always and never will have exceptions.
 

E tank

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Not to derail, but who called the ambulance? From what I can tell, he was still being restrained and conscious by about the time the call would have been dispatched. Seems like the cop felt the need to continue the restraint even after the guy went down. Hard to say but of course there's got to be a lot more to the story.
 

DesertMedic66

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This is definitely a call/situation that I do not want to Monday night quarterback. All we know is what was shown on the video which may not include the entire account for what happened to include events prior to and during. The ambulance crew on scene had way more information and was able to get a sense for what was occurring and also have knowledge of the local area and issues that area may or may not have.

The only thing I will say is that per the fire department’s report when they finally arrived at the ambulance the patient was on the auto-pulse and intubated with vascular access in progress and a possible defib attempt already made which are all appropriate treatments.
 

VentMonkey

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All I got is this:

As a minority kid who grew up pretty close to all of the post-Rodney King riots malee, I never understood the rioting. Decades later, I still don’t.

Regarding what/ should/ could have been done. It’s really not helping. People are as confused as ever.

The last thing that needs to be done is question, guess, or play Monday Morning QB to the poor medics tasked with this unfortunate assignment.
 
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Aprz

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Remember to stay on topic, stay or go? This is not to hate on the paramedics. The decision online I've seen are pretty split and I do not fault them for his death; I think the outcome likely would've been the same. I heard the same as @DesertMedic66 that they already established an airway, vascular access, and had an autopulse. I think they pulled away from the scene for safety, but met with fire somewhere else for more hands on deck.
 
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ffemt8978

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Remember to stay on topic, stay or go? This is not to hate on the paramedics. The decision online I've seen are pretty split and I do not fault them for his death; I think the outcome likely would've been the same. I heard the same as @DesertMedic66 that they already established an airway, vascular access, and had an autopulse. I think they pulled away from the scene for safety, but met with fire somewhere else for more hands on deck.
To be honest, I had previously removed a thread posting this video because it was just posted with no comments to tie it in to EMS. I let this thread stay up because you made it EMS related, so as long as the discussion remains civil, I'm willing to allow comments about the treatments and justifications.

To everyone posting in this thread this the only warning: if you feel the need to bash on the victim, LEO's, EMS or FD personnel; I'm sure you can find an audience over at Reddit because it won't be tolerated here.
 

DrParasite

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Hell no I am not staying. You have a scene that is deteriorating in front of your eyes..... what good does it do to treat the patient with an angry crowd surrounding you? This is a scoop and run situation, and get to a location where you have a little more safety. around the block, away from the mob, etc. Still got to do your job, but not surrounded by a foaming at the mouth mob.
 

E tank

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The only thing I will say is that per the fire department’s report when they finally arrived at the ambulance the patient was on the auto-pulse and intubated with vascular access in progress and a possible defib attempt already made which are all appropriate treatments.
From the looks of things, that would have been one gnarly intubation in the hospital let alone in the back of an ambulance. Good on them if they did get it.
 

MonkeyArrow

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I read somewhere that the scene was 10 blocks up the road from a hospital and 20 blocks from Hennepin County Medical Center. Given that, the scene conditions, and my guess that securing an airway would be important in an asphyxiation/hypoxic arrest and difficult given the mechanism, I’d like to say that I’d just scoop and run to the nearest ER and perform one-man compressions in the back for minute or two minute transport time. However, I don’t think there are really any wrong options here, and the crew on the scene would have a much better feel for the situation than any of us do.
 

hometownmedic5

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Step one- Get you, your partner, and the fella later to be known as Floyd into the truck as soon as physically possible, preferably with one of those fellas with the firearms. It doesn't have to be fancy or pretty. It's a rapid extrication. The building is on fire, the car is on fire, the train is coming down the tracks, pick your favorite. Grip it and rip it, let's go. The truck isn't some utopia of safety, but it's a start.

Step two- Either work the code like a code, or call an audible and scramble; but make a choice and do it. If the scene is that hot and you need to clear the scene before you do anything, it sounds like any reasonable safety distance is going to be damn near a hospitals ambulance apron. If the scene isn't that hot, then get to work.
 

cruiseforever

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They were requested Code 2 by PD will he was still conscious. When he went unconscious they were upgraded to Code 3.
 

hometownmedic5

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I'm not certain the response particulars are relevant in the examination of the paramedics' role in this thing. I know that I for example am not given a choice in my response mode. If I'm told to respond with L+S and I don't and someone dies or suffers disability that can be tied to a response delay, I'm negligent. If I'm told to proceed with traffic and I go into business for myself and upgrade to L+S and I'm in an accident, I'm negligent. With some available AVL systems, when your warning system is activated, dispatch is alerted. I have seen such alerts take the form of a change in icon color, blinking, etc; but it is a thing that can be done.

The bottom line is that, if you're in a system that has rules and the capacity to monitor their compliance, you do what you're told if you want to have a job tomorrow.
 

DrParasite

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The bottom line is that
you can be found negligent anytime you crash. or if something happens. the difference is, if you are following your company's policies, and their directions, they should take the brunt of the liability. If you deviate from what they tell you to do that, they can put all the liability on you, because you were acting on your own, and going against what they told you.

I don't care what PD says, what dispatch says, what the caller says, etc. I follow MY AGENCY's written response protocol, and we responding according to that; our response protocol is not dictated by the wishes of the requesters. And if I chose to deviate from that, I am permitted to (provider discretion), however in general, I will follow my agency's response protocol, and use that to determine my response mode.
 
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Aprz

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I don't think how you respond to a call is relevant to the treatment and transport decision.
 

Tigger

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I think I'd stay on scene but it would be in the back of the ambulance. Working arrests in the middle of the street is making things more difficult than it has to be for any scene. I would do my very best to minimize breaks in compressions for sure and if the Lucas was available (I believe it was) I'd try to get on it before any movement.
 

hometownmedic5

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you can be found negligent anytime you crash. or if something happens. the difference is, if you are following your company's policies, and their directions, they should take the brunt of the liability. If you deviate from what they tell you to do that, they can put all the liability on you, because you were acting on your own, and going against what they told you.

I don't care what PD says, what dispatch says, what the caller says, etc. I follow MY AGENCY's written response protocol, and we responding according to that; our response protocol is not dictated by the wishes of the requesters. And if I chose to deviate from that, I am permitted to (provider discretion), however in general, I will follow my agency's response protocol, and use that to determine my response mode.
You can only be found negligent if you are....negligent(duty, breach, damages, proximation etc). Proceeding with due regard and an accident happens isn't negligence. I may still be responsible for the accident, but I'm not negligent. No, really, that matters.

Accidents happen. Your insurance pays, your premium goes up, life goes on(to a point). Add negligence into the matter, and now we're talking civil tort, and not a new fender and some P&S money. Add wanto and cognizant negligence to the mix and we're talking 7 or 8 figures.

"SO your dispatcher told you to proceed with traffic, but you activated your warning system anyway. You struck my clients now deceased husbands car, killing him. Widow, fatherless children, patent negligence. We ask that the jury award damages in the amount of 10 million dollars"......
 
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