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Care provided to Elijah McClain

Update regarding the care provided to Elijah McClain
Posted on 11/22/2019
Aurora News Release

AURORA, Colo. – On Aug. 24, 2019, Aurora Fire Rescue was called to assist Aurora Police with a subject who needed medical attention. Aurora Fire Rescue personnel responded and initiated treatment on a male patient named Elijah McClain. During the course of care, Mr. McClain experienced cardiac arrest. He was then transported to University Hospital where he spent several days and ultimately died.

Immediately following the event, the medical direction team completed a preliminary review of the case and determined that the actions of the responders were consistent and aligned with established protocols.

In November, the AFR medical direction team completed an additional and more thorough quality assurance review of the incident that included reading the patient care report, speaking with the responders, and reading the report furnished by the Adams County Coroner’s Office regarding the cause of death of Elijah McClain. Of note, the coroner’s report cites:

  • One of the sources of information used to create the report was “bodycam footage from the restraining officers” and that “the decedent displayed agitated behavior and enhanced strength.”
  • “The blood ketamine concentration was at a therapeutic level…”

The report supports the assessment from the paramedics that the patient was exhibiting the signs and symptoms of excited delirium, a dangerous and often inexplicable condition. It also suggests that the indicated therapy for that condition, ketamine, had been properly administered.

“The unwavering opinion of Aurora Fire Rescue is that the actions of the AFR medics on the scene of the Billings St. incident met the expectations set by applicable protocol and policy,” said Aurora Fire Chief, Fernando Gray. “Aurora Fire Rescue remains committed to providing the highest level of emergency service to the community members of Aurora. Our commitment also extends to our members who consistently provide professional service even under difficult circumstances. We continue to offer our sincere condolences to all those impacted by this tragic event.”

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