Teenager in 90-minute wait for ambulance
A YOUNG soccer player sustained a suspected head and neck injury and had to wait an hour and a half for an ambulance to attend to him at the Kerry versus Wexford under-15 schoolboys league game at Mounthawk Park in Tralee on Saturday afternoon.
The player, a goalkeeper for the Wexford team, had to spend that time lying on the ground with someone holding his head in position amid fears of a head and neck injury.
The incident happened with 20 minutes to go in the game, when a number of players jumped up for a high ball. The keeper landed awkwardly on the ground.
He complained of a neck injury and in keeping with protocol he was made comfortable on the ground with his head held in place.
A call was immediately made for an ambulance which took a full 90 minutes to arrive – during which time the player was unable to move.
Kerry Schoolboys/girls League Chairman Padraig Hartnett, said it was a ‘ridiculous’ delay given the nature of the injury and the location of the pitches so close to University Hospital Kerry (UHK).
“It is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know how they prioritise calls but a player was lying on the ground and couldn’t move”, he said.
“He was a 15-year old worried about what was happening.
“Something like this is a worry with under-age players. Time is of essence and this delay is not good enough in the town of Tralee where there is a hospital.”
KDL Manager Sean O’Keeffe, who rang the ambulance, said it was an ‘extremely long wait’.
He put in the call, went out waited for the ambulance at the entrance, and after an hourlong wait he called again to see where it was.
He then received a call to say that the ambulance could not find the entrance to the grounds.
He met them at Mercy Mounthawk School to direct them to the grounds where they attended to the player and took him to University Hospital Kerry. He has since recovered. The HSE failed to respond to queries on the delay this week.