Teen Doused with Blood in Lesson on Drunk Driving

Officials apologized for the incident but insisted the blood was clean and posed no danger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    One paramedic leading a lesson to teens about the grisly dangers of drunk driving may have taken the lesson a little too far.

    An EMS medic participating in a "Shattered Dreams" car crash simulation in Austin, Texas, dumped human blood on one of the teen participants, a hospital administrator said this week, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

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    EMS chief Ernie Rodriguez said that although the medic who poured the blood had initially put the blood on gauze to make a student actor's fake wounds look more realistic, he also spilled some on the teen. The medic could face disciplinary action, Rodriguez said.

    Dr. David Martin, who is chief medical officer at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center in Austin, Texas, said the hospital was investigating the incident, according to the American-Stateman. So was EMS.

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    "There was no reason that a student participant should have come in physical contact with human blood during the course of the simulation," Martin said Monday. "This action is something that the hospital does not condone."

    The blood that was poured on the high schooler had been donated to the local EMS, which helped run the event, by St. David's Round Rock Medical Center.

    Usually such donations are used for transfusions, but this blood was past its expiration date, said Rodriguez.

    That made it useful as a prop for a car wreck enactment as part of the nationwide "Shattered Dreams" program, which warns high school students about drunk driving.

    Officials assured the public and the blood dumpee that the blood was clean and carried a very low risk of infection. The student didn't undergo any testing after being doused, Rodriguez said.

    He added that blame for the incident lay solely with EMS and said the medic should not have been allowed to participate in the event at all.