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Eastern Iowa paramedics cited for giving IV fluids to drunk co-worker
State warns further violations could result in certification loss
Two Linn County paramedics and a paramedic and an EMT from Johnson County were cited for professional incompetency after state officials allege one gave another intravenous fluids for intoxication off duty and the others did not prevent it or report the actions.
The Iowa Department of Public Health cited and warned the following emergency workers:
- Matthew M. Bouska, a paramedic from Cedar Rapids
- Margaret A. Doyle, an emergency medical technician from Iowa City
- Chloe A. Mogensen, a paramedic from Marion
- Benjamin L. Sommers, a paramedic from Hills
Public health officials said Doyle asked Bouska to start an IV on her Feb. 11 at Doyle’s residence after she became intoxicated. The IV start kit, tubing and IV fluids were in a cabinet at Doyle’s home, the citation states.
“Neither you nor your paramedic co-worker were part of a responding authorized service program at the time,” the citation states.
Mogensen and Sommers were cited for observing the “unauthorized practice” and not taking any steps to prevent it or report it to the state as required by Iowa Administrative Code.
Professional incompetency includes failure to exercise the degree of care ordinarily used by the average emergency care provider in the same circumstances and a “substantial lack of knowledge or ability to discharge professional obligation,” the citations state.
The state warned all four medical care providers further violations of the Public Health Department’s rules may result in more severe disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of their certification. The state also has the authority to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000, require re-examination for the care provider, require more training or impose probation.
The state gave the four care providers 20 days to appeal the citation and warning, but there were no appeals, public health officials confirmed.
Hospitals sometimes give patients a saline IV for acute intoxication, but an Australian study published in 2013 said the IV didn’t reduce emergency department stays over just observing the patients.
Some cities, including Tucson, Arizona, have seen “IV drip lounges” crop up for people to get unregulated infusions for hangovers, to improve athletic performance or to clear up their skin, according to a 2019 story by the Arizona Daily Star, based in Tucson.
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