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calendar   Monday - July 06, 2009

Man left dying in his home as paramedic carried out 16-minute risk assessment outside. elf n safety?

Jeez what a story this is. I can’t make any comments. Words just don’t come to mind.

To think we have a minimum of another year in this place.

By Tom Kelly
Last updated at 4:19 PM on 06th July 2009


Heart attack: Roy Adams died after a paramedic spent 16 minutes on a health and safety check outside his house

A grandfather was left dying in his home while a paramedic waited outside for 16 minutes as he carried out a health and safety assessment.

The family of Roy Adams believe he might have survived if those ‘vital minutes’ had not been squandered.

The 61-year-old police chauffeur, who suffered a suspected heart attack, did finally receive treatment, but died on the way to hospital after suffering breathing difficulties.

Mr Adams telephoned 999 from his home in Morden, south London, complaining of chest problems.

On the advice of the operator, he left both the communal door to the block of flats and the door to his own apartment on the latch to enable the ambulance crew to get in quickly.

But when the rapid response medic arrived six minutes later he decided against going straight into Mr Adams’s home.

It is believed that, because the doors were open, he feared that the flat was being burgled.

Instead the medic carried out an on scene risk assessment and called the police for back up.

After waiting for 16 minutes he went into the property to find Mr Adams - who was alone in the property - dying on the floor unable to breathe.

He was taken to hospital but died before he arrived.

His daughter Catherine Adams, a security worker, said: ‘I keep picturing him in agony on the floor taking his dying breaths as he could hear the paramedic outside.

‘He must have been thinking: “Please, just come in, just come in”.

‘It’s heartbreaking. I can’t understand why the medic waited so long and why he thought carrying out a risk assessment was more important than saving my father.’

Miss Adams went on: ‘What risk did my father pose? It is ludicrous.

‘Why would you stand outside carrying out this risk assessment when you know an old man is inside with a serious medical emergency?’

‘My dad had been instructed to put the doors on the latch by the operator. 

‘Vital minutes were wasted. He might well have survived if the medic had gone in and treated him as soon as he arrived, but now we will never know.

We haven’t been given any explanation from the ambulance service. I find it baffling.

‘We’ve got to get answers. We’ve got to find out. We don’t want any other family to have to go through what we are going through.

‘My dad was a pillar of the community.

‘He spent his life serving others, but when he desperately needed help he was made to wait for heath and safety reasons.

‘The image of him lying there desperate for help as the paramedic waited outside keeps going round and round in my head.

During his 17-years as a police chauffeur, Mr Adams drove Scotland Yard Commanders around London and also had responsibility for taking witnesses to court in major cases.

He also drove police vans during fraud squad raids.

A talented amateur singer, he had appeared at the Albert Hall with the London Welsh Male Voice Choir.

He was devoted to his two daughters and three grandsons, and remained good friends with his ex wife.

His death on June 29 was caused by coronary artery disease.  A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We were called at 00.14 am to a residential address in Morden.

‘The first member of our staff to arrive at the address carried out a full on-scene risk assessment and requested police assistance due to safety concerns.

‘He then took the decision to enter the property, maintaining telephone contact with our control room.

‘One patient – a man – was taken to hospital.’

‘We are currently looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident.’

The London Ambulance Service said an on scene risk assessment is a ‘mental check list’ which paramedics are required to go through when they arrive at an emergency.

It includes questions like: Does the scene look safe? Are there any obvious risks? Will I require extra help? Will I need a stretcher? Will I need extra equipment? Are there any steps or other obstacles that could cause a problem?  The assessment is not written down.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We have a duty of care to treat patients but we also have to look after our staff.

‘In this case the medic conducted the on scene risk assessment and had safety concerns and decided to call for back up.’

SOURCE

Not to worry though. I’m certain someone will issue an apology and say their condolences and heart felt feelings go out to the family. Hoping most likely that the family will accept that BS in place of a law suit.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/06/2009 at 06:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Health and SafetyHealth-MedicineUK •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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