Hospital Administrator Voices Criticism over D.C. EMS


 
 

DAVE STATTER | | Wednesday, March 10, 2010


WASHINGTON, D.C.- As the investigation into the death of Stephanie Stephens continues, a top official at Children s National Medical Center has made his views about the case known. In a letter to the editor in Monday s Washington Post, Dr. Joseph Wright said, The decision not to immediately transport a 2-year-old with respiratory symptoms is inexcusable.

Dr. Wright is referring to the crew from DC Fire & EMS Department s Medic 33 who did not take the little girl to the hospital after her mother s first call to 911 on the morning of February 10. It wasn t until another 911 call, about nine-hours later, that a different crew from Medic 33 took the girl to Children s. She died the next day.

The family told 9NEWS NOW Stephanie had pneumonia. Dr. Wright, a senior vice president and pediatric emergency physician, pointed out in his letter that he believes the city has made little progress since the controversy surrounding the inadequate care provided to dying former New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum. Wright wrote to the Post, It was only a matter of time before a pediatric Rosenbaum case surfaced.

According to Dr. Wright s biography, he is a founding director of the hospital s Institute for Prehospital Pediatrics and Emergency Research and provides state-level leadership as the EMS Medical Director for Pediatrics within the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems . Wright is also a senior investigator and medical director with the federally-funded Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center.

DC Fire & EMS Department spokesman Pete Piringer disputes Dr. Wright s claims. In an email to STATter911.com Piringer said, During the past few years significant progress has been made in many areas concerning the state of EMS in the District of Columbia. Piringer points to the implementation of the large majority of the goals from the task force ordered by Mayor Adrian Fenty to provide a blueprint for the future of EMS following Rosenbaum s death in 2006.

According to Piringer, As of today, the Department has completed 39 of those 50 action items, most well ahead of schedule, and is making substantial progress on completing the remaining 11 items. Chief Dennis Rubin headed the the task force. Rubin is about to celebrate his third anniversary in command of the DC Fire & EMS Department. Critics, like Kenneth Lyons, president of the union representing civilian EMS workers, point out that Chief Rubin is now in search of his third medical director and is on his fourth crew to lead EMS training. Lyons calls the lack of continuity schizophrenic .

While Lyons believes Dr. Wright is premature in judging the EMS crew in the Stephens case, he concurs with Wright s claims there are problems in providing pre-hospital care to children. In his letter Wright said, I have stated often for the public record before the D.C. Council Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary just how little attention D.C. Fire and EMS has paid to preparing its workforce in the care of children. Lyons tells STATter911.com that Dr. Wright has long been an advocate for improved training and protocols in dealing with children who are ill or injured and has offered to assist the city in making these improvements.

The public relations staff at Children s National Medical Center was unable to schedule an interview with Dr. Wright on Tuesday.

Related




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Legal and Ethical

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >