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Dead man found breathing in morgue!

DSM

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    The Associated Press
    Updated: 9:11 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2005RALEIGH, N.C. - A medical examiner studying a body in a morgue was startled when the man took a shallow breath.


    Emergency medical technicians had declared 29-year-old Larry D. Green dead almost two hours earlier, after he was hit by a car.

    Medical examiner J.B. Perdue was called to the accident scene Monday but did not examine Green then. Later, he was documenting Green's injuries when he noticed the man was breathing.

    "I had to look twice myself just to make sure it was there, that's how subtle it was," Perdue said.

    Green, 29, was taken to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, where he was in critical condition Wednesday.

    Several members of the Franklin County emergency medical service have been suspended pending an investigation, said Darnell Batton, the county attorney.
     

    docjolly

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      DSM said:
      The Associated Press
      Updated: 9:11 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2005RALEIGH, N.C. - A medical examiner studying a body in a morgue was startled when the man took a shallow breath.


      Emergency medical technicians had declared 29-year-old Larry D. Green dead almost two hours earlier, after he was hit by a car.

      Medical examiner J.B. Perdue was called to the accident scene Monday but did not examine Green then. Later, he was documenting Green’s injuries when he noticed the man was breathing.

      “I had to look twice myself just to make sure it was there, that’s how subtle it was,” Perdue said.

      Green, 29, was taken to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, where he was in critical condition Wednesday.

      Several members of the Franklin County emergency medical service have been suspended pending an investigation, said Darnell Batton, the county attorney.

      :wow: :eek:
       
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      nev

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        A similar case like that happened in Egypt. But the outcome was worse....The porter who came to place more bodies in the morgue opened one of the "shelves" and since this was a shared comparment there were a lot of bodies, and one "deceased" person suddenly got up to get a breath of air.....The next scene is as follows, the same porter who had seen this was being transported by one of his porter-buddy into the morgue's same compartment!
         

        tkim

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          jonb12997 said:
          isn't this why most rigs carry cardiac monitors?

          The way I was taught was not to apply the monitor, and to rely on dependant lividity and rigor - obvious signs of death.

          If I applied the monitor, and found something other than asystole, what next? We all know that few people survive out-of-hospital arrests, and if family and bystanders are around and see something like PEA or say a still functioning pacemaker without capture, they wouldn't know enough to say that it was a hopeless case - only that the medics showed up, they applied the monitor, saw some squiggles, and *still* decided not to work it. Might lead to some misunderstandings.
           

          Static Line

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            tkim6599 said:
            The way I was taught was not to apply the monitor, and to rely on dependant lividity and rigor - obvious signs of death.

            If I applied the monitor, and found something other than asystole, what next? We all know that few people survive out-of-hospital arrests, and if family and bystanders are around and see something like PEA or say a still functioning pacemaker without capture, they wouldn't know enough to say that it was a hopeless case - only that the medics showed up, they applied the monitor, saw some squiggles, and *still* decided not to work it. Might lead to some misunderstandings.

            I do agree that many times rigor and lividity are good enough indicators to declare someone dead, however, in this case, those obvious signs of death you point to are not going to be present on fresh road kill. In trauma scenarios, I think obvious findings of death are more consistent in situations like the following: decapitation, transected torso, massive penetrating trauma across mid-shaft of the brain, organs all over the highway--kidneys, liver etc... Just because a body is mangled and looks dead doesn't mean it is. That's why you, the healthcare professional, the paramedic, are there in the first place. That is why you have devices at your disposal like cardiac monitors to confirm what you think you see, or you screw up, hence, a living man in the morgue. Otherwise we should just go back to the good-ol- days of having funeral homes come scrape you off the highway and box you up.

            What if you find something like PEA on the monitor, what do you do then? Well, for starters, you are not a doctor you are a paramedic. Talk to your med control physicians if you have questions. Tell your med control what you have. Most of our docs where I work will not have us work a dead guy on the side of the road, regardless of what we find on the monitor, but you have to make sure he is dead first. That takes all of your assessment skills as a practitioner as well as your diagnostic tools to get it right. I am not pointing the dagger at these guys, but this is what happens when you think you have seen it all. You get careless!
             

            bemused

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              Static Line said:
              I do agree that many times rigor and lividity are good enough indicators to declare someone dead, however, in this case, those obvious signs of death you point to are not going to be present on fresh road kill. In trauma scenarios, I think obvious findings of death are more consistent in situations like the following: decapitation, transected torso, massive penetrating trauma across mid-shaft of the brain, organs all over the highway--kidneys, liver etc...

              Word.




              Static Line said:
              What if you find something like PEA on the monitor, what do you do then? Well, for starters, you are not a doctor you are a paramedic. Talk to your med control physicians if you have questions. Tell your med control what you have. Most of our docs where I work will not have us work a dead guy on the side of the road, regardless of what we find on the monitor, but you have to make sure he is dead first.

              double word. blunt trauma with ANY signs of life needs to be worked. we can't point fingers because we weren't there, but i hope we all agree that this man deserved a chance at life and almost had it taken away. i'd like to say i'd never screw up that big, but who knows... let's all resolve to learn from other's mistakes.
               

              Apollyon

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                This case, just like when it happened in NY about 5 years ago, is what happens when you don't touch the patient. Where this guy was hit is where, commonly, a drunk guy (like this dude) gets clipped at high speed.

                Unfortunately, things like this (although not this severe, but try this on for size - you're backed into the ambulance bay, with staff waiting for you with a CPAP machine - do you give the pt 3 good breaths with the BVM? No, you tube him - that's right - tube him - in the ambulance bay, 30 feet from the bed in the ED that has the CPAP machine next to it, and eat up a (possibly) unnecessary MICU bed) happen with some frequency here - I've seen so many stupid, stupid things that would have had me pulled into the office, and offline, and gotten me a severe chewing out.

                The people are nice, and definitely smart (more NREMT-P's than any other service I've seen), but seem not to be able to put it together sometimes (like working an asystole code for 1 hr and 20 minutes in the house, before transporting, and coming in without a tube). They just got Cardizem (!), and I shudder in waiting for someone to give it to a patient with WPW.
                 

                tkim

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                  Static Line said:
                  I do agree that many times rigor and lividity are good enough indicators to declare someone dead, however, in this case, those obvious signs of death you point to are not going to be present on fresh road kill. In trauma scenarios, I think obvious findings of death are more consistent in situations like the following: decapitation, transected torso, massive penetrating trauma across mid-shaft of the brain, organs all over the highway--kidneys, liver etc... Just because a body is mangled and looks dead doesn't mean it is. That's why you, the healthcare professional, the paramedic, are there in the first place. That is why you have devices at your disposal like cardiac monitors to confirm what you think you see, or you screw up, hence, a living man in the morgue. Otherwise we should just go back to the good-ol- days of having funeral homes come scrape you off the highway and box you up.

                  What if you find something like PEA on the monitor, what do you do then? Well, for starters, you are not a doctor you are a paramedic. Talk to your med control physicians if you have questions. Tell your med control what you have. Most of our docs where I work will not have us work a dead guy on the side of the road, regardless of what we find on the monitor, but you have to make sure he is dead first. That takes all of your assessment skills as a practitioner as well as your diagnostic tools to get it right. I am not pointing the dagger at these guys, but this is what happens when you think you have seen it all. You get careless!


                  Just reread the situation for this guy. Cancel my last. Got to get out of thinking everything is a nursing home code ...
                   
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