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Family Sues EMS over Botched Rescue Attempt

A family is suing the Putnam County Emergency Medical Services for allegedly botching a rescue that led to the death of an infant two years ago.

An ambulance was dispatched to the home of Darby Suarez Dankiewicz in October 2008, to take the 9-month-old to the hospital for a respiratory problem, according to a lawsuit filed in Putnam County Circuit Court.

The boy relied on a tracheotomy tube to breathe. He turned blue when he was placed on a cot in the ambulance, and the EMS workers took the boy to Cabell-Huntington Hospital for treatment, according to the lawsuit.

When the workers arrived with the boy, a doctor noted that "the infant appeared lifeless, pale, and had no palpable pulses," the lawsuit states. The doctor also said that the boy's chest "was not rising and falling with the ventilations."

The doctor discovered that the boy's tracheotomy tube was dislodged, and he was soon in full cardiac arrest. The doctor said that the boy was without ventilation for a full 30 minutes, according to the lawsuit.

The Dankiewicz family is suing Putnam EMS for negligence. The family is being represented by Richard D. Lindsay from the firm Tabor, Lindsay and Associates.

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