Elderly woman dies after ambulance no-show

The Local Sweden
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Elderly woman dies after ambulance no-show

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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