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Two ambulances break down in Louth in 24 hours

In one instance it took over an hour to transport a cardiac arrest patient to hospital because of the issue with the vehicle.

THE HSE HAS confirmed that two ambulances broke down in Louth over the course of 24 hours at the weekend.

In one case, paramedics were transporting a cardiac arrest patient from their home in Dundalk. They left the house with the patient at 12.07am on Sunday morning and noticed a light activated on the dashboard warning panel en route.

They requested another ambulance which the National Ambulance Service (NAS) said was dispatched immediately. It was 1.10am before the patient arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

However the NAS that the patient was cared for by two paramedics while waiting for the replacement ambulance to arrive from Ardee.

In a separate incident, an ambulance had mechanical difficulties on Saturday afternoon on return from Dundalk to Drogheda. There was no patient on board at the time. The vehicle was taken to a garage for repair and the NAS said there was no impact on service delivery.

The two ambulances involved in these incidents are currently out of service but the NAS said the capacity to respond to emergency calls has not be comprised as a result.

This brings the number of ambulance breakdowns in this HSE area to three in the last month. Less than two weeks ago, an ambulance carrying a life support patient lost power on the M1 motorway and the HSE said there would be an investigation into the incident.

A paramedic working in the area told they were concerned about patient safety and about the safety of the paramedics driving the ambulances. They said there is a problem with old vehicles in the fleet which have been repaired and repaired again instead of being replaced with newer models.

“Unfortunately, I think it will take a tragedy to occur for the National Ambulance Service to act on it,” they commented.

Read: Ambulance breaks down with life support patient on board>

Read: Crew and patient forced to flee after ambulance catches fire>

Read: Crew injured after ambulance crashes into wall>

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