OAP drowns on sea swim in Caribbean
»»Heart attack dad dies after private 999 arrives with broken defibrillator »»Paramedics had no radios and told son to call the Fire Brigade
A BRITISH pensioner has drowned in the Caribbean.
Nightra Patterson, 75, visited Questelles Beach in St Vincent and the Grenadines with a relative for a swim on Wednesday.
A police spokesman said: “While swimming, the deceased apparently developed difficulty and her body was later discovered floating in the water.
“She was eventually pulled out and pronounced dead a few moments later.”
Nightra lived in Campden Park on St Vincent with her husband, having moved there from London five years ago.
Sister Simone St Catherine, 55, said she was from the Windrush generation. ■■■The private ambulance defibrillator was missing a crucial cable pin. ■■■EMAS should have sent a second crew as the patient was in cardiac arrest. ■■■It was 13 minutes after realising the defibrillator was broken before the crew tried to call for back up. ■■■EMAS does not provide private crews with radios for contacting dispatchers. A HEART attack victim died after a string of 999 blunders.
Paramedics from a private ambulance firm working for the NHS responded to the call with a BROKEN defibrillator.
And Trevor Moncrieff ’s stunned son Matt was forced to do CPR on his 66-year-old dad while they tried to get the second-hand equipment to work.
It was then another 13 minutes before the crew decided back-up was needed. But they couldn’t order it because the NHS ambulance trust they worked for did not give them radios and they could not reach the dispatcher by phone.
So seven minutes later they asked Matt, 34, to call the Fire Brigade. Firefighters attended with a defibrillator and restarted father-of-four Trevor’s heart, but the nightmare went on.
His four devastated sons say the Amvale Medical Transport private ambulance then took their dad to the wrong hospital. East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) disputes that claim.
Trevor, who lived near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was taken to Grantham in Lincolnshire, which does not have a specialist heart centre, before being transferred to Lincoln for surgery.
He died five days later. His family sued EMAS, which admitted a second crew should have been sent as routine because the patient was in cardiac arrest.
The Trust paid a £6,600 out-of-court settlement after its own probe into the 2014 tragedy. It has since dropped Amvale Medical Transport, whose motto is Safe, Reliable, Versatile.
But the family are now speaking out to stop others suffering as they did.
Trevor’s loss was made even harder for them after a review of the case by Prof Stephen Brecker, a consultant cardiolo- gist. He concluded the ex-British Gas worker – who raised his boys alone after the death of wife Karen in 1997 – may have survived with better care. Son Michael, 31, said: “I was hoping dad didn’t stand a chance. It would have been easier to deal with. To find he was taken needlessly was a kick in the gut.”
Matt, 34, said he still has flashbacks to when he says paramedics found a pin in the defibrillator’s cable was missing.
He said: “I was giving my dad chest compressions while two paramedics were fiddling with the defibrillator. I was shaking. They were panicking.” EMAS – which covers 4.8 million people in six counties – claims the decision to take Trevor to Grantham was right as he needed the nearest A&E. But his family insist Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham or Leicester Royal Infirmary – both with heart centres – were closer.
The Trust’s probe found Amvale had bought the Lifepak 12 defibrillator second hand and it had not come with guidelines stating crews should test cables every shift.
Amvale, whose contract with EMAS was not renewed last year, is one of more than 200 private ambulance providers.
Its spokesman said: “The Lifepak 12 may not have been new, but it was bought from a bona fide medical equipment firm and had been properly serviced. And we can confirm the daily user test was conducted for this device before that day’s shift started.”
EMAS chief Richard Henderson said: “We no longer have a contract with the firm in this case. Private providers help us meet demand when the need arises. We have accepted responsibility for mistakes in
2014. Lessons were learned.”
Gazza at fair Ambulance kit: a defibrillator Doc says Trevor could have lived
Shocked Matt had to give dad CPR
Trevor with wife Karen, who died in 1997