2 Illinois EMS workers charged in death of patient

Two emergency medical service workers in Sangamon County, Ill., are facing first-degree murder charges after one of their patients died of compressional and positional asphyxia, NBC affiliate KCBD reported Jan. 11.

Peter Cadigan, 50, and Peggy Finley, 44, were arrested after the death of 35-year-old Earl Moore on Dec. 18. Mr. Moore was found in his home in medical distress. The medical workers incorrectly placed Mr. Moore face down on a paramedic stretcher with a medical strap across his back while transporting him to the hospital, county authorities said.

Mr. Moore was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital. According to Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon, Mr. Moore died from "compressional and positional asphyxia due to prone face-down restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back." His death was ruled a homicide.

Sangamon County State's Attorney Dan Wright said the EMS workers should have known that positioning a patient in such a way could cause substantial bodily harm and death.

Mr. Cadigan and Ms. Finley were checked into Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bond each. They could face up to 60 years in prison if found guilty, authorities said.

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