District leaders are taking action after the death of a toddler. On Friday, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Attorney General Peter Nickles and Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Dennis Rubin announced that FEMS is currently conducting a review of the transport case of 2-year-old Stephanie Stephens.
Stephanie died after D.C. paramedics declined to take her to the hospital
Were professional procedures followed, and were medical procedures followed? Those are the two basic questions Mayor Fenty says the investigation needs to answer.
Right now, the two paramedics involved are off the street and on non-patient contact status.
City officials want to know what medics did or did not do on February 10, when Stephens needed help.
"A decision was made not to transport the patient to a hospital," said Mayor Fenty. "It is that decision and the circumstances surrounding it that are under investigation."
The little girl died after her mother called 911 twice. The first time, medics reportedly suggested putting the girl in the bathroom with the shower running so steam could help her breath. They then told the toddler's mother to give her Tylenol and left
Nearly nine hours later, Stephanie's mother called again to say her daughter was having trouble breathing. The little girl died February 11 at Children's Hospital.
"Anyone dying is a horrible event to begin with," says FEMS chief Dennis Rubin. "Compound the fact that it's a 2-year-old child, our heart goes out to the family."
The response of FEMS is now under a quality review. Officials say all documentation, provider interviews and medical assessment by the medical director are being looked at, and Rubin is conducting a disciplinary investigation before determining what appropriate action to take.
"There's a range from an employee notification of a reprimand which essentially puts the employee on notice that the behavior was incorrect and cannot be repeated again, up to termination," said Rubin.
"There's going to be a lot of information that we need to go over, and both in respect to the investigation itself and most importantly to the family involved," said Fenty. "We've got to pore through all of that. We've got to ask a lot of questions and get answers."
Rubin says he believes the procedures currently in place are adequate.
The review of this case is expected to take 30 days. In the meantime, Mayor Fenty says he will reach out to Stephanie Stephens' family.