Elderly man dies as ambulance breaks down
A seriously ill elderly man has died after the ambulance bringing him to hospital broke down on the side of a busy motorway.
Paramedics responded to an emergency call near Ennis, Co Clare, at around 6.20am yesterday.
The man was transported from the scene and was en route to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) when the ambulance broke down on the M18 near Shannon at around 7.45am.
It is understood the driver quickly realised the ambulance was losing power and managed to bring it to a safe stop on the hard shoulder. He then contacted the ambulance control centre to raise the alarm.
The second paramedic continued to battle to resuscitate the man, believed to be in his 70s, in the rear of the vehicle.
In a statement, the National Ambulance Service said another ambulance was "dispatched to the scene immediately" and arrived just after 8am.
The patient was transferred to the other ambulance and left the scene for UHL two minutes later, arriving at the hospital at 8.18am.
It is not known whether the patient's chances of survival were affected by the ambulance breaking down and whether he died on the roadside or later at the hospital.
In July 2014, another ambulance transporting a patient in cardiac arrest broke down in Co Louth.
Just a few months earlier, an ambulance transferring a seriously ill newborn baby from Cork to Dublin broke down. A replacement ambulance also suffered technical problems.