Racial Bias? Mom Claims Her Daughter Didn't Get Proper Care As Medics Assumed She Can't Afford Ambulance Ride

Date July 31, 2018 17:34

An absolutely striking incident of awful injustice and medical malpractice happened recently in Tampa, Florida. A young mother of three died because of the four fire medics who arrived on the scene made a fatal mistake, her mom claims. And this story raises numerous questions about racial bias in healthcare.

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What happened?

It was July 4, early in the morning, when Nicole Benhamou found her 30-year-old daughter, Crystle Galloway, lying unresponsive in a bathtub. It has been only 6 days after Crystle gave birth to her third child. Nicole immediately called 911 and said to the operator that her daughter was drooling from the mouth. Galloway regained consciousness a few moments later and complained about her head.

However, after the medics arrived, they said the family could not afford the ambulance ride. According to Nicole, none of the 4 Hillsborough Fire Rescue responders checked her daughter’s blood pressure or body temperature. Moreover, they never asked if the victim had medical insurance. The mourning mother recalls that exact moment she had to drive her dying daughter to the hospital on her own:

The whole conversation as the EMS drivers put my child in my car was that was best for us because we couldn’t afford an ambulance. My daughter begged for her life, she begged!

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After the arrival at Tampa General Hospital, the scans showed Galloway’s brain was bleeding. The woman fell into a coma and died several days later, just before her 31st birthday! The official cause of death is a stroke that occurred after the pregnancy. Galloway had had a cesarean section, which reportedly increases the possibility of a stroke greatly.

The investigation is still ongoing, but the responding fire medics have all been suspended. According to the department’s official statement, the four Fire Rescue personnel did not perform their duties. The employment status is to be determined later after the disciplinary hearing results on July 31.

Many people see the manifestation of racism in this case. The mother herself believes her family has fallen victim to stereotypes.

Looking for answers 

This tragic accident can be a part of a much bigger problem. In the medical industry, black women are not taken seriously when experiencing the post-natal problem. Even Serena Williams wasn't able to escape it. After emergency C-section, the tennis star had a blood clot and experienced shortness of breath, but the nurse assumed it was side effects of painkillers. Luckily, Serena was able to insist and this saved her life. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention black mothers in America die at three to four times the rate of white mothers. Moreover, not only black women are involved. One study finds that black patients half as likely to receive pain medication as white patients.

More people need to know and care about this sad problem. Moreover, something really important should be done about the treatment of black people by medical professionals

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