Shanghai ambulance doctor suspended from duties for leaving a dying patient in the lurch
Global Times

An ambulance enters a residential neighborhood placed under lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shanghai on March 10, 2022. Photo: VCG

An ambulance enters a residential neighborhood placed under lockdown due to COVID-19 in Shanghai on March 10, 2022. (Photo: VCG)

An ambulance doctor in Shanghai's Pudong New Area was suspended from his duties on Thursday for refusing to lend out medical equipment to save a dying patient under seal-off management that led to the death of the patient.

The Pudong health authority extended a deep apology over the failure of rescuing the patient in time due to the emergency doctor's lack of experience and improper handling of the incident. The authority will strengthen education to all the medical workers in the whole district.

The tragedy happened at around 8 am on Wednesday when the patient living in a compound in Pudong suffered from a severe asthma attack, said the Pudong New Area Health Commission on Thusday.

While waiting for the ambulance, medical workers administering nucleic acid testing practiced cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the patient for dozens of minutes but the treatment failed to take effect.

It happened there was an ambulance to pick up a patient in emergency in the same compound.

However, the doctor in the ambulance refused to lend out an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the patient and drove away with the other patient to hospital.

The patient finally passed away when a second ambulance arrived around 9:40 am.

According to investigations, the medical worker aboard the ambulance refused to lend out the AED since the patient suffering from an asthma attack was still at home and the doctor could not make a judgment on the spot. Thinking of rushing the other patient to hospital first, the doctor did not agree to lend out the medical device.

The health authority said that such a practice of handling the incident was inappropriate despite the doctor having an urgent task.