Pregnant woman dies after emergency calls ignored

A pregnant woman has died in Västerås, northwest of Stockholm, after the emergency services failed to respond to several phone calls for help.

The 39-year-old woman and her husband were expecting their second child when she began to feel sick. The man called SOS Alarm at least twice for an ambulance over a recent weekend, but both times they were told, “Don’t worry, it’s just normal pregnancy symptoms,” Aftonbladet reported on Monday.

On the Monday night they asked a neighbour to call SOS again. Still no help came.

The next day the woman was still sick, but now both she and her husband were tired of waiting, so they decided to go to the hospital themselves. The husband went to borrow a car from a neighbour. When he got back to the apartment the woman was sprawled out on the kitchen floor unconscious. This time the ambulance came.

But it was too late and by the time it arrived, the woman was dead.

SOS Alarm in Västerås has begun an investigation into the matter.

“Among other things we are going to listen to the tape recordings [of all the calls made by the couple to SOS Alarm] to see how we have operated,” said Karin Thunberg, spokeswoman for SOS Västerås, according to Aftonbladet.

She said if the investigation shows that something wrong happened, SOS Alarm would be reported to The National Board of Health and Welfare for possible disciplinary action.