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The South East Coast Ambulance Service has been found to have been negligent in their treatment of an asthma patient.
The court held that their failure to perform the appropriate observations and to administer the right drugs resulted in the patient’s death.
The background to this case was that Mr Hayes suffered from a type of asthma known as brittle asthma (Type 2). What this meant in reality was that he suffered from severe asthma attacks which in his particular case came on rapidly.
On 28th December 2008, he had been playing golf with his brother and suffered an asthma attack after returning home and going upstairs for a shower. He managed to call his mother who then called an ambulance.
When the ambulance arrived, to start with he was given nebulised salbutamol and oxygen and he confirmed that he felt better. However, as the ambulance crew approached to assist him down the stairs he became unresponsive. He appeared to have a seizure and suffered from respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest. An hour later he was declared dead.
This tragic case then ended up in court because it was suggested that the ambulance service were negligent in the way they treated Mr Hayes. Specifically, it was suggested that they failed to undertake and record the appropriate observations and that if they had, then they would have realised the severity of Mr Hayes’ condition.
It was also suggested that the ambulance crew should have given Mr Hayes more than one dose of salbutamol and that he should also have been given ipratropium and adrenaline.
HHJ Coe QC agreed that the ambulance crew had been negligent and what’s more, on the balance of probabilities, that if they hadn’t been negligent then Mr Hayes would have survived.
This tragic case highlights the need for the emergency services to follow the correct procedures and to look beyond merely the view of the patient themselves.
Sadly, no legal action can bring back a loved one but such legal action can serve as a means of claiming fatal accident compensation for those left behind and also as a way of highlighting any mistakes which may have been made. From this it may be hoped that lessons can be learned and other mistakes avoided in similar situations in the future.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Claims Direct deal with fatal accident compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation call freephone 0800 884 0321 or start a claim online and we will be happy to help.
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