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Elderly woman dies after ambulance no-show

Elderly woman dies after ambulance no-show

Published: 01 Oct 2012 16:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Oct 2012 16:36 GMT+02:00

A 77-year-old woman who fell in her home in southern Sweden had her call for an ambulance refused when she told the duty nurse she had felt better after drinking some whiskey. The woman was found dead the next day.

The 77-year-old woman suffered the fall in the middle of the night back in January at her home in Simrisham, southern Sweden.

The woman’s daughter made an emergency call to ambulance operator SOS Alarm, but after the nurse spoke with 77-year-old, the nurse determined that no ambulance was necessary.

During the exchange, the elderly woman described how she had pain in her left arm and felt sick to her stomach.

The 77-year-old went on to say that, after drinking some whiskey, she was feeling somewhat better and told the nurse she no longer believed an ambulance needed to be sent.

The next day, however, the 77-year-old was found lifeless in her home and was not able to be revived despite being rushed to hospital.

The incident was reported to Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), in accordance with Lex Maria regulations on reporting instances of patient harm in the Swedish healthcare system.

The agency criticized the way the nurse handled the 77-year-old's call, finding that the she failed to follow SOS Alarm's standard procedures.

Specifically, the agency took issue with the nurse's failure to recognize symptoms which are typically associated with serious heart problems, arguing that an ambulance should have been sent in order to allow medical personnel to carry out an on-site assessment.

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Your comments about this article

20:33 October 1, 2012 by Grokh
wthell is wrong with sweden and ambulances? couple of months ago a friend of mine had an accident at work, ambulance drove there and told her to go to hospital with her bf instead...and it was a serious accident with a deep cut that had to be operated
20:50 October 1, 2012 by dizzymoe33
So sad that once again this has happened. She obviously needed help and didn't get it.
20:58 October 1, 2012 by cogito
Again. These failures happen so frequently that they are becoming the rule. Soon it will be big news if the ambulance actually arrives.

Oh well, she was 77 years old after all. In the cynical utilitarian approach of Swedish health care, a dead pensioner represents one burden less on the state's economy.
22:21 October 1, 2012 by olga118
I wonder why Americans are so opposed to social medicine?
23:47 October 1, 2012 by wxman
More proof that the old saying is correct - - You reap what you sow. Coming soon to the US with Obamacare!
02:04 October 2, 2012 by BackpackerKev
Sweden needs a complete over-haul, and it will not likely be done until a swede has the idea that it needs a complete over-haul, which is unlikely and they will probably get it wrong.. as naturally any outsiders opinion means very little.

Sweden has one of the Highest tax, and yet poor social services compare to many other counties because it is most inefficient at meeting the required standards that you would expect from such a country.

I keep telling my girlfriend about these incidents, as her opinion is that it happens just as much in england, she fails to understand that the incident to population ratio is more than excessive in sweden with only 9 million people compared to 63 million. that 7 times more incidents should happen in the uk... but it doesnt.
08:56 October 2, 2012 by RobinHood
The lady rang for an ambulance, then she said she felt better and didn't want one after all. So they didn't send her one.
09:36 October 2, 2012 by Cyber_SD
>> I wonder why Americans are so opposed to social medicine? > Sweden has one of the Highest tax, and yet poor social services compare to many other counties
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