A Villena court has filed the complaint against those responsible and lifeguards of the municipal sports center after an episode of sudden death suffered by a 34-year-old man during a volleyball tournament when he did not see a crime in the performance of these services, according to the resolution to the that this newspaper has had access to and against which there is an appeal. The magistrate has valued that the lifeguards attended to the patient in the emergency and that there was an established protocol of action, so it discards the action in criminal proceedings and opens the family the possibility of going to the civil route.
The events occurred on July 1, 2017. In the middle of the game, the man collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest. After being treated at first by Red Cross volunteers, the athlete could be revived upon the arrival of the Samu doctors but his brain suffered irreversible damage and he was left in a vegetative state. The family considers that the deficient care received in those first moments determined the current condition of the patient.
The complaint was filed by the player’s family for alleged crimes of omission of the duty to help, injuries due to recklessness, as well as the City of Villena being held accountable for the lack of an intervention plan. Three members of the Red Cross (a nurse and two lifeguards), as well as the then Sports Councilor, Luis Antonio Pardo, and the manager of the Municipal Sports Foundation, Jorge Pérez Terol, were charged with these events.
The judge emphasizes that there cannot be a crime of omission of the duty to help, since “at no time, assistance was denied to the injured person who was treated by those investigated from the time they were notified until the Samur arrived.” The complaint was that they refused to use the defibrillator because a doctor had to do it and that the rescuers were doing the resuscitation maneuvers wrong.
The then manager of the Foundation, who is defended by the lawyer Laura Mira Trives, declared that he personally wrote the Municipal Action Plan, providing the staff with a basic document on how to act in emergencies and that the assistance of the Red Cross is aimed at solve emergency healthcare.
Regarding the reckless injuries, the judge points out that the emergency services were notified and that the Samur ambulance took about eight minutes to arrive. “The injured was treated by those investigated from the first moment and they tried to follow the protocol established for those cases,” says the car, underlining that the time they were actually treating the patient was about four or five minutes. “The actions had their fit in established protocol, although from the health point of view they were not effective as unfortunately happened,” concludes the judge.
The car opens the door to claim by civil way
The judge ruled out in the file order to analyze whether there was any negligent behavior on the part of those who intervened in those first moments of the resuscitation. The possible infractions that they could commit at that time, the magistrate understands that they are not sufficiently relevant to be criminal and those responsibilities would have to be claimed by civil means to be able to elucidate the criteria of strict liability.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.