WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PARAMEDICS AND EMT PERSONNEL MAKE MISTAKES?
A Mustang broadsided Kathy Schroeder’s Hyundai sports coupe in an intersection, knocking her unconscious. She woke up wedged against the console, covered with an oily film. ‘I just remember my eyes and face burning,’ she said, ‘like bacon sizzling.’ She recalled telling the Los Angeles County Fire Department rescuers at the scene but said they didn’t flush her eyes. After being rolled into a private ambulance, she told the attendants too. They didn’t flush her eyes, either, explaining that it would get their floor wet, she said.
By the time the hospital did the flushing, the damage was done. Battery acid and other chemicals had burned her corneas, according to her subsequent lawsuit against her rescuers. Even now, after five eye surgeries in five years, life on a good day is a blurry video. Unable to resume her job as an advocate for the disabled, Schroeder, now 47, received a $400,000 settlement from the ambulance company. The people who regulate medical rescuers in Los Angeles County, however, heard nothing about this incident.
Read the Los Angeles Times article.