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


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