DENVER (KDVR) – A paramedic involved in a 2018 incident in which an intoxicated woman received ketamine before passing away is no longer allowed to practice in Colorado.
The state launched an investigation after the Problem Solvers discovered the death of Jerica Lacour, a mother of five, had been caused by “respiratory arrest associated with acute alcohol and ketamine intoxication,” with other contributing factors including “cardiomegaly, cardiac fibrosis, obesity, and recent cocaine ingestion.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division conducted the investigation after revealing to the Problem Solvers it had no record of a report of Lacour’s death and no record of a report of complications associated with her death, as required by state regulations.
“The division and one paramedic entered into a Stipulation for Probation of Paramedic Certification on Nov. 12, 2021,” Peter Myers, a spokesperson for CDPHE said. “This means that the paramedic is no longer able to practice in Colorado. With this action, taken on Dec. 1, 2021, the division has closed the investigation.”
The use of ketamine outside of hospital settings continues to be suspended in Colorado while the state develops and reviews regulations to better align with a new state law and with recommendations developed by a Ketamine Review Committee.
The state launched the Ketamine Review Committee after the controversial death of Elijah McClain, who passed away after a police altercation and paramedics sedated him with ketamine in 2019.
The Problem Solvers learned the two paramedics who were involved in authorizing and administering the drug to McClain have entered into Stipulations for Temporary Suspension of Paramedic Certifications with CDPHE while they are facing criminal charges related to McClain’s death.
“The paramedics are not allowed to practice as paramedics while their certifications are suspended,” Myers said. “The division will make a final determination on the status of the paramedic certifications when the criminal cases are final.”