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SOS service under review after ambulance errors

TT/The Local/pvs · 17 May 2011, 07:33

Published: 17 May 2011 07:33 GMT+02:00

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The board has acted to review SOS Alarm's ambulance prioritising after a man died after having been refused an ambulance.

A further five cases will be reviewed in which the refusal or delay of an ambulance has meant that patients were unnecessarily endangered.

"We can conclude that it is a very risky business. It is a question of life and death if you are not prioritised or don't get help in time. Then of course in this type of operation you can't expect to get an priority one ambulance within five minutes all over Sweden, but you can demand that the operation learns from these incidents," said Maria Carlund at the board to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily.

In Gothenburg last year a woman died from renal failure and pneumonia after having been refused an ambulance the day before. In April 23-year-old Emil Linnell died of a ruptured spleen after being refused an ambulance.

As a result of the case, which gained a great deal of attention in the media at the time, SOS Alarm reported the case to the health board in accordance with Sweden's Lex Maria, the informal name used to refer to regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

Story continues below…

A further case involves a man who was told to buy cough medicine while he was in fact suffering from a heart attack at the time, SvD reported.

All of the cases concern incidents where the patients have been either refused an ambulance or have had to wait to long that they have either died or sustained permanent injury as a result.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:23 May 17, 2011 by Puffin
Perhaps the part of the problem is that SOS Alarm AB is more focussed on the bottom line these days as a profit making company rather than public service.

The only way it can win the contracting rounds is to push down costs and hire cheaper staff
14:00 May 17, 2011 by Syftfel
I'm going to guess that any failure on part of ambulance services, is due to lack of experience, training and cognitive abilities, on part of drivers and ambulance staff.
15:39 May 17, 2011 by NJGirl
There is nothing that can be done to fix the problem. This is a socialized medicine and unfortunately some people are going to pay for it with their lives.
20:50 May 20, 2011 by sunnchilde
In the US if a person calls 911 for an ambulance and one does not come and the person dies, heads would roll. And there would be multi-million dollar lawsuits against the city and state and probably criminal prosecutions, too.
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