A PREGNANT woman bled to death after two student paramedics waited 40 minutes before taking her to hospital, an inquest heard.
An ambulance was called to Trudy Glenister’s home, in Lee Lotts, Great Wakering, after she began vomiting, suffering severe abdominal pains and told relatives she was “losing the baby”.
The inquest, at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court yesterday, heard ambulance trainee Mark Elms and a student colleague arrived at the 38-year-old’s home at 7.29pm and began making observations at 7.35pm.
Ambulance queue: Southend Hospital
But despite concerns Mrs Glenister, who was five weeks pregnant and had a two-year-old daughter, could be suffering internal bleeding caused by an ectopic pregnancy, the ambulance crew didn’t set off for Southend Hospital until 8.09pm.
They arrived 15 minutes later as they did not put on the emergency sirens and then queued behind other ambulances instead of rushing in to warn medics.
Mrs Glenister died of a heart attack shortly after she was eventually admitted to the hospital.
"Acute emergency:" Dr Ian Caulder
Dr Ian Caulder, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said this was an “acute medical surgical emergency”
and discovered four to five litres of blood in her abdominal area which he found was caused by the foetus being in the fallopian tube and rupturing her ovarian artery.
Roger Wicks, from medical negligence solicitors Gadsby Wicks, who is representing her family, asked coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray to record medical negligence was a factor in her death amid claims the pair’s actions amounted to “gross failings in the provision of basic care”.
Mr Wicks argued that after Mr Elms formed the view within a few minutes of arrival that ectopic pregnancy was a possible cause of her symptoms, he should have called for back-up and immediately taken the patient to hospital.
Mr Elms told the court he had been training for just a year when the incident happened, on July 5, 2011.
His knowledge of ectopic pregnancies was confined to two brief paragraphs during his training, he said.
"Gross failings:" Roger Wicks
The court heard his colleague was even less qualified and the pair were unable to carry out a number of measures used by qualified paramedics, including administering certain drugs.
Mr Elms accepted he did not have the same level of experience as a paramedic, but said carrying out two sets of observations on the patient before taking her to hospital was in accordcance with his training.
He said he considered ectopic pregancy, but also felt her high heart rate could be down to shock.
Adjourned the case: Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray
He said he did not travel to the hospital under blue lights because it could have “increased the patient’s anxiety”.
He changed his original statement to say he had informed a triage nurse about the seriousness of the case.
Dave Hill, representing the ambulance trust, said the incident had not been investigated and no proceedures had been changed since Mrs Glenister’s death.
Mrs Beasley-Murray adjourned the case for summing up until next week.