Family Baffled that Victim was Unattended - @

Family Baffled that Victim was Unattended


Laura Heinauer | | Thursday, December 20, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas -- The family of Erica N. Smith, an Austin woman who was incorrectly presumed dead after a traffic collision in San Antonio and later died at a hospital, is "very concerned" about the amount of time that lapsed between when first responders arrived at the scene and when the woman was treated, her brother said Tuesday .

Smith, a 23-year-old Texas State University-San Marcos senior, was covered with a yellow tarp, according to news reports, and police said she was left unattended for more than two hours Sunday after emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene of the wreck. An investigator for the medical examiner's office later arrived at the scene and discovered that Smith was still alive, officials said.

She died Monday at Brooke Army Medical Center.

"She was one of the best; you couldn't ask for a better sister," her brother, Bobby Smith, 21, said Tuesday. "She was just perfect."

"It is unfathomable to me that my little cousin sat, bleeding, under a tarp and in the cold while receiving no medical attention," Kimberly McGuire, a cousin of Smith's, said in an e-mail to the San Antonio Express-News. "I can't help but wonder if her injuries would be less severe had she received the prompt medical treatment she deserved."

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said that the department is reviewing the incident but that he didn't expect the paramedics who thought she was dead to be disciplined. He would not specify how the paramedics checked Smith's condition but said they generally check for vital signs.

"The paramedics, when they were doing their job, they didn't think they were missing anything," Hood said.

According to a police report, Smith was the front-seat passenger in a Honda Accord that was hit head-on by a vehicle that crossed a median on Loop 410.

The driver of the other car, Seguin resident Jenny Ann Ybarra, 28, has been charged with intoxication assault. Police said she was released from Bexar County Jail after posting $5,000 bail Sunday.

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Extrication and Rescue, Legal and Ethical, Patient Management

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Salt Lake City Firefighters Injured in Firehouse Fire

Nine sent to a hospital with smoke inhalation.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Pennsylvania Paramedic Killed in the Line of Duty

West End Ambulance medic killed at accident scene.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Rigs Going in Service from EMS Today 2015

Snap shots of some of the vehicles at EMS Today that will be on the streets soon
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Florida Hospital Fire

Fire halts construction project at Tampa cancer center.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >