Family Want Investigation into Heart Attack Death due to an Ambulance Delay

A family from Staffordshire have instructed medical negligence solicitors to investigate the heart attack death due to an ambulance delay of a 59-year-old man.

On Saturday 19th April 2014, Kathryn Corbin called the emergency services to request an ambulance for her husband, Jeff, who was suffering from chest pain and a shortness of breath. When paramedics arrived, Jeff was diagnosed as having suffered a panic attack and – advised that there was a six hour wait at the local A&E department – he declined to be taken to hospital as a non-emergency case.

The paramedics left, advising Jeff to see his GP after the weekend, but the following day Kathryn again summoned an ambulance as Jeff was gasping for breath and in intense pain. The ambulance took seventy-five minutes to arrive – during which time Jeff had suffered a fatal heart attack, and he was declared dead on arrival at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

An expert cardiologist who gave evidence at the inquest into Jeff´s death said that had Jeff been taken to hospital and received treatment when an ambulance was first called on the Saturday morning, there was a 95% chance that his condition would have been diagnosed and treated. The cardiologist added that had the ambulance arrived within 30 minutes when it was called on the Sunday, there was a 50% chance that Jeff would have survived.

Coroner Ian Smith recorded a verdict of death by natural causes; but he also commented that the paramedics who attended Jeff on the Saturday morning made the wrong decision by not taking him to hospital as an emergency – following which, Jeff´s family sought legal advice and instructed medical negligence solicitors to investigate the heart attack death due to an ambulance delay.

Commenting after the inquest, Kathryn – from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire – said: “My children and I have been left completely devastated after losing Jeff – last year we should have celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. He was the heart of our family, a loving dad and husband and losing him has left an irreparable hole in our lives”.