The state is suspending the licenses of the four Southfield rescue workers who treated Timesha Beauchamp, who was recently declared dead when she in fact was still alive. The four were also placed on administrative leave.
The city said Friday it was notified by the state that the two paramedics’ licenses were suspended, pending the outcome of
an investigation into the incident, and the state also intended to suspend the licenses of the two EMTs also on the scene.
Paramedics have more medical training than EMTs.
The four Southfield rescue workers have been under scrutiny since Sunday, when they were called to Beauchamp’s home because she was struggling to breathe. Beauchamp, who has cerebral palsy, was checked three times for life signs.
Each time, Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said, there were none.
The first responders then contacted a doctor, who conclude the 20-year-old Southfield resident had died, the chief said. Beauchamp was later taken to a funeral home, where staff found her still breathing.
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She was taken to Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, where she is on a ventilator.
Geoffrey Fieger, an attorney representing Beauchamp, raised questions this week about why his client was misdiagnosed and suggested that the mistake and delay in getting her to the hospital may have caused more harm.
Menifee defended the paramedics and EMTs, saying they followed procedures and even suggested that Beauchamp’s unexplained revival could have been a case of Lazarus syndrome.
The rare – but hard to scientifically explain – phenomenon has been described in research papers as a delayed return of spontaneous circulation after CPR. The name alludes to the Biblical story of Lazarus, who was brought back to life by Jesus.
When asked why paramedics didn’t rush Beauchamp directly to the hospital, Menifee said that’s “under investigation.” And when asked whether that’s what paramedics should have done, Menifee said “no,” adding that they followed the proper procedures.