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Resource ID: #21195
Source:WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
The topic of this story began when a local Marine, just returning from Iraq, was involved in a fatal car accident. The other drivers suffered minor injuries, but the corporal's truck was severely damaged. While waiting for paramedics, witnesses found the man breathing, but could not find a pulse. When the police arrived, they presumed the man to be dead because he did not have a pulse, and would not let paramedics work on him, fearing it would disrupt the crime scene. Two hours later the paramedic noticed the man was still breathing, and had him flown to the nearest hospital, where he died in the emergency room. Reporters discovered that there's no Michigan law that says every victim has to be physically checked by a paramedic before the paramedic leaves the scene. Also, there is not a law which says a paramedic must physically check a victim before pronouncing them dead.