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  #1  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:29 PM
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Judge Medical personnel sued for using defibrillators on women

Comment: This has variations.

Policeman who must expose a woman's breasts to save her life (defibrillate
or close bleeding wound) and gets sued for all he owns.

Veteranarian who stops to save a woman in a car wreck and must expose her
breasts to stop bleeding is sued for all he owns.

Actually this is an issue as an employee of mine is claiming this as a
reason not to use our or emergency defibrillator on a female.
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  #2  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:40 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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But were the lawsuits successful?

Using an AED does not necessarily mean exposing a woman's breast, as she may well be wearing a bra.

And the vet shouldn't be removing clothing to control bleeding anyway. Leave that for the EMTs or the MDs to do.

Sounds like this guy is afraid of the awesome suing power of women's breasts.
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  #3  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:44 PM
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htonl htonl is offline
 
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Ambulance

Don't many US states have a "Good Samaritan" law that protects people providing first aid from lawsuits?
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  #4  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Policeman who must expose a woman's breasts to save her life (defibrillate
or close bleeding wound) and gets sued for all he owns.

Veteranarian who stops to save a woman in a car wreck and must expose her
breasts to stop bleeding is sued for all he owns.
Even if the lawsuits were successful (which I very much doubt), the policeman would not be personally liable (and thus would not be sued), the police department (and perhaps the city) would be.

In the case of the veterinarian, he would more than likely have personal liability insurance and hence would not be sued for "all he owns".

To me this sounds like a "ZOMG! We must have tort reform!" screed.
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  #5  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:46 PM
Sue Bee Sue Bee is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post

Sounds like this guy is afraid of the awesome suing power of women's breasts.
I don't believe mine were endowed with that power. They, frankly, were not endowed with much at all...


I do recall something about wires in underwire bras being a potential hazard if (the bra) is not removed.

Last edited by Sue Bee; 04 December 2009 at 06:47 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #6  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
And the vet shouldn't be removing clothing to control bleeding anyway. Leave that for the EMTs or the MDs to do.
I personally would rather that someone with medical training (and let's face it, bleeding is bleeding, whether you are a dog or a person) try to save my life rather than standing back and letting me bleed to death while waiting for the EMTs to get there. That is just me, though.
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  #7  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
I personally would rather that someone with medical training (and let's face it, bleeding is bleeding, whether you are a dog or a person) try to save my life rather than standing back and letting me bleed to death while waiting for the EMTs to get there. That is just me, though.
You don't remove clothing to stop bleeding in a first aid situation, was my point. You grab a bandage, slap it over the hole, and hold it there. But you don't expose the wound further.
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  #8  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
And the vet shouldn't be removing clothing to control bleeding anyway. Leave that for the EMTs or the MDs to do.
In rare instances, I could see where this would be necessary. Of course, the patient probably wouldn't know if it was the vet or the EMT's that removed her clothing.
I did a quick google. First, all the instructions of emergency defibrillators state to remove all clothing from chest and arms and emphasize "male or female". Also, there are instructions not to place pads directly on female breasts as that can "significantly increase transthoracic impedance". So far no lawsuits related to emergency medical aid. Quite a few connected to faulty defibrillators.
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  #9  
Old 04 December 2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
You don't remove clothing to stop bleeding in a first aid situation, was my point. You grab a bandage, slap it over the hole, and hold it there. But you don't expose the wound further.
Ok, if that was the point, I agree completely. I thought the point was that stopping bleeding was best left to the people docs, sorry.
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  #10  
Old 04 December 2009, 07:17 PM
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When I was...well "worked on", they used scissors to cut my shirt and pants open.
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  #11  
Old 04 December 2009, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Using an AED does not necessarily mean exposing a woman's breast, as she may well be wearing a bra.
I just completed AHA CPR certification for first responders (I'm training to become a volunteer firefighter) and we were told that one MUST move the bra out of the way before applying the AED pads.
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  #12  
Old 04 December 2009, 09:53 PM
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When I had CPR training, we were instructed to at least unhook the bra before doing CPR because otherwise (more) severe bruising will result.
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  #13  
Old 04 December 2009, 10:36 PM
ULTRAGOTHA ULTRAGOTHA is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Bee View Post
I don't believe mine were endowed with that power. They, frankly, were not endowed with much at all...
I'm willing to be a donor.

