Family Sues Ambulance Co. Over Positional Asphyxia Death

Fulton, NY – Oswego County sheriff s deputies handcuffed a combative, hallucinating woman behind her back to protect her from herself when they responded to a suicide attempt at her home in 2006.

Dorothy Caniff, 42, of Fulton, was strapped face down on a gurney after Menter Ambulance workers arrived May 25, 2006, according to police reports.

In the ambulance, Caniff went into cardiac arrest and died at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital, in Fulton. A medical examiner ruled that she died because of the position she d been placed in: prone, arms behind her back and strapped onto the gurney.

It was months before Caniff s family got the news that she d died accidentally from positional asphyxia, said her daughter, Crystal Blake, of Syracuse. Positional asphyxia describes deaths that result from the victim being unable make her chest rise enough to take in air, either because of a weight on her or because her body is severely contorted.

Read More, Fulton woman’s family sues after she suffocates in ambulance

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