Paramedic who failed to provide life support to teenage girl, 17, who was pronounced dead ‘too quickly’ after being found hanged is struck off
- Quinn Beadle was found by police officers near her home in Shildon, Co Durham
- Operational paramedic Gavin Wood then arrived in a rapid response vehicle
- By the time colleagues got to the scene, he had made the decision to stop CPR
- Mr Wood failed to continue CPR on Ms Beadle for minimum period of 20 minutes
- He has now been struck off following a tribunal looking into his conduct
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or go to samaritans.org
A paramedic who failed to provide a teenage girl with vital life support when she was found hanged has been struck off after it was found that she was pronounced dead ‘too quickly’.
Quinn Beadle, 17, was discovered by police officers near her home in Shildon, County Durham, on December 9, 2018, following a battle with depression.
Operational paramedic Gavin Wood, from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), arrived at the scene in a rapid response vehicle to find two police officers already providing Ms Beadle with CPR.
But by the time a community paramedic and a respondent crew had arrived, Mr Wood had made the decision to stop life support and declared Ms Beadle deceased.
Quinn Beadle, 17, was discovered by police officers near her home in Shildon, County Durham, on December 9, 2018
Ms Beadle pictured with her brother Dyllon Milburn, who took his own life ten months after her death
Her family were subsequently ‘haunted’ by claims the paramedic had advised the police officers to discontinue chest compressions when there was still a chance her life could have been saved.
Dyllon Milburn, Ms Beadle’s 21-year-old brother, took his own life ten months later after being tormented by the case and reading a report about the paramedic’s conduct.
He was found hanged in the back garden at his student digs in Manchester.
Mr Wood, who had practised as a paramedic since 1997, faced accusations that he failed to follow NEAS guidance on nine counts, while it was alleged that he had been dishonest in relation to his conduct at the scene.
He has now been struck off following a Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) hearing into the incident.
A panel found that it was ‘impossible’ not to reach findings of dishonestly and has ‘only limited insight and reflection into the misconduct’.
Its conclusion added: ‘With regard to Service User A (Ms Beadle), the Panel considers the Registrant’s misconduct was a missed opportunity, which no matter how slight her chances of survival may have been, caused her harm.
‘The Panel has concluded that as the Registrant’s misconduct has not been remedied, there remains a risk that he may, in the future, cause harm to other service users.’
Emergency services rushed to the scene where Quinn Beadle took her own life. Paramedic Gavin Wood is accused of misconduct in his response to the incident
The siblings pictured at Halloween dressed up as a witch and a vampire as children
It comes after an coroner recorded a narrative verdict following an inquest into Ms Beadle’s death in October 2020, saying that although the paramedic had failed to used a defibrillator upon her, there was a ‘minute chance’ she could have been saved.
The tribunal previously heard how Ms Beadle – described as a ‘generous, kind 17-year-old with boundless energy’ – was found hanged from a tree near her home following a battle against depression.
The ambulance service subsequently opened an internal investigation after it emerged the solo paramedic told the two police officers attempting CPR: ‘You can stop now, she’s gone’ after simply looking into Quinn’s eyes with a pencil torch.
In doing so, the panel found he had failed to continue resuscitation efforts for the minimum period of 20 minutes.
Guidelines state that paramedics should use an ECG, a text to monitor the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity, to record activity of the heart for a minimum of 30 seconds.
But the tribunal heard Mr Wood told another paramedic that he was going to do a 30 second print out after he had already stopped resuscitation, before then claiming he was unable to print it out due to a fault or issue with the machine.
Mr Wood had used the machine earlier the same day and had not reported any issues.
An investigation revealed that a 16 second reading had been recorded.
He was also found to have told a colleague that the ECG indicated Ms Beadle was asystolic, a cardiac arrest in which the heart stops beating completely, when he had not carried out the ECG.
The tribunal heard that no effort was made to clear Ms Beadle’s airway, while an investigation to discover whether her pulse had been checked was ‘inconclusive’.
The panel found that the paramedic had failed to continue resuscitation efforts on Ms Beadle (pictured) for the minimum period of 20 minutes
Mr Wood is also said to have told two colleagues that the teenager had no heart beat when he had not made an electrocardiogram examination, and told them he had checked her femoral pulse when this was not the case.
Alan Potts, who carried out an investigation on behalf of the NEAS, earlier told the tribunal how the report did not support the decision making which Mr Wood subsequently made.
He said: ‘Within two to three minutes of having arrived on scene, the Recognition of Life Extinct had been proceeded.
‘There was an act of resuscitation ongoing, with the police officers that were doing that, and, on arrival of the registrant, the registrant made the call to ask them to stop.
‘There didn’t appear to be adequate rationale for the registrant to have made the decision for ongoing resuscitation to have been ceased.
‘The registrant, when questioned, suggested that he should have provided advanced life support. The registrant had not provided thorough basic life support by stopping the initial resuscitation.’
Mr Wood was struck off by the HCPTS panel on Tuesday.
Chairwoman of the panel Janet Fisher said: ‘It is clear the Registrant’s conduct has caused Service User A’s family very considerable distress.
‘As members of the public, they could reasonably expect that the professionals who treated their daughter would follow the relevant local and national guidance in attempting to save her life even if, in the event, this was unsuccessful.’
It added: ‘The Panel is satisfied, based on the Registrant’s limited insight and the nature and gravity of the allegation, involving as it does clinical failings and dishonesty, that to ensure the public’s confidence in the Paramedic profession and in its regulatory process, and in order to uphold proper standards of conduct in the profession, it is appropriate and proportionate to order that the Registrant’s name be struck off the register.’
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or go to samaritans.org
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