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November 26, 2010

UK paramedic criticized for making patient walk up stairs

Daily Echo

ISLE OF WIGHT, England — A paramedic has been struck off after a patient suffered a fatal heart failure on the Isle of Wight having been made to walk up steep stairs.

Wayne Harriman decided a seriously ill middle-aged diabetic was fit enough to mount ten steps to an ambulance waiting in the street above, a hearing heard.

But it transpired the patient was in pain and unable to speak properly as he left his house before collapsing with heart failure on the steps.

The Health Professions Council ruled Mr Harriman should have checked whether the man, who had been discharged from hospital the day before, was well enough to walk.

Panel chairman Colin Allies said these shortcomings represented clear misconduct and a lack of competence.

He said: "This was an extremely serious case. Mr Harriman knew he should have undertaken a proper assessment in circumstances such as this and he put the patient's safety and welfare at risk by requiring or expecting the patient to walk."

Mr Allies also criticised Mr Harriman, who worked for the Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust, for failing to acknowledge "the full extent of his shortcomings". He said: "Behaviour of this sort cannot be overlooked."

The panel decided the incident on October 24, 2009 warranted Mr Harriman's removal from the Health Professions Council register.

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