Emergency workers from the Södra Älvsborg Hospital in southern Sweden suspected the patient, who was in her forties, was simply suffering from stomach flu when she called complaining of breathing problems, diarrhoea, and fever.
They chose against picking her up, advising the woman to stay at home, where she died several hours later, shortly after another ambulance arrived.
The coroner’s report showed that the woman died from blood clotting to her lungs, according to the Borås Tidning newspaper, something the nurses couldn’t have known from the woman’s own evaluation.
“It’s a tricky case, very unusual,” Jerker Isacson, chief of medicine at the hospital, told the paper.
The incident occurred earlier in the year when winter flu was in full force, and the emergency workers were overloaded with call outs.
The hospital itself has now reported the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in accordance with Sweden’s Lex-Maria laws, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries and incidents in the healthcare system.
“We want it to be evaluated and to investigate ourself how the paramedics acted the first time. We don’t know if it was the right judgment when they were there. The nurses made no obvious mistakes or errors,” Isacson said.
“The patient had good information but we want to be as sure as possible that something similar will not happen again.”