Player had to wait for an hour on pitch for am­bu­lance

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - FRONT PAGE - By DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

A TEENAGER was left ly­ing on a wet soc­cer pitch for over an hour for an am­bu­lance to ar­rive on Sat­ur­day af­ter he dis­lo­cated his knee dur­ing play.

The in­ci­dent took place dur­ing a Wick­low League youths match be­tween Ark­low Town FC and Ash­ford Rovers and the Ark­low host club has ex­pressed con­cern at the time it took for as­sis­tance to ar­rive.

Club pres­i­dent John Ka­vanagh said that this is not the first time such a de­lay has been ex­pe­ri­enced and that of­fi­cials were hugely con­cerned at hav­ing the young­ster, who they were ad­vised not to move, ly­ing in agony on a wet play­ing field for over an hour.

Mean­while, the HSE says that it pri­ori­tises calls on the ba­sis of se­ri­ous­ness of con­di­tion and that the near­est avail­able unit was dis­patched to the scene.

AN ARK­LOW foot­ball club has lashed out at an am­bu­lance de­lay of over an hour af­ter a player was in­jured on the pitch and re­quired hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Sat­ur­day dur­ing a Wick­low League youths game be­tween Ark­low Town FC and Ash­ford Rovers AFC at the Ark­low grounds at Bridge­wa­ter Cen­tre Park, Lam­ber­ton.

An Ash­ford player went down with a sus­pected dis­lo­cated knee and an am­bu­lance was called.

In the mean­time, vol­un­teer first re­spon­ders at­tended the scene and kept the pa­tient com­fort­able. The 17 year old’s par­ents were sent for an they ar­rived long be­fore the am­bu­lance.

Af­ter more than an hour wait, two am­bu­lances ar­rived, and one of them trans­ported the player to hos­pi­tal where he un­der­went surgery.

Pres­i­dent of Ark­low Town FC John Ka­vanagh has raised con­cerns over the de­lay and said that this is at least the third time where the club has en­coun­tered a sig­nif­i­cant de­lay in get­ting an am­bu­lance to the scene of an on-pitch ac­ci­dent.

‘We are very con­cerned and dis­heart­ened to ex­pe­ri­ence this de­lay when there are two am­bu­lances based in Ark­low. Over an hour is an ex­tremely long time to have a young man ly­ing on a wet pitch with an in­jury. We were ad­vised by phone not to move him and we were very wor­ried about him go­ing into shock,’ Mr Ka­vanagh said.

He added that with­out the first re­spon­ders vol­un­teers, the club would have had no as­sis­tance at the scene dur­ing the wait­ing pe­riod as Care Doc was also un­avail­able.

‘Over an hour de­lay is unac- cept­able and we hope that in fu­ture, this will not be re­peated. We need to have con­fi­dence that it a player gets in­jured, which hap­pens in sport from time to time, that they will have ac­cess to an am­bu­lance as quickly as pos­si­ble.’

Ac­cord­ing to the HSE, the clos­est avail­able am­bu­lance was dis­patched to the scene. A spokesper­son said:

‘The Na­tional Am­bu­lance Ser­vice can con­firm a 112 call was re­ceived for Ark­low Town FC, Co Wick­low at 14:07hrs on Novem­ber 24 2018.

‘The call was triaged us­ing the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised Ad­vanced Med­i­cal Pri­or­ity Dis­patch Sys­tem (AMPDS). This sys­tem pri­ori­tises calls us­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally agreed pro­ce­dures and pro­to­cols thus en­sur­ing that life threat­en­ing and po­ten­tially life threat­en­ing calls re­ceive a rapid and ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse. The caller ad­vised that a teenager had dis­lo­cated their knee while play­ing foot­ball, which is not a life threat­ing con­di­tion. The Na­tional Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­tre (NEOC) emer­gency dis­patcher then dis­patched the clos­est avail­able emer­gency am­bu­lance to the scene.’

BE­LOW: The am­bu­lance at the scene.

Club pres­i­dent John Ka­vanagh.

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