If you’ve glanced at the Medical Miscreant website at least once before, then you are already aware that the species known as labcoatus physicianerdturdius displays unlimited and wondrous ways to step into deep doo-doo on a daily – strike that, hourly – basis.
So it ought surprise you not a whit that a doctor in Germany managed to pronounce a woman dead who . . . well, wasn’t.
They knew she wasn’t dead because the 92-year old started screaming from beneath the sheets in mortuary cold storage. One of the funeral home workers – and how scared was that guy? – heard her yelling and called for help. And trust us, we would pay money to hear that 911 call.
In the hours before, the poor elderly gal had been found with no apparent heartbeat and was not breathing at all, so the physician – whose name is being withheld by German authorities – declared the woman dead. In the world of EMS we don’t have this problem, because we use a little memory tool called Obvious Death Signs – are they present or not? Nothing fancy, but it seems to work well for us. And for the uninitiated – like apparently this MD – a lack of a pulse and breathing are NOT signs of biological (brain) death. This is why they came up with that nifty little ritual called . . . wait a minute and it’ll come to us . . . CPR.
One thing we learn as Paramedics. Old people can get pretty pissy when you tell them they’re not alive anymore.
Anyway, the clueless doctor has since been charged with “Negligent Bodily Harm” which is a crime, and if found guilty – which he won’t be – would face a range of consequences, from a small fine to a prison term.
We suggest they spank him on the heinie with a ping pong paddle, just to wake up at least three of his brain cells. But we’re guessing that probably won’t happen.
Or they could have him spend a 24-hour time-out in the city morgue.
In our dreams.
Two days later, they say the poor woman died from heart disease, unrelated to the mishap. And don’t you just know they double-checked.
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