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the Samu in question, an open investigation


An investigating judge was appointed on June 10 to investigate the causes of the death of a woman in 2020 in Reuil-en-Brie whose family accuses the Samu of negligence.

An investigating judge was appointed on June 10 to investigate the causes of the death of a woman in 2020 in Reuil-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne) whose family accuses the Samu of negligence, learned the AFP Thursday from concordant sources. On August 21, 2020, around 3:30 a.m., Yolande Gabriel, a 65-year-old Martinican retiree, was asked to leave the emergency department of Meaux hospital to return to her home. For the past few weeks, the health of this former caregiver has deteriorated, hospital visits have been linked and she has been diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.

A few hours after returning home, around 7:30 a.m., she called the Samu to report the resumption of chest pain and difficulty breathing. On the phone, the regulating doctor first speaks calmly with her about the symptoms before being annoyed, according to the audio recordings revealed by Mediapart and consulted by AFP. “Madam, you have to calm down, you don’t have 36,000 medications to take. And you don’t know what medications you are taking?” asks the doctor, to the patient who is struggling to express herself and seems to be in pain. “But damn it, talk on the phone!” he shouts, exasperated.

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Complaint for “manslaughter”

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The doctor decides to send an ambulance to the family home to bring Yolande Gabriel back to the emergency room. But before he arrives, the patient collapses. “She was inert on the kitchen floor. She went through all the stages of agony,” said Marie-Laure François, one of her daughters, to AFP. His daughters call back the Samu and start cardiac massage. Arrivals from 8:40 am, the medical teams take over on site, in vain. For the family, the decision to send her home at night is incomprehensible and a quicker intervention at home would have avoided the worst. In October 2021, they filed a complaint for “manslaughter” and “failure to provide assistance”.

“We do not understand that a doctor who took an oath, supposed to treat people, could talk like that to mom while she was dying”, gets carried away Marie-Laure François. Contacted, the head of the Samu de Seine-et-Marne, François Dolveck, referred to the response given to Médiapart on May 31: “The telephone support by the ARM (medical regulation assistant, editor’s note) then the doctor allowed meticulous and prolonged questioning. Despite some expressed signs of unjustified exasperation by the doctor, which he regrets, the continuity of care has not been affected”. “The decision-making processes and the management of Ms. Yolande Gabriel seem coherent and show real continuity”, added Mr. Dolveck.



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