In February 2022, I broke my femur in a bicycle accident crossing Nogal Drive. We called 9-1-1 for an ambulance; my surgeon agreed to meet me at Cottage ER.

In the ambulance, en route to Cottage, the AMR person, who might have been an EMT, said he’d put an IV line in my arm. I questioned that. I was in limited pain and had not been unconscious at any point. He insisted. I cautioned him that I use blood thinners, and that my surgeon would be at Cottage to decide on management. He insisted. Reluctantly, I agreed.

His first attempt failed. I began to bleed. Despite my objections, he attempted again, and failed again. After a third failed attempt, he stopped. By this time it took some effort for him to stop the bleeding.

I’ve had uncountable sports injuries, broken bones, cancer, ER visits, a pacemaker, two artificial joints, blah blah blah. Too many blood tests and IVs to count. Medical staff don’t struggle getting a line in my arm, right or left.

I’ve been around hospitals and medical care a lot. I worked in health care for 45 years. That AMR EMT seemed highly motivated to put in that IV line for some reason other than my medical welfare.

For a post-incident survey from AMR, I submitted a detailed report, answering YES to: “Would you like to be contacted by an AMR representative about your experience?” I never heard from anyone.

I’m happy Santa Barbara’s ambulance service might be changing.

AMR replied: We cannot comment on a specific patient interaction without a signed release due to patient privacy laws. AMR Santa Barbara’s award-winning clinical excellence is well documented, and we are proud of our teams. Our customer satisfaction survey ranks AMR fourth nationally among comparably sized organizations, a testament to our unwavering focus on meeting the needs of our patients.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.