Atlanta 911 Chief has final word on recent teen death
The autopsy concluded that classroom horseplay caused a fractured clavicle, which severed the teen's subclavian artery.
Several factors contribute here:
1. The call was dispatched as "chest pain", with probably NO indication of trauma or injury.
2. Without suspicion of trauma, paramedics might treat treat cardiac arrest based on the presumption of a cardiac etiology, not factoring in occult BLOOD LOSS requiring fluid challenge.
3. Lack of the extra hands makes working the arrest difficult, but NOT impossible. This was a load and go call. Take the school officers to help perform CPR if fireman aren't available. They were trained in CPR. Some help is better than NO help. Clinically and Legally speaking. (From personal experience the police are less big-headed, and will actually listen to your directions and requests, and can perform adequate CPR just as good as a fireman. Too many cooks spoil the soup, same with paramedic patches.)
4. Being that Benjamin Mays High School is minimum 10-15 minutes from *ANY* hospital (barring that Southwest Community Band-Aid Station was not open this week!) - With a subclavian bleed, even a KNOWN or SUSPECTED ONE... the child didn't have a fighting chance chance. Consider the response time, contact time, extraction time, and transport time. The child needed high volume transfusion until a SURGEON could repair the artery -- ONCE, AND IF, THEY EVEN FOUND THE SOURCE OF CARDIAC ARREST WAS AN ARTERIAL BLEED.
5. Even if EMS "got him back" enroute... the ER would have never found the bleed in time. He would have coded again, and eventually the code would have been called.
That's the sad truth of it all.
I'm very sympathetic for this family and this community's loss. Sometimes, EMS can't save them... even if dispatch hadn't cancel the extra hands.