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Patient: EMS ignored allergic reaction symptoms

Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 06:55:39-05

"If I didn't go to the ER with my mom what would have happened then?"

That's the question that keeps racing through Mariah Piatek's mind.

"I kind of knew right away. My mouth went numb, my lips started to swell."

After accidentally eating a few pumpkin seeds back on December 21, Miariah said she started having trouble breathing and developed hives all over her body. She says she knew she was having an allergic reaction and called 911.

Emergency responders from the Windom Volunteer Fire Company were dispatched to her home in Orchard Park.

"They checked my vitals, my blood pressure, they had said you know you need to calm down."

Piatek says the paramedic who arrived on scene insisted she was having a panic attack and dismissed the possibility of an allergic reaction. Shortly after EMS arrived on scene, Piatek's mother did too.

"All the signs were there," said Rachael Piateck. "Seeds, swelling, vomiting, numbness,  difficult breathing."

But the pair says the paramedic wasn't convinced. They say he urged Piatek to calm down and did offer to have the ambulance transport her to the ER. Piatek's mother drove her instead.

Once at the hospital, a doctor confirmed the 22-year-old was having an allergic reaction, not a panic attack. The mother and daughter say they are now trying to raise awareness about the situation.

"The next time it happens the same person might respond and that other person may not be as lucky as me," said Piatek. "The EMS responders might not see the severity in the situation again and it could end with somebody losing their life."

An official from the Orchard Park Fire District tells 7 Eyewitness news the paramedic who responded had "no basis" to believe the patient was having an allergic reaction.

Officials are reviewing the call and looking further into the matter.

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