Man Found Breathing After Paramedics Pronounced Him Dead: Officials

Two paramedics in Florida have been suspended after they allegedly pronounced a man dead who was later found to be alive, according to emergency officials.

The paramedics, from Station 47 with the Clearwater Fire and Rescue (CFR), received a call about a 65-year-old man suffering from a cardiac arrest at a home in Pinellas County on Wednesday.

According to NBC affiliate WPXI, CFR said the paramedics pronounced the man dead "shortly after arrival."

In the U.S., every year about 805,000 people have a heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 605,000 people experience a first heart attack.

A stock image of a paramedic.
A stock image of a paramedic. The two paramedics were put on administrative duty. Getty

The CDC added that 200,000 happen to people who have already suffered a heart attack. About one in five heart attacks are silent, meaning the damage is done, but the person is unaware of it.

When they left the area when police with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrived to carry out an investigation.

A news release obtained by the network added a deputy "noticed the patient was breathing and requested medical crews to return to the scene."

Largo Fire Rescue crews were called and arrived about 28 minutes after the initial call, WPXI reported.

The man was later taken to the hospital and was still recovering, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.

In a statement obtained by WPXI, clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said: "Upon notification of this incident, we immediately removed both fire medics from their normal duties and discontinued their abilities to provide patient care, in conjunction with the county's medical director.

"On behalf of the city, I apologize for the actions and the inactions of our crew during this incident.

"We have strict policies and procedures in place that they were not following, according to our preliminary review."

Ehlers added: "These two did not perform to the standard of care that our citizens."

Heart Disease: An American Killer

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

The CDC added: "About 697,000 people in the U.S. died from heart disease in 2020—that's one in every five deaths."

Heart disease cost the U.S. about $229 billion yearly between 2017 to 2018, and includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to health.

Newsweek has contacted the CFR for comment.