Man dies in extreme pain after hour long ambulance delay

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Tony Lane, 54, died in extreme pain after his wife was told that an ambulance would take up to an hour to arrive as he was suffering from a stroke.

Due to the long ambulance delay, his nephew ended up having to drive the couple to hospital whilst Mr Lane was in the backseat screaming out in pain.

When an individual dials 999, their call is placed into one of four groups, depending on the severity and urgency of the illness or injury.

Category 1 calls are the most serious, and in these cases, an ambulance should arrive in around seven minutes

Category 2 calls are very serious, but are not as immediately life-threatening as those in Category 1.

The call regarding Mr Lane was at first put into Category 1 after his wife told the call handlers that he had lost consciousness. However, when she informed them that he had regained consciousness, they moved him down into Category 2.

Mrs Lane now suffers from post-traumatic disorder, and although she knows that the ambulance couldn’t have saved his life due to the severity of the stroke, she feels that had an ambulance arrived quickly, he wouldn’t have died in so much pain.

Currently, 999 call handlers categorise strokes into Category 2. This means that Mr Lane’s stroke was categorised correctly, however the wait for an ambulance shouldn’t have been 60 minutes.

A Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer in the Medical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal comments: “This demonstrates a profound failure within the ambulance service and it is yet another example of the ambulance team’s failure to attend an emergency response within reasonable timeframes. This poses an abhorrent risk to patients armed with a potentially life threatening situation. Unfortunately we are continuing to receive increasing numbers of cases where the call out time has potentially contributed to a patient’s life, confirming the NHS as a whole are struggling when it comes to adhering to category specific response times. With serious conditions such as strokes, it is imperative to act quickly in order to avoid further life threatening complications. The condolences expressed by the ambulance service should be followed up with permanent measures to ensure that patient protection continues to be paramount.”


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