Friday, 4 April 2014

The Police Will Be Happy…But Will Anyone Else?

Bolton’s coroner has called for Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to change the way paramedics are trained nationally following an inquest into the death of a mother.
And what did they do? Hook up a drip incorrectly? Move her without the right equipment?
Jennifer Leeming will present a report to Jeremy Hunt, as well as the head of the North West Ambulance Service, to suggest that paramedics are trained in control and restraint techniques.
It follows an inquest into the death of 31-year-old Caroline Pilkington, who died at the Royal Bolton Hospital on April 26 last year after accidentally overdosing on the beta blocker drug, propranolol. Before her death, Ms Pilkington had been violently fitting at her home in Moss Bank Way and paramedics needed help from police officers to restrain so they could take her to hospital.
Ms Leeming made it clear that all parties had acted appropriately and that with the paramedics lack of training in restraint techniques, it was correct procedure that police, who were trained and had appropriate equipment, were called to help.
And that, it seems, is what needs to change, according to the coroner. Despite the fact that it would have made no difference to the outcome:
She also stressed that neither the restraining process, nor the extra time allowed for police officers to attend, contributed to the death of Ms Pilkington, with the pathologist confirming her cause of death was the fatal amount of propranolol in her body.
So, basically, the coroner is going to demand a change to the procedures because the sight of police restraining an ill person makes her feel uncomfortable.

Just as the sight of primary school teachers restraining an unruly child had everyone up in arms a few days ago. And by ‘everyone’ I mean, of course, the usual suspects. The ones who wouldn’t dream of being within 100 miles of a screaming, biting, kicking ‘child’ and having to deal with the situation, but are happy to dictate to others how they should deal with it.
But Ms Leeming told the inquest: “It doesn’t sit comfortably with me that the police are called to deal with someone who is unwell — my issue is whether this should be a police service at all.
“I know that clinical staff in other areas can be trained to restrain and yet paramedics are not.”
Maybe they don’t want to be? Maybe they don’t feel it’s their job? And has it escaped your notice that even those clinical staff who are trained for this often prefer to call the police instead?

And…isn’t beta blockers a rather odd thing to overdose on?
The inquest heard that Ms Pilkington had a history with drugs and had used amphetamines, ecstasy and crack cocaine in her teenage years. She stopped using illegal drugs and replaced them with prescription drugs, which her mother said she “used to excess” .


Anonymous said...

It doesn't add up, Julia. That very distinctive spoiling of evidence by Rattus hillsborus is evident here.

'Positional asphyxia' is the official euphemism for many a manslaughter perpetrated by plod. And anyone overdosing on propanolol should NEVER be subjected to this form of restraint. Failure on the part of paramedics to alert plod to this danger when seeking plod restraint methods. And it was unbelievable negligence on the part of the Coroner, to deny the Inquest well documented breathing difficulties induced by propanolol.

General muscle weakness will follow a high dose. Thus it should have been a relatively easy task to transport the user to the nearest location for stomach pumping.

IMHO this particular Inquest was not fit for purpose.

Tatty said...

Paramedics are going to need a bigger team and larger transport.

A white mariah creeping down the street to empty a crack team of white-clad personnel into someone's home at any time of day or night isn't going to look sinister, at all.

Is it.

Mr. Morden said...

I have seen the amount of equipment that the ambulance crews have to carry around with them. And not by big strapping blokes either.

Their professionalism is one of the highest I have seen. That does not mean that they are above criticism when warranted, but it needs to be correct and proportional.

Training in such matters just takes time and offers little benefit as it would be rarely needed.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX violently fitting XX

Like "Try that dress on before I blow your fucking head off." kind of violently fitting?

A seamstress with attitude?

JuliaM said...

"'Positional asphyxia' is the official euphemism for many a manslaughter perpetrated by plod."

Oh, really?

Not the unfortunate occasional by-product of the police having to restrain someone who is a danger to themselves or others?

"Paramedics are going to need a bigger team and larger transport."

Don't bother the coroner with such trivialities - she's an idea woman!

Someone else will have to work out the practicalities, her job is done...

"Training in such matters just takes time and offers little benefit as it would be rarely needed."

Quite! This was unfortunate, but the victim brought it on themselves.

MTG said...

"Oh, really?"

Take a hundred lines, Julia:
'Involuntary manslaughter is the killing of a person without posthumous sarcasm and malice aforethought.'