Urgences Santé says it followed protocol in 911 death
Urgences Santé has told its side of the story after a complaint from two Montreal doctors who were instructed by a 9-1-1 operator to stop resuscitation efforts on a friend who collapsed and later died.
The doctor couple's teenage son had made the call while they attended to 65-year old Arnaud Ratel during a celebration gathering in Beaconsfield. When the teen relayed the Urgences Santé attendant's order to stop CPR, his parents refused and insisted on an ambulance - that's when the operator hung up on him. An ambulance arrived after a second 9-1-1 call that also reportedly did not go well and involved threats not to help unless the family cooperated. Ratel died later in hospital.
Urgences Santé spokesman David Sasson told CJAD News that's not how the first call went according to them.
"The information that was given by the person on the phone is that the patient was having a convulsion and based on our protocol, someone who's having a convulsion is still breathing so that's the reason why the medical responder told the person on the phone to stop CPR," Sasson said.
"It's not a good idea and it can do further damage to the patient."
Dr. Simone Guillon said her son was only explaining what he was seeing and wasn't a medical expert. She adds that she has nothing but praise for the ambulance crew that arrived but that the 9-1-1 procedures could be improved.
"You know, I'm not the one who called. The people who called, we're not talking about experienced people here. We're talking about regular citizens who actually make a phone call. The second person who called and is being told, 'Are you going to collaborate?", he felt like he had to be on his best behaviour to get some sort of service," Guillon told CJAD News.
"For a common citizen, it's not a way to answer anybody who called (during) a tragedy they were faced with."
Guillon adds they were never told an ambulance was on the way and that it took them 15 minutes to get there, but Sasson said it was much less than that.
"We can confirm that the vehicles were dispatched based on the first call within 76 seconds of receiving the call and the first vehicle arrived within four minutes and 44 seconds," Sasson said.
Sasson said they're looking into complaints about the alleged abrupt and impolite behaviour of the dispatchers.
"Nobody is supposed to hang up on anybody and that will be part of our investigation."