WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A pair of EMTs can return to work after they were investigated in connection with the death of a newborn baby in Woonsocket.
Records from the R.I. Department of Health show the two EMTs have had their licenses reinstated, however, one of them will be on probation for the next 10 months after the investigation found he violated EMS protocols during the incident in August.
The department suspended the EMTs’ licenses and launched an investigation to determine whether they were negligent in caring for the baby. According to the suspension summary, the EMTs were called to a home for a woman who had prematurely given birth.
The baby, which was thought to be dead, was wrapped in a towel and placed inside a biohazard bag, while the mother was taken to Landmark Medical Center for treatment. Once there, doctors discovered the baby still had a pulse, the Health Department said, but efforts to save the child were not successful.
According to the Health Department, one of the EMTs had checked the infant’s brachial artery and found no pulse, then tapped its feet and found no movement of its limbs, but “took no other action and thus engaged in unprofessional conduct by failing to comply with the Rhode Island Statewide EMS Protocols.”
Under a consent order agreed upon by the EMT and the Health Department, the EMT must submit any reports related to childbirth or neonatal resuscitation to the Woonsocket Fire Department EMS Director and Medical Coordinator for review until July 31. He must also complete a comprehensive review of the state’s EMS protocols with an approved instructor and participate in a simulation lab focusing on neonatal emergencies and obstetrics.
The Health Department said it found no evidence of professional misconduct on the part of the second EMT, so the complaint against him was dismissed and the suspension of his license was lifted.