Bungling the data, too

Here's a revealing story from OPB, in which the guy running the Multnomah County emergency medical services bureaucracy is busted for giving out incorrect information about outcomes for cardiac arrest victims. 

County EMS Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Jui... explained that his data showed overdoses were responsible for the falling survival rates, not slower ambulance response times.

It’s an explanation that made intuitive sense. But it was wrong.

Last month, OPB identified inconsistencies in the data that had been originally prepared by Jui as part of training for paramedics and then shared with Willamette Week. Two national experts on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest also said overdoses were an unlikely explanation for a decline in the survival rate.

At OPB’s request, Multnomah County’s public health team conducted a new review of the past 10 years of cardiac arrest survival rates in the county.

That analysis revealed numerous inaccuracies in the cardiac arrest data that the county had provided to Willamette Week and OPB in April. The updated data makes it clear overdoses are not likely to explain what happened between 2022 and 2023.

The guy not only released the incorrect data, but he doubled down on it, and a reporter for the public radio had to point out to him that his numbers and explanation made no sense.

And surprise! He's also a professor at OHSU

Sullivan-Springhetti, the county spokesperson, said the original data table hadn’t been vetted before it was publicly released. The document was only intended to be used in CPR training for paramedics.

“Certainly we regret the error,” she said, adding that any mistakes were inadvertent.

“Dr. Jui updates his slides annually for training in the winter months but the CARES database is not finalized for each year until April or May because final outcomes (death, survival to discharge, missing data) are not complete until then,” Sullivan-Springhetti wrote. “He does not go back and update the previous years because the intention is training not formal reporting.”


Of course, the whole mess is in reaction to the bizarre behavior of the county chair, Jessica Chevy Vega, who's managed single-handedly to make getting an ambulance in Portland a hit-or-miss proposition. Dr. Jui may have just been trying to stick up for his boss. But now he's got egg on his face.

Are people dying because of the lousy response times of the ambulance crews? Well, duh. Use your brain. The City of Roses is definitely not where you want to be when you keel over.


  1. Why doesn’t this behavior interest the law and order proponents. Seems that people dying would get more than an academic discussion.

  2. I walked by two young men on separate blocks. Both were sprawled out on their backs totally whacked out. I could see they were (barely) breathing so didn't intervene. If I called 9/11 I'm guessing the same fate would befell them. So sad to see these young kids wrecking their lives and likely almost nowhere to go for help.


Post a Comment

The platform used for this blog is awfully wonky when it comes to comments. It may work for you, it may not. It's a Google thing, and beyond my control. Apologies if you can't get through. You can email me a comment at jackbogsblog@comcast.net, and if it's appropriate, I can post it here for you.