Monday 20 November 2017

Woman left waiting over two hours for ambulance 'in extreme pain' after collapsing at home

The HSE or National Ambulance Service have yet to respond to queries on the matter
The HSE or National Ambulance Service have yet to respond to queries on the matter
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A woman who collapsed at her home was left waiting two and a half hours for an ambulance - despite living less than 3km from the hospital.

The family of the Galway woman claim she was left lying on her floor in severe pain for two and a half hours while her husband and neighbours repeatedly called 999 for help.

Each time they were told the ambulance was 10 to 15 minutes away.

The incident occurred at the woman’s home in Knocknacarra, Galway city on Saturday evening before 7.30pm. Despite immediately calling for help, the couple were forced to wait until 9.30pm before the ambulance actually arrived.

“She collapsed on the floor and she was in severe pain and I phoned for an ambulance straight away. They said it was going to be with me in 10 minutes but it never came.

“My neighbours tried to help and we called about six times. Every time they said it was close by but it was 9.30pm before they arrived,” her husband said.

Throughout this, the woman remained on the floor in severe pain.

“My neighbour wanted to lift her but I was afraid to move her because she was in so much pain. Even trying to make her comfortable seemed to make it much worse,” he added.

After paramedics arrived the woman was transferred to hospital within minutes. However, she then faced a 14 hour wait on a trolley before receiving a bed. She currently remains in hospital.

“The paramedics were excellent when they eventually arrived but she then had another wait in the hospital. When you ask what happened they use this word, it’s a nice word to use; ‘priority’,” he said.

Local Fine Gael councillor Padraig Conneely who also called emergency services on behalf of the couple said he was astounded by the wait.

“I called the service myself at 8.30pm and was told it was on it’s way but it was another hour before the ambulance arrived. This is not acceptable and it rubbishes the HSE call out times as a farce.

He said he now intends to raise this issue at the HSE regional forum meeting.

The HSE or National Ambulance Service have yet to respond to queries on the matter.

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