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Tartu Paramedics Take Blame for Dismissing Stroke as Intoxication

Source: Photo: Pärnu Postimees / Scanpix

Tartu emergency services have taken responsibility for not treating a man who collapsed in Mustvee and who was later found to have suffered a stroke. No disciplinary action is contemplated.

The incident happened last month one late night in the town of Mustvee, where emergency services did not provide aid to to an older man who was lying on the ground, saying that he was simply intoxicated. The man says he was sober, according to ETV.

When summoned to the man's home later that evening, the same team of paramedics recommended that he simply sleep it off. Only in the morning was the man transported to Tartu hospital, where the diagnosis was made. 

The man recovered. 

Head of the foundation that operates Tartu ambulance service, Ago Kõrgvee said that the crew did not act in the best possible manner, even though, he said, misleading circumstances and disruptions did exist.

"An ambulance crew and driver should never proceed from any sort of preconceived notion or previous experience," said Kõrgvee. "Rather, if they are contacted for aid, whether by telephone or directly, aid should be provided in every case." 

Kõrgvee said he assumed that the realizing their error should be punishment enough for the people involved, but "if anyone lacked empathy," they should be prepared to resign.  


Kristopher Rikken

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