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by Jeff Rasansky - December 17, 2012
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

When you think about Texas medical malpractice deaths, you probably think about medical mistakes that take place in hospitals and emergency rooms, such as wrong diagnoses, surgical errors, and medication mistakes. But sometimes medical negligence can occur before the patient ever reaches the hospital. Emergency medical technician (EMT) negligence often occurs in the first moments after an accident if EMTs and paramedics neglect to provide the life-saving care that is critically needed.

Examples of EMT Negligence

Ambulance accidents: According to a study published in the Journal of Prehospital Emergency Care, an ambulance is 13 times more likely to crash than other vehicles. Why?  Ambulance drivers sometimes focus more on getting to the hospital fast than getting there safely. A patient who is already in critical condition may not survive if he or she sustains further injury on the way to the hospital.

Medication mistakes:  EMTs can only administer certain preapproved medications. Before giving a medication, an EMT must check that the patient has no pre-existing conditions that would preclude the use of that drug. For example, EMT’s often administer nitroglycerin to patients suffering from cardiac pain. However, nitroglycerin should never be given to someone who is taking Viagra. The combination of Viagra and nitroglycerin can cause a potentially fatal drop in blood pressure. An EMT must always ask if a patient uses Viagra before administering nitroglycerin. A failure to do so is negligence.

Paramedics may administer a number of life-saving medications if ordered to by a doctor. They have the responsibility to check that the medication and the dosage is correct before giving a drug to a patient.

Wrong diagnosis: EMTs are not doctors and cannot diagnose injuries and illnesses. Their job is simply to check for life threatening conditions, treat the accompanying symptoms, and transport the patient for advanced medical care.

Miscommunication with the hospital: An EMT’s duty to the patient ends when he hands the patient over to hospital personnel. When he does this, he must accurately report his assessment of the patient’s condition and the treatment an accident victim has had. Without this information, the patient may not receive the proper care.

How do you know if your loved one’s death is due to EMT malpractice? Learn more about Texas medical malpractice from Dallas wrongful death attorney Jeff Rasansky’s book, The Epidemic of Medical Mistakes & Understanding Your Rights.

If you believe a Dallas EMT was negligent and caused your loved one’s death, please contact the Texas medical malpractice lawyers at the Rasansky Law Firm today.

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