Dropping a patient

minimunchkinx3

Forum Ride Along
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I had a call the other day during a 36 hour shift. The call was for injuries from a dispute and long story short, the kid dislocated his knee and was in a basement with a very steep narrow staircase, so stair chair was automatically out, and was laying on the floor in between a bed, dresser, and rack. We ended up doing an A splint on his knee then using the reeves and going out the cellar door cause it was only 5 steps. I thought "Phew, the hard part was over, smooth sailing from here." My other two crew members were loading him into the rig when the one started shouting drop the legs. Next thing you know the stretcher goes down completely and all you hear is a blood curdling scream. Thankfully the patient didn't sustain any injuries from the fall besides a hell of a lot of pain from the jolting of his knee.

Has anything THIS embarrassing happened to anyone else?
 

Achilles

Forum Moron
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I had a call the other day during a 36 hour shift. The call was for injuries from a dispute and long story short, the kid dislocated his knee and was in a basement with a very steep narrow staircase, so stair chair was automatically out, and was laying on the floor in between a bed, dresser, and rack. We ended up doing an A splint on his knee then using the reeves and going out the cellar door cause it was only 5 steps. I thought "Phew, the hard part was over, smooth sailing from here." My other two crew members were loading him into the rig when the one started shouting drop the legs. Next thing you know the stretcher goes down completely and all you hear is a blood curdling scream. Thankfully the patient didn't sustain any injuries from the fall besides a hell of a lot of pain from the jolting of his knee.

Has anything THIS embarrassing happened to anyone else?


Something like this happened to someone in my FF class. After confirming with the PT they were okay and all, all was good. Until a few weeks later the lady sued the company and the EMT and his partner were terminated. So this could happen to you just to let you know.

But you're not perfect, and s*** happens.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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I'm still employed at my first EMT job so no it hasn't happened to me. Let's just say dropping a patient usually ends in termination unless it was a gurney failure that could not have been prevented.
 
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minimunchkinx3

Forum Ride Along
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Something like this happened to someone in my FF class. After confirming with the PT they were okay and all, all was good. Until a few weeks later the lady sued the company and the EMT and his partner were terminated. So this could happen to you just to let you know.

But you're not perfect, and s*** happens.
Fortunately, I was not assisting in lifting at the time, I also knew the patient and family and it was my other crew member who was in charge. So thankfully, he's the one who has to fill out the incident report, not me. hehe ^_^
 

bahnrokt

Forum Lieutenant
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Ive heard a story from a nearby company where they were walking an 75 yo female pt out to the rig. They had a crew member on each side of her but not holding her. She slipped on the ice and went face first into the bumper of the rig. Knocked several of her teeth out, broken eye socket and a dislocated shoulder.

Shortly after there was a regional memo that all pts are moved to the rig by stretcher.
 

Tri Cert Lad

Forum Ride Along
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Dropping

I had a unavoidable "loaded Gurney Failure" in a hallway in a major hospital once, that wasn't witnessed by anyone, and the patient was already in a daze, so nothing happened and the patient was shaken up, but unharmed.

Another time I had an elderly female on a split frame scoop stretcher and was backing out of the Bedroom into the Living Room when I stumbled over something and went down on the carpet, flat on my back, still holding the scoop above me, in full view of the family, no one was hurt and the family didn't complain.

I worked for that Department for 32 years until retiring due to illness.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
11,322
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Had two coworkers do it trying to lift a patient out of an excavation, on TV.

I nearly did a couple times, including instances where the pt tried to tip over an ambulance litter while I was standing there with a hand on it while waiting. Other coworkers left such patients without someone holding on (they were watching), and the litters tipped over with pt.
 

cfsimmons

Forum Ride Along
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I`m in paramedic school, and during my clinical hours at a local ER, I saw a guy I know from the ambulance service I do my ride time with bringing a patient in that had coded, as he was unloading the cot, it started to tip (his emt partner was trying to keep family back from the ambulance) and it went over, the dead lady slid off the cot on the spine board she was on, apparently she was strapped to the board, but not the cot, and just slid across the asphalt a couple feet down hill. My first thought watching this scene unfold was, I'm so damn glad that I was over 10 feet away from that disaster.

The aunt who was witness to the incident was ready to sue, the mom of the pt wasn't as upset about it, she thanked everyone for doing their best. As far as I know, no suits have yet to be filed, and the medic, his partner, and the EMR who was assisting on the truck are all still working.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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First issue: you are on a 36 hour shift........ there is a reason most places cap you are 24s, 12 are more common if you are busy.

second, always make sure the cot is locked. give it a shake, lift it and bang it against the ground to make sure it's locked.

third, always make sure the hook is latched onto the cot. that means the bar on the cot must go over this hook
0705-0150.jpg
before you lift the wheels. ditto for going down, the cot goes out all the way, the legs are dropped all the way, and then the safety bar is released.

forth, write an incident report documenting what happened. if you are going to be fired it's going to happen regardless. but not documenting it is a sure way to get terminated should anyone ask management about it.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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forth, write an incident report documenting what happened. if you are going to be fired it's going to happen regardless. but not documenting it is a sure way to get terminated should anyone ask management about it.

Could help make the case for unemployment versus just plain fired, and failure to "own up" will anger your boss (lying by omission). Get your correct version out first and in writing.
 

FeatherWeight

Forum Crew Member
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I think all you can do at that point is to make sure the patient is ok, document document and document, and call your supervisor ASAP and let him know what happened. Dont try to just sweep it under the rug...
 

shfd739

Forum Deputy Chief
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I've never dropped a stretcher. I know some that have and the outcome wasn't nice.

I heard at one point that an average stretcher drop costs about $75k to make go away/settle.
 

medicdan

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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forth, write an incident report documenting what happened. if you are going to be fired it's going to happen regardless. but not documenting it is a sure way to get terminated should anyone ask management about it.
That, and getting a signed refusal from the patient if you're not ending up at an ED, certainly begins to help if there's legal action in the future... although certainly not ironclad.
 

downunderwunda

Forum Captain
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Yes

Thanks to a rather barbaric patient, a bariatric colleague & a stretcher fail, the stretcher collapsed at the head, with me in the air with a torn Supraspinatus tendon.
 
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