The article written by Phaedra Haywood about a wrongful death lawsuit raised fascinating legal questions.
The family of Mike Campbell from Artesia NM went after TriState CareFlight , a medical transport helicopter service, claiming Campbell died because TriState ran out of oxygen while flying him from Artesia to Albuquerque after he had entered General Hospital with symptoms of fever and difficulty breathing.
Physicians at General determined he needed a higher level of care and requested he be transferred to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque because other more proximate facilities did not have beds available for him. Overfilled hospitals are the topic of another article.
Campbell was stabilized before being transported, according to the complaint, and the transferring physician signed documentation stating that with appropriate medical treatment, Campbell’s condition would not deteriorate during the trip.
The doctor recommended Campbell receive oxygen during the flight, according to the complaint, and he was picked up by a TriState CareFlight helicopter. However, the complaint says, Campbell was given a lower concentration of oxygen than recommended in an attempt to conserve the remaining amount.
Arrangements were made to refill oxygen canisters on the ground in Mountainair, but Campbell passed of a myocardial infarction before they could land the whirling bird and replenish the precious life sustaining gas.
In my view, there is no basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. You live in small towns with substandard medical care at your own risk. Campbell’s wife also sought punitive damages for loss of companionship with her husband. This should also be dismissed as her husband was already in poor health and may have died anyway.
Reidents of Roswell live in the same type of fear in a place that is medically underserved with many heart attack victims being airlifted to Lubbock or Albuquerque.