Teenager in 90-minute wait for am­bu­lance

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By SINEAD KELLE­HER

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.

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