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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Investigation into reports of sick child trapped inside ambulance for 40 minutes

Conor Feehan

Published 19/03/2014 | 08:43

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Dublin Fire Brigade is investigating how a sick child being rushed to Temple Street Hospital on St Patrick’s Day became locked into the ambulance when it broke down and suffered a power failure.

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The emergency vehicle broke down 7km from the children’s hospital and it took around half an hour to free the child, her parents, and a paramedic from inside.

The child had been suffering from an anaphylactic reaction but had been stabilised before the shocking incident occurred.

A spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade, who runs the ambulance service in Dublin, said it is taking the matter “very seriously”.

When the vehicle broke down a large window compartment that was supposed to act as an emergency escape route failed.

A fire tender was sent to assist and smashed a window in the ambulance, but they still could not gain access because a strong perspex film covering the glass could not be got through, according to reports.

It is believed the paramedic had to kick out the glass panel from the inside to free the occupants.

The child was then safely transferred to Temple Street and later discharged after treatment.

A statement from Dublin Fire Brigade said it was not aware of any other incident like this having happened before.

“Our primary concern is patient welfare and we can confirm that the patient was later transferred to hospital safely,” it added.

The spokesperson said the fire brigade would be making an enquiry with the manufacturer of the ambulance to identify the cause of the fault.

The ambulance had been despatched from Kilbarrack Fire Station..

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