Washington DC Man Dies After Paramedics Diagnose Acid Reflux

In Washington DC, a 39-year-old man died at his home on Wednesday, just hours after paramedics told him that he was suffering from acid reflux and didn’t need to go to the hospital. Now, authorities are trying to determine whether Emergency Service workers misdiagnosed Edward Givens’s condition and if this contributed to his death.

Givens’s mother, Lolitha, says that on Tuesday night, Edward told family members to contact 911. He was on the floor complaining of pains in his chest. He also said he was having problems breathing. At 11:40pm, an ambulance and fire truck from Engine 30 arrived at the home carrying three firefighters, who had emergency training, and a firefighter-paramedic.

The firefighters reportedly checked Givens’s vitals and conducted an electrocardiogram. Findings were normal. When the EMT’s found out Givens had eaten a burger, they recommended that he take antacid. They left soon after.

Lolitha says the paramedics refused to take her son to the hospital because they didn’t think his symptoms required additional care. Not even six hours later, however, family members contacted 911 again after they saw that Edward had stopped breathing.

Givens’s relatives say that the father of two might still be alive if EMT’s had followed procedures and taken him to the hospital. The DC Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to conduct an autopsy and issue its findings into his cause of death. According to DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services protocol, paramedics are supposed to take any patient who wants to go to the hospital.

Wrong Diagnosis

If a medical professional gave the wrong diagnosis of your loved one’s condition or failed to give him or her the proper care, your loved one may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim for damages. If your loved one died because of medical negligence, you may have grounds to file a Washington DC wrongful death lawsuit.

Man Dies at Home After Paramedics Diagnose Acid Reflux, Washington Post, December 4, 2008
Misdiagnosis May Have Been Death Sentence for District Man, WJLA, December 3, 2008

Related Web Resources:

DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services

Rosenbaum Lawsuit Settled, Washington Post, December 21, 2007

Contact the Washington DC medical malpractice law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen to discuss your case.

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