Two Florida paramedics have been suspended after a man they pronounced dead was found to be breathing, a report says.
Clearwater Fire and Rescue sent the pair to a home in unincorporated Pinellas County for a reported cardiac arrest last Wednesday morning, according to WFLA.
The medics pronounced the 65-year-old patient dead “shortly after their arrival,” according to a statement from the department. They reportedly left the scene once the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrived to investigate the apparent death.
After a deputy discovered the man was still breathing, Largo Fire Rescue crews were called to the home. Clearwater Fire and Rescue said about 28 minutes elapsed between the initial call and Largo medics’ arrival.
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The man was still recovering from cardiac arrest at a hospital as of Saturday.
“Upon notification of this incident, we immediately removed both fire medics from their normal duties and discontinued their abilities to provide patient care, in conjunction with the county’s medical director,” Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said in a statement to WFLA.
The two medics were reportedly placed on administrative duty and clinically suspended by the Pinellas County EMS Medical Director’s Office.
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“On behalf of the city, I apologize for the actions and the inactions of our crew during this incident,” Ehlers said. “We have strict policies and procedures in place that were not followed, according to our preliminary review. These two did not perform to the standard of care that our citizens expect and deserve.”
The medical director’s office and Clearwater Fire and Rescue are looking into the incident.