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Old maps result in hour-long ambulance delay

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13:18 CET+01:00
It took ambulance staff nearly one hour to reach a man suffering from chest pains in southern Sweden because their maps were out of date.

The 34-year-old man called emergency services in Skåne, south Sweden, after experiencing breathing difficulties and chest pains.

But his address was not listed on either the paper or digital maps used by the ambulance services hired by the Skåne Regional Council (Region Skåne).

The incident happened in June 2012. The man managed to call for help but it took ambulance service personnel 10 minutes to respond as they were in a basement washroom with no reception.

When they finally heard the emergency call and left the station it took them another 40 minutes to find the man since his address was not listed on their maps.

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has sharply criticized the Regional Council saying maps used in ambulances must always be up to date.

The council said the explanation for the Skåne ambulances using erroneous maps was that Falck Ambulans, the ambulance service company that the council currently hires, is using the same maps used by the previous company, Sirius.

"It is our responsibility to follow up on this matter," Poul Kongstad, clinic head at the Skåne Regional Council Prehospital Care Centre, admitted to the local newspaper Skånska Dagbladet.

But he added that Sirius failed to update its maps despite several requests and that Falck has fallen short on its promises to update the maps.

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"Falck has told us that they use updated maps. We have received an indication before that that was not the case. We pointed it out at the time and presumed that it was corrected," said Kongstad.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

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