The Des Moines Register

EMT warned after patient death for failure to give CPR

- Clark Kauffman Iowa Capital Dispatch Find this story at Iowa Capital Dispatch, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial

The state has issued a Lee County emergency medical technician a warning for failing to administer CPR to a patient who subsequent­ly died.

According to records of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, on Jan. 26, EMT Heather Fraise of Lee County Emergency Medical Services responded to a 911 call for a patient who was in cardiac arrest.

The department alleges that Fraise, of Donnellson, failed to initiate cardiopulm­onary resuscitat­ion on her arrival, failed to provide treatment for an irregular heartbeat, and failed to “contact online medical direction to terminate resuscitat­ion.”

According to Lee County EMS Director Mark Long, the patient did not survive. He said Fraise’s employment with the service ended a short time later.

DHHS’ Bureau of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services charged Fraise with violating rules related to negligence in performing emergency medical care; deviations from the standards of skill applied to Iowa emergency medical care providers; failure to exercise the degree of care ordinarily exercised by the average EMS provider; and failure to conform to the minimal standard of practice.

The department issued Fraise a warning and required her to complete a class in cardiovasc­ular life support and take three hours of instructio­n on interpreti­ng EKGs plus three hours of education in profession­al ethics.

According to state records, Fraise has been an EMS provider for at least 20 years.

In an unrelated matter, the Bureau of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services fined the Wadena-Illyria First Responders, an EMS service program located in Fayette County, for repeatedly failing to report data on the services it provides as required by Iowa law.

The bureau notified the program that it was late in reporting data, or had reported no data at all, on five occasions in 2023, and a letter of warning was sent in December 2023. The bureau imposed a $250 fine.

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