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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020
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Review of ambulance call after 40 minute wait for cardiac arrest patient

The ambulance initially dispatched to the scene in Dublin was diverted en route to a crash on the N11.

Image: Greg Clarke via Flickr

Updated 10.55pm

THE NATIONAL AMBULANCE (NAS) service has said it is now reviewing the circumstances of an incident in Dublin in which a patient was left for 40 minutes before one of its paramedics arrived on scene.

On Wednesday evening, an ambulance was called to Ashlawn Park in Ballybrack, Dublin, after a man suffered a cardiac arrest.

An NAS ambulance was deployed from Wicklow, as that was the nearest one available at the time. However, it is understood that it was diverted en route to a crash on the N11. Some 20 minutes after the initial call, an appliance from Dublin Fire Brigade arrived to the scene.

All firefighters in the service are also trained paramedics and they worked on the patient for at least a further 20 minutes before an NAS paramedic arrived in a jeep. He confirmed the patient dead at the scene.

In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, the HSE confirmed that an emergency call was received by the NAS control centre to Ashlawn Park on Wednesday.

“NAS is currently reviewing the circumstances relating to this incident,” they said.

Representatives of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association told an Oireachtas committee at the end of last month that response times for ambulances are “unrealistic” and that poor resources and staffing are putting the public’s lives at risk.

The HSE recently conducted a review of incidents that had been reported in the media which showed that vehicles at some departments have been delayed for longer than the 20 minute target time.

It said an “enhanced escalation procedure” is being developed in relation to these delays to rate them so they can be “treated as an adverse incident”.

Originally published 8.07pm

Read: ‘Serious concerns’ about risks for HSE paramedics sent to incidents alone>

Read: Targets for ambulance response times ‘impossible’ to meet>

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