Potential Legal Action Over EMS Worker Due to Facebook Post

Kathy Raymond from Roane County, TN, is considering taking legal action against an EMS worker over a Facebook post. The EMS worker visited her property to give treatment to her husband who had collapsed after suffering a heart attack while he was in a chicken coop.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was provided to her husband to try to save his life before the emergency services team showed up. When they came, it treatment continued on site but the EMS workers were unable to save his life.

After the visit, an EMS employee posted a message on Facebook concerning the incident. In the post , the EMS worker said ““well, we had a first … We worked a code in a chicken coop! Knee deep in chicken droppings.” According to WATE, additional comments were posted by the EMS worker. She even mentioned that it was awful and that people surely could smell them in dispatch.

Raymond approached Roane County EMS to make a complaint concerning the unprofessionalism of the EMS worker and her insensitive comments.  This prompted an internal investigation. No protected health information (PHI) was talked about in the post, although concerns have been brought up regarding a potential HIPAA violation. Because no PHI was exposed, the county’s attorney does not think there was a violation of the HIPAA, but did criticize the posting of the message and said the information should not have been uploaded to social media.

The EMS worker involved was reprimanded and all EMS employees will be spoken to about the incident and it will be made clear that work matters must not be mentioned or shared on Facebook and other social media sites.

Raymond wasn’t happy with how the incident was handled and said that it was wrong for her to simply get a slap on the wrist. Raymond wants the EMS worker to face further punishment and does believe she should be permitted to work in EMS. Although Raymond husband’s name was not mentioned in the post, Kayhy Raymond said it would have been clear to everyone that the post referred to her husband and everyone would know where he had died.