Monday, October 26, 2009

40 Minutes for a 911 Response

The guy in question was pronounced dead when paramedics finally arrived. Coroner now probing whether EMS-delay death is tied to Toronto strike - Posted Toronto

For whatever reason, the paramedics were waiting on police. No police were available to come to the scene. It isn't clear why they were needed. The guy was found on the floor with a cut on his head, and he passed away while neighbors - waiting for paramedics - performed CPR.

Apparently there was some work-rule related action going on (the "strike"), but you might just as well blame homophobic prejudice - you can't prove that either.
Mr. Hearst, 59, collapsed and died on the ground floor of his apartment building at 40 Alexander St., near Church Street in Toronto's gay village on the night of June 25, just three days into the civic strike. Bystanders say they found Mr. Hearst at 11 p.m. lying on the floor with a cut on his head, mumbling and trying to stand up. He soon became unconscious, stopped breathing and started to turn blue. Despite three 911 calls and a pair of paramedics waiting in an ambulance around the corner, rescuers did not arrive until nearly 40 minutes later, at which point Mr. Hearst was pronounced dead.
At least someone understood CPR. Do you? Do the people around you? What happens if you're the one who falls and needs help. Will you be the one who dies waiting for the professionals to come? Are you really betting your life - or the lives of those you love - on this system?

There is no guarantee this guy would have lived if the paramedics had arrived. But his chances would have been much better had he been rushed to a hospital. 40 minutes seems like an very long time to wait.

No comments: