Ambulance provider may face lawsuit i...

Ambulance provider may face lawsuit in Placitas boy's death

There are 29 comments on the Las Cruces Sun-News story from Sep 19, 2009, titled Ambulance provider may face lawsuit in Placitas boy's death. In it, Las Cruces Sun-News reports that:

The family of a 4-year-old Placitas boy who was accidentally run over by a vehicle and killed has threatened to sue Do-a Ana County, contending the ambulance service was negligent in its response.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Las Cruces Sun-News.

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Las Cruces, NM

#22 Sep 21, 2009
las cruces wrote:
i see this family is mad upset that ther kid waz killed but a law suit well i think its stuped cuse look where they live you cant expect help to be ther in 2 seconds hellow thats just not right i think ther just trying to find a way to make monny i hope somone sees this its stuped i done think ems did anything bad just rushed to get ther and they got mad cuse ther not ther in 2 seconds well its life look where thes people lived bye hatch well think about it its not in the city it out in no where well i hope they cant get monny its just wrong of them trying make monny off ems they did do ther job.
First of all before you start making comments about where people live LEARN HOW TO WRITE!!!!
Irritated in LC

Albuquerque, NM

#23 Sep 21, 2009
David in Las Cruces wrote:
<quoted text>
Low budget? I got an AMR taxi ride for 3.7 miles at the tune of $602.25. The only service I got was an IV drip. I had to walk to the ambulance, crawl in, and lie down on the guerney. Then I got badmouthed by the paramedic, you know who you are. Even though I was in complete renal shutdown, according to the ER doctor, they turned their lights and siren off and gave me a leisurely ride. Next time, if it happens again, I will take a taxi. AMR is a monopoly and it needs some competition.
Well "David in Las Cruces" maybe you should think about what the ambulance service deals with on a daily basis. We deal with the whole Dona Ana County, which is from north of Hatch, to Sunland Park to almost Deming and over to the Otero side of Chaparral, with anywhere from 7-10 ambulances. Is it right? No but if you can birth EMT’s then please send em our way! We ALL do copious amounts of overtime just to serve the county! So sorry that we couldn’t do anything for your “renal failure”(because we don’t do dialysis!) but the “taxi” ride is all we could offer to you. So think about the next time you call, there may be someone actually out there that could use our services more! Oh and about the charges, there are 2 base rates depending on level of care and then charged per mile. The EMT's have no part of billing mind you!
Irritated in LC

Albuquerque, NM

#24 Sep 21, 2009
David in Las Cruces wrote:
<quoted text>
I realize this. I've met a few of the paramedics and they were quite nice and good people. I'm talking about the corporation AMR. They get $552.25 and the people actually doing the life saving get $50? What a racket, AMR!
The part that "Hard Times" wrote about $50/hr may be for another area. Here, yes, we get an hourly rate. But I guarantee that it would shock you as to how little we get paid.
Irritated in LC

Albuquerque, NM

#25 Sep 21, 2009
Most of the comments that are being posted sound crude and harsh. But the reality is, is that they are all true. Being a local Paramedic, I have a lot to say, so I apologize for the length of this message. From the article that was posted, it is but from one side, the family of this little boy. So it is already unfair. I am truly sorry for their loss. It has been proven that in a heightened emotional state, time is not what it seems. It seems to be slowed. So for the mother to state that it took AMR a good hour to arrive, it probably felt like an eternity to her, but had been proven 30 min from MVRDA. I’m not saying that its justified. But when the old Hatch ambulance decided to back out and leave that community, AMR stepped up and accepted the contract so that Hatch and surrounding areas were not without an ambulance. They didn’t have to! I believe that the unit that was there before this tragedy had occurred was on another call and was transporting that patient to a hospital. I bet if we knew the circumstances for that call, that patient probably didn’t require an ambulance. As most don’t here in Dona Ana County. As that pt was being taken care of, another unit from LC was sent to Hatch. Most people don’t realize our trucks do not go over 75 mph. So to drive 45 miles, it takes about 40 minutes. I commend the volunteer personnel for their incredible effort on this horrible call. Now for the family to state that Dominic had a pulse the whole time while CPR was being performed, I want to know how they knew that! Are they trained medical personnel? Plus, we do not do CPR if there is a pulse. If CPR produces a pulse, then it’s GREAT CPR! I also want to know how the family can say that the ambulance didn’t have the right equipment, talking about the oxygen mask. Again, are they trained medical personnel? Much of our pediatric equipment looks like the adult equipment that we carry. For them to also comment on the “medic’s weren’t doing anything while the volunteers were performing CPR” is a crock! The Paramedic is the highest trained personnel on that scene. If the tasks are being taken care of, by volunteers or police personnel, then the Paramedic is the “Supervisor”. He/she watches EVERYTHING to make sure it is being done appropriately. I swear they weren’t just sitting there, they were probably giving medications, watching the cardiac monitor and rechecking the patient for any changes. If you are an outlying county resident, or are thinking of moving to the outlying areas, I urge you to do some research about EMS and Fire Departments that would be responsible for you and your home. Especially if you or your family is chronically ill, the farther away you move from town, the longer it is going to take EMS to reach you. The community also needs to be educated in the matter of calling 911. If you do call, yes we will respond. But think about what you are considering an emergency. Is it a scratch or a heart attack? It might just take an ambulance away from someone who really needs help. So maybe instead of this family suing for something that can never be replaced, they could help educate the community.
Does not surprise me

