Delayed Ambulance Service Leads to Intracranial Hemorrhage

This case study explores a pediatric emergency medicine case involving a child who suffered a seizure and subsequent intracranial hemorrhage, allegedly due to delayed ambulance service and ER treatment.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Ambulance on busy road

Case Overview

This case study involves a child who suffered a seizure at home. Allegations were raised against the ambulance service for not expediting the patient’s transfer to the emergency room (ER), as they did not activate sirens and stopped at red lights.

Further, it was alleged that there were delays in medication administration upon arrival at the ER. Due to complications, the patient had to be airlifted to a nearby children’s hospital where they tragically succumbed to an intracranial hemorrhage.

An expert in pediatric emergency medicine was sought to review the medical records and provide an opinion on standard care and causation.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

How often do you evaluate and manage pediatric patients diagnosed with seizure disorders?

In my role as a Pediatric Emergency Medicine attending physician for approximately 15 years, I’ve worked in both large urban academic tertiary care centers and suburban community-based pediatric emergency departments.

Seizures or suspected seizures are common complaints I evaluate in the pediatric ED. On average, I evaluate about five children per week with this complaint, most suffering from seizure disorders.

Q2

How does an intervention timeline affect pediatric patient outcomes in cases of seizure disorder and intracranial hemorrhage?

The impact of timely treatment varies depending on the specifics of each case, particularly when it comes to intracranial hemorrhages where type and severity play significant roles. However, prompt treatment is likely associated with better outcomes. In terms of seizures, if a child is actively seizing, earlier treatment is definitively linked with improved outcomes and a higher likelihood of halting seizure activity.

About the expert

This expert has an extensive background in pediatric emergency medicine, with over a decade of experience and board certifications in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. Their academic journey includes degrees from prestigious institutions and fellowships at renowned children's hospitals. Currently, they hold leadership roles as the medical director of pediatric services and urgent care at two medical centers, while also serving as a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and a professor of clinical pediatrics at highly respected medical schools. Their expertise is further underscored by their active membership in professional organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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