AN AMBULANCE that attended a house where an infant had taken ill, after paramedics were first sent to an address in a different county, already had an elderly patient on board.
Three-week-old Morfeusz Chlamtacz died in the early hours of Monday morning of a suspected cot death in Kerry.
However, his mother, Katarzyna, was kept waiting half an hour for the ambulance because of an error in the central control centre that dispatched another ambulance to a similar address in Cork.
When the ambulance did arrive, the distraught mother's first words to paramedics were: "Where were you?"
The National Ambulance Control Centre in Townsend Street, Dublin, which took over the function of local operators in the Cork and Kerry region last May, sent an ambulance to Tennis Village in Cork instead of an area known as Tennis Village in Killeen, Tralee, Co Kerry.
When the ambulance did arrive at the correct address in Tralee, it already had an elderly man onboard who had been collected from the Kerries area outside the town.
A doctor on call with South Doc was already at the scene.
An advanced paramedic onboard the ambulance worked on the infant inside the house, frantically trying to resuscitate him.
Both he and his mother were then taken to Kerry General Hospital.
Meanwhile, the doctor had to remain with the elderly man until another ambulance arrived.
It is understood that, in total, three ambulances attended.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has acknowledged a gap of 30 minutes from when the 999 call was made at 1.16am on Monday and when the first emergency resource arrived at the scene.
It has extended its sympathies to the Chlamtacz family, who are originally from Poland but have been living in Kerry for the past seven years. The baby's distraught mother is being comforted by relatives in Tralee.
Her husband Sebastian was in Poland when his baby son died but returned to Tralee on Monday. The couple also have two daughters, Tola (5) and Kora (2).
Yesterday, the baby's father spoke to the Herald.
He said that his wife is deeply traumatised by the death of their son.
Mr Chlamtacz, who is now based in Poland, spoke to his wife on Sunday evening.
He said at the time everything was fine but his baby son took ill later that night.
He said a doctor explained to them the baby had stopped breathing while he was sleeping.
A statement from the HSE said the National Ambulance Service was satisfied the "necessary protocols around responding to an emergency were adhered to in this case".
"The HSE can confirm that, despite the best efforts of Ambulance Control staff, there were significant challenges in establishing the exact location of the caller.
"Regrettably, this led to a delay in locating the patient."