When someone suffers a medical emergency, it’s typical to call for help; and, when calling for help, it’s assumed that paramedics will respond to the best of their abilities. Unfortunately, that was too much to expect in this case.
When a 22-year-old woman began struggling to breathe after taking a couple of pain pills, her mother called an ambulance. The paramedics that came to her aid were not taking her condition seriously, according to reports, and they accused her of faking the attack for attention. They berated the woman for ‘humiliating’ herself, but she was actually suffering a severe attack that proved fatal.
Beatrice Lovane, a 22-year-old woman with an undiagnosed liver condition, took co-codamol tablets for her stomach pain. Soon after, the young woman fell ill. Her mother, Maria Lovane, called an ambulance. She’s shocked by how the ambulance workers treated Beatrice.
Lovane was in a filthy hallway, full of ‘vomit and other bodily fluids’, her mother says, for a long time as she struggled to breathe. As her condition got worse, paramedics on the scene insisted she was faking in order to get attention.
“When her eyes were rolling one paramedic said to her: ‘Stop being funny and behave yourself’,” Mrs. Lovane, told the coroner’s court. “They told me she was faking it and doing it for attention. They were trying to pull her down the stairs and she went onto her knees and collapsed at the front entrance.”
The mother says she requested a wheelchair, but the paramedics refused to let Beatrice use one. “We are not giving her a wheelchair, there is nothing wrong with her legs,” Maria recalls them telling her.
Beatrice collapsed again, and a paramedic berated her, according to Maria. She says the paramedic told her daughter, “What are you doing, stop humiliating yourself and walk to the ambulance.”
Coroner Lisa Hashmi agreed that there had been ‘a gross failure to provide the most basic care’ to the patient. Footage from police body cameras proved that the paramedics failed to give the suffering woman ‘the most basic care’.
Two hours after calling the paramedics, Beatrice was pronounced dead at Fairfield Hospital in Bury.
Hashimi says the employers of the paramedics will have to decide what to do about the actions of their employees. “That will be a matter for their employer and regulatory body, but I am assured that steps are being taken in relation to their actions. Families shouldn’t have to beg for care and investigation.”
“I have to make clear that this is not reflective of the overall care provided by this trust and public services across the country are under significant pressure and on the whole the ambulance service provides good and sensitive care to the public that it serves,” Hashimi added.
Once the evidence was brought to light, both paramedics on the scene said they regret the way they handled the situation.
North West Ambulance said in a statement, “We did receive a complaint from the family in March 2017, and a full and thorough investigation was undertaken. We fully accept that the level of care Miss Lovane received was below the standard we would expect and did not uphold the trust’s values.
“New evidence was recently been disclosed and as a result of this, the staff involved have been suspended from duty pending further investigation.
“We would like to reassure the public that we have taken this matter extremely seriously and will co-operate fully with the regulators and authorities. We expect all our staff to uphold our values in terms of respect, dignity and compassion and anyone who doesn’t risks losing their position within the North West ambulance service.”
Source: The Guardian