Las Cruces, NM

#26 Sep 21, 2009
No parent should have to experience a tragedy like this just as no child should have to experience it either. However, we as human beings cannot control what is going to happen to us in life at any particular given time. If that was the case we would either prepare or create a preventative measure to keep bad things from happening. I cannot imagine what this family went through while waiting for an ambulance nor can I imagine how they feel with this loss of a child. However, a lawsuit trying to seek money from a provider is not going to solve anything. Blaming someone else is not going to solve anything either. Nothing is going to change that tragic event now. Rather than taking a negative approach to the situation why not try to invest into trying to make things better? Help to educate the public on what an ambulance is used for. Many calls are "to get into the ER faster," even when it is not a true emergency. Those non emergency calls tie up ambulances from real emergencies like this one. Thats a great place to start with education. And medics are not to blame either. They too suffer from calls like this even though others may not realize it. For almost no pay and long hours they are out there risking their own lives to help those in need (or not in need). They too have families at home that want them around.
A reference was made about an ambulance being stationed close to the residence where the incident took place. It should have taken minutes for that stationed ambulance to get there. So more than likely that ambulance was not there and on another call? The article stated that it did not know where the ambulance had responded from. That distance most likely played a factor in response time as American Medical Response does have to cover Dona Ana county. A risk of longer response times is taken when you live in a rural area.
This incident is something that nobody should have to experience, but the fact of the matter is that it did happen. There are two sides to every story so lets try to look at both. Despite all of the circumstances to the situation blame and pointed fingers are being done rather than efforts to try and make improvements. Winning money is priority in this case and is not going to solve anything IF it is given. However, threatening to file a lawsuit does not surprise me.
Golf Pal

Albuquerque, NM

#27 Sep 21, 2009
That is too sad, especially when it's young children. If the parents were able to drive to an area for the helicopter, why not drive the entire way to the hospital. Then they would just let 911 know they were taking their baby to the hospital. As for the amounts first responders get paid, that is irrelevant because, that's the profession they chose.

Las Cruces, NM

#28 Sep 21, 2009
Aggie wrote:
Wow. Mean responses! I wondered how long it would take for someone to sue. Does anyone realize that Hatch had its own AMR crew and ambulance until April when they decided it was not financially feasible to continue serving that community? Now look what happened. It is negligent and stupid to think that a county as big as Dona Ana can be effectively served when the closest emergency medical vehicle is 45 miles away. Why do you think Hatch has a fire department? Because it would take too long for LCFD to respond.
I'm sorry for the loss of a child. I agree that the parent's lack of attention is to blame for the accident, but has it been proven through autopsy that there is no way the child could have survived had the ambulance shown up quickly? If there was a chance the child could have survived with rapid medical transport, then the parent is not at fault for his death but only for the accident. AMR and DAC are responsible for his death.
That's not the way proximate cause works, sorry.

Even of AMR and DAC were slow to respond. They would not have had to respond had the family member not run over Dominic.

Albuquerque, NM

#29 Sep 21, 2009
LC Today wrote:
Once again another tragedy took place over the weekend with two siblings (a 3-yr old and a 5-yr old) drowning in a large water hole because of no supervision. Question has to be "when are these parents going to file a lawsuit" for whatever reasons?
I am thinking against the county too for road conditions
Vallejo Rules

San Bruno, CA

#30 Oct 5, 2009
I feel for you all. The sad thing is AMR is always the consistent name from California to Oregon to New Mexico. AMR doesnt care about the citizens whatever saves them a buck. In monterey County, CA they are charging $2,080.00 base rate and $45.00 a mile and they say they cant afford an ambulance in this little boys town, really. I find that hard to believe. Remember it always pays to stick with local, because they are the ones who care about the patient health not just the bottom line. To bad Southwest got voted out, maybe they should come back????

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