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May 2, 2017

Officials: EMT's pelvic exam 'violated' pregnant teen

By EMS1 Staff

WARREN COUNTY, N.J. — A veteran EMT was suspended after state health officials found a pelvic examination on a pregnant teenager "grossly departed from the appropriate standard of care."

Lehigh Valley Live reported that Frederick Wagner, with the Washington Emergency Medical Services Squad, was notified of his suspension last week. He has 30 days to appeal the suspension and request a hearing.

Wagner responded March 8 to an office for a 17-year-old pregnant female complaining of cramping. He found her abdomen rigid and tender and stated the "patient was palpated to be three or four centimeters dilated," the report said.

In a letter to Wagner by acting director of EMS Nancy Kelly-Goodstein, she indicated that Wagner checked the teenager for dilation. However, under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's EMT-Basic National Standard Curriculum, it cautions to "not touch vaginal areas except during delivery and when your partner is present," the letter states.

According to employees present at the office, Wagner allegedly pulled the patient's pants forward and stated that her cervix was dilated and birth was imminent.

"Ultimately, the patient was treated for dehydration and released from the hospital," the letter stated. "At no time was the patient dilated and ready to give birth."

The letter further stated that Wagner "acted outside the scope of practice for an EMT-Basic and grossly departed from the appropriate standard of care." It also stated that he "violated a young, female patient who was in a vulnerable state" and claimed his actions as a "serious threat to public health, safety and welfare."

Wagner was ordered to immediately surrender his certification cards and is barred from performing EMT-Basic duties until the investigation is complete.