Two New York EMTs are off of hospital duties after they declared a living woman dead. The pair of EMTs responded to a home in Queens after 32-year-old Diana Rodriguez shot herself in the head during an argument with her boyfriend. The EMTs, Brittany Fragala (pictured above) and Oren Silvers, said that they could not find a pulse and declared Rodriquez dead. They proceeded to call off all other medical help and left the woman’s body at the scene of the alleged suicide. However, an hour later, as investigators were working on the scene, Rodriquez began making wheezing sounds and was noted as breathing. The police called back the EMTs, who took the woman to the hospital, where she later died.
The Daily Mail reports that two New York EMTs have been removed from all of their hospital duties following a mistake at a Queens home that left a dying woman in her own pool of blood for an hour without medical treatment. Brittany Fragala and Oren Silvers, both EMTs from nearby Jamaica Hospital, responded to a call about a woman who had shot herself in the head. According to the call, the woman, 32-year-old Diana Rodriquez, had shot herself in the head with a rifle during an argument with her boyfriend. Rodriquez was allegedly bipolar and had been arguing with the boyfriend over the phone when the boyfriend heard a gunshot. He immediately called his girlfriend’s sister to check on Diana, and the sister called 911.
When the EMTs responded to the home, they found Rodriquez in a large pool of blood with a gunshot wound to her head. The two EMTs claim that they could not find a pulse on the victim; therefore, she was pronounced dead at the scene. With the woman determined deceased by the two EMTs, investigators continued to process the crime scene as the body remained on the floor. However, an hour into the investigation, the police say they heard wheezing and gurgling sounds coming from the supposedly deceased woman. They immediately called back the EMTs, who discovered the woman was not dead and was breathing. They rushed her to the hospital, but she died nine hours later.
— Sterling M Holmes (@STERLINGMHOLMES) November 14, 2015
According to the New York Daily News, the two EMTs are not able to work while the investigation by the NYFD is complete. The New York Fire Department says that it is standard policy to restrict EMTs from the 911 system when they are under investigation. Therefore, the pair will not be in the 911 system until after the investigation into the incident is complete.
Lawsuit |Inept EMTs who declared a living patient DEAD when she was still breathing are taken of… – Daily Mail https://t.co/uPRVRbW99K
— Ang (@ohanggyee) November 15, 2015
A source close to the case says that the two EMTs “fu**ed this one up,” and that the investigation was warranted. This isn’t the first time that a member of the medical community has wrongly declared someone dead. In fact, a widow is suing after doctors wrongly pronounced her husband dead, despite the fact he was breathing and moving his arms and legs. The woman says that the doctor ignored her pleas that he was still alive, noting that the man just had “a lot of energy to expel from his body” but was actually dead. After 100 minutes of pleading and a coroner allegedly twice telling the doctor the patient was still living, the doctor finally took vital signs of the man and determined he had a pulse. The man was then rushed to another hospital for treatment, but died from a punctured lung he had sustained during CPR. To make matters worse, the widow was told by the second doctor that the man would have survived his heart attack if he had not sustained a broken rib that punctured his lung during CPR. Furthermore, had the doctor listened to the woman’s pleas during the first 100 minutes, the punctured lung could have also been treated.
What do you think should happen to the EMTs that improperly declared the living woman dead? What about the doctor that ignored a living patient for 100 minutes because his movements were just the result of the body expelling “a lot of energy?”
[Image via LinkedIn / Brittany Fragala]