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Shark Attack Complaint Dismissed

August 23, 2001

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ A complaint accusing a medical helicopter crew of flying 8-year-old shark attack victim Jessie Arbogast to the wrong hospital has been dismissed.

The complaint alleged the boy should have been taken to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, which has the area’s only pediatric intensive care unit, instead of Baptist Hospital. The identity of the person who filed the complaint has not been released.

A panel of the state Bureau of Emergency Services told Baptist officials Wednesday it found no reason for further investigation of the complaint.

The helicopter crew said it flew to Baptist because it was closer to the beach where a bull shark tore off Jessie’s arm and a piece of his leg.

Doctors at Baptist restarted his heart and reattached his arm. Two days later, he was transferred to Sacred Heart.

Doctors say Jessie’s brain was injured from the blood loss but it could take up to a year to determine the extent. The boy was in stable condition in a light coma Thursday at Sacred Heart.

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