Investigation: Elderly patient dies days after falling off stret - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Investigation: Elderly patient dies days after falling off stretcher

Flowers left at Borton's home. (Source: WOIO) Flowers left at Borton's home. (Source: WOIO)
Charles Borton died after falling off a stretcher. (Source: Family) Charles Borton died after falling off a stretcher. (Source: Family)
NORTHFIELD, OH (WOIO) - On March 26, an EMS crew from the Northfield Fire Department accidentally dropped an 81-year-old patient while transporting him. 

Crews responded to a Cambridge Drive home for a medical emergency. While moving Charles Borton from the house to the back of the ambulance, paramedics hit a pothole and the cot accidentally tipped over, causing Borton to hit his head. It's important to note that it was raining at the time.

After the incident, the paramedics immediately began trauma care and transported Borton to Hillcrest Hospital. He died three days later.

An investigation by the department revealed that the incident was the result of an extremely unfortunate and unintentional accident that occurred in the course of providing emergency medical care to the patient, according to Chief Jason Buss.

"This is beyond the worst case scenario that an event could occur. You had perfect weather conditions for an accident to happen. You had the timing of where the vehicle parked, encountering the difficult ground. You have a patient who fell in just the right angle to take an injury to the head like they did," said Buss.

The stretchers used by Northfield are just a year old and were serviced last month. Chief Buss says the crew handling Borton's transportation were fully certified and up to date on their training.

"When an accident like this happens it's very hard on me as a chief and it's been very hard on the paramedics involved in this incident," Buss said.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has not released the cause of death yet. 

The following statement was released by the fire department:

The Village of Northfield Fire Department is devastated by this matter and wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family. As an organization and as individual paramedics, we strive to help those in need to the best of our ability and treat each patient as if they were a member of our own family. The caretakers involved and the rest of our department are devastated by the incident. When someone we are caring for is injured under our care, it is not taken lightly. I am taking all measures possible to review this incident so that any corrective steps that can and need to be taken are instituted.

Chief Jason L Buss

Borton was a father and grandfather and leaves behind a wife. His family says he enjoyed camping and working on jigsaw puzzles. They are not doing any media interviews.

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