A 28-year-old U.K. woman with an ectopic pregnancy died after she was forced to wait for at least two hours before an ambulance showed up.
Sabrina Stevenson had been complaining of abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting on Dec. 16, 2012, when she finally called 999 in London. According to her roommate, Stevenson had complained that her pains had progressively gotten worse throughout the day, The Daily Mail reports.
Little did Stevenson know she was pregnant.
The 999 call came on the day of “Black Friday,” the last weekend before Christmas. Apparently, ambulance crews are busier than usual during that week.
An inquest held in January of this year concluded that the delay in treatment was to blame for Stevenson's death. During the inquest, the coroner reported that a series of inappropriate decisions, missed opportunities and system failures led to the paramedics arriving at 10:30 p.m. An hour later, Stevenson died.
Dawn Coventry, Stevenson’s mother and a practice manager for a legal firm in Rayleigh, Essex, has publicly criticized the London Ambulance Service.
“For me as a mother, it is horrific to know how she was treated in her final hours,” Coventry said, according to The Mirror. “The inquest proved that if they had acted properly then we would still have Sabrina with us today.”
Originally, the 999 call was incorrectly assessed and resulted in no ambulance being sent to the home. A second call resulted in a request for an ambulance to arrive in less than 30 minutes. When that half hour target was missed, the ambulance that was originally called for arrived an hour later.
When the crew finally arrived, they delayed in taking Stevenson to the hospital after struggling to assess her symptoms. When the crew finally decided to carry her to the ambulance, she collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
Stevenson arrived at the hospital at 10:40 p.m. but was pronounced dead at 11:24 p.m.
Photo Credit: Mirror, Rolf Larson/Flickr