ULTRABUSTY
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  #14  
Old 04 December 2009, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
I personally would rather that someone with medical training (and let's face it, bleeding is bleeding, whether you are a dog or a person) try to save my life rather than standing back and letting me bleed to death while waiting for the EMTs to get there. That is just me, though.
To agree I'd rather prefer under the circumstances for a passing veternarian to come to my assistance - yeah they aren't "people doctors" but probably know enough medicine to stabilise me a bit until the paramedics arrive and take over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
You don't remove clothing to stop bleeding in a first aid situation, was my point. You grab a bandage, slap it over the hole, and hold it there. But you don't expose the wound further.
I wear a heavy coat, a sweater and a shirt when I'm out at this time of year. If I was stabbed, shot or impaled on some railings then removed myself could you really apply a bandage over three inches of clothing with a small hole in it and apply enough contact and pressure to stop the bleeding or would you need to remove some clothing or at least expose some of me?

Last edited by Eddylizard; 04 December 2009 at 11:45 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04 December 2009, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
I wear a heavy coat, a sweater and a shirt when I'm out at this time of year. If I was stabbed, shot or impaled on some railings could you really apply a bandage through three inches of clothing and apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding or would you need to remove or at least expose some of it?
Not for first aid purposes. Eventually it would be removed by emergency room personnel.
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  #16  
Old 04 December 2009, 11:48 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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"Medical personnel sued for using defibrillators on women"
Medical personnel would be sued for not using a defibrillator on a women if it was medically warranted.
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  #17  
Old 05 December 2009, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effo5231 View Post
I just completed AHA CPR certification for first responders (I'm training to become a volunteer firefighter) and we were told that one MUST move the bra out of the way before applying the AED pads.
Seconded. The bra is cut open- there's a set of scissors in the case for that purpose. They even tell you to shave a man's hairy chest before placing pads as the contacts have to be perfect- a bra is out of the question.

Ca "BLS, ACLS" sey
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  #18  
Old 05 December 2009, 06:44 AM
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Police

Quote:
Using an AED does not necessarily mean exposing a woman's breast, as she may well be wearing a bra.
I am a First Aid, CPR and AED instructor. A bra should be removed from the chest area before using an AED and or doing CPR.

Quote:
Don't many US states have a "Good Samaritan" law that protects people providing first aid from lawsuits?
Yes, although it doesn't apply in all circumstances.

Quote:
You don't remove clothing to stop bleeding in a first aid situation, was my point.
I disagree. I think there are many times it would be good to remove clothing to treat a bleeding wound. In my experience blood soaked clothing can hide the true location of , and the true nature of a wound pretty easily. Removing the clothing to assess and property treat a wound is I think a pretty basic first aid step and something that a person with first aid training is capable of.
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  #19  
Old 05 December 2009, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Not for first aid purposes. Eventually it would be removed by emergency room personnel.
"It" I presume being my clothing.

So you would rather let me bleed out or go into shock than remove or dislodge portions of my clothing (where possible without danger of causing me cervical damage) to apply a bandage or a pressure pad correctly after ascertaining the exact point of the wound.

Well as regards me personally I can understand the justification, but for the general population I meant.

Last edited by Eddylizard; 05 December 2009 at 09:09 AM.
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  #20  
Old 05 December 2009, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Bee View Post
I do recall something about wires in underwire bras being a potential hazard if (the bra) is not removed.
You could get a slight burn (as tested on Mythbusters), however they point out the wire had to be exposed (what I know of Bras says that the wiring is not exposed by default) and the EMT had to ignore the rules about removing bras.

My take on this is that sure they could be sued - as can anybody for anything - the key thing is that such suits would probably be tossed on on merit once medical experts were brought in saying that removing the clothes was a necessary part of a life saving action and that it was not done to oggle at her breasts. The judge is going to say that unless she had refused treatment, the person saving her life was simply doing their job with no malicious intent.

But as it was said before:
1) Cops individually would be sued - the city would be sued
2) Veterinarians has insurance for tasks related to medical actions so that would cover him presumably.

None of this would be an excuse for not using a defibrillator (as long as you were qualified to use it) since taking no action when you could have (without risk to you) would be a worse scenario. Letting someone die when have the possible means and skill would be a possible case of reckless endangerment.

If you are injured, a persons personal feelings about being exposed are trumped by a medical or a trained officers obligation to save a persons life - especially when the intent can be easily argued that it was not to get a free show. A judge would certainly agree.
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