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State board issues order sanctioning local EMTs, paramedics in connection with 2019 call

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services issued an order sanctioning several EMTs and paramedics in the Wichita area and revoking the license of one. This is in connection with the handling of a suicide case from June 2019.

In that case, the Wichita Fire Department and Sedgwick County EMS responded to a call regarding a man who shot himself. Responders made the decision not to take the man to the hospital, instead remaining on the scene with him for another five hours before he was taken not to the hospital, but instead to a hospice facility where he later died.

The report by the state board of EMS found that emergency responders arrived at the scene a little before 12:30 p.m., reporting that the man showed no signs of life. Soon after, the report said, the man was observed breathing without a pulse. About a minute later, the report states that CPR was administered and the man regained a pulse.

Between that time, a little after 12:30 p.m., and about 5:30 p.m., a paramedic on the scene consulted with the Sedgwick County Emergency Medical Service medical director by phone and in-person, several times. The medical director advised the crew to stay on the scene and that the man’s injuries were not survivable. The man’s pulse was then described as “strong” at 140 beats per minute. Pain medication was administered twice, but at no time was the man taken to the closest hospital, about five minutes away.

Still alive, the report said a white sheet was placed over the man’s head and he was carried to an ambulance and taken into hospice care where he did later die. Eyewitness News reached out to the medical director mentioned in the report, but as of Tuesday evening (March 30), did not hear back.

Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz said the county will follow with the appeals process, but the patient care was reviewed by the county medical society and was found to be appropriate.

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