Pensioner waits over an hour for ambulance after falling on stairs
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A pensioner who badly gashed a hand on glass was rushed to hospital by family members after waiting an hour for an ambulance to arrive.
Once at the James Paget Hospital the 79-year-old's wound needed 24 stitches and he was given three pints of blood, due to the blood he had lost.
The man, who is prescribed the anti-coagulant Warfarin for a heart complaint, fell while climbing the stairs at his home in South Beach Road, Great Yarmouth last Friday and cut his hand on a glass he was carrying.
Knowing the wound was serious, he called the ambulance for help, and then twice more, before alerting relatives to his plight who immediately took action to drive him to hospital themselves.
And while in the waiting room at the hospital he had a seizure due to the fact he had lost so much blood.
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The ambulance did not arrive as it had been diverted to a 'life-threatening' emergency. However, one did arrive an hour and 20 minutes after his first call.
His sister-in-law Barbara Giggins, 68, of Hawkins Close, Yarmouth said: 'I would like to know what they call an emergency, if this does not count as one.'
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In a statement, East of England Ambulance Service Trust said: 'We were called at 2.28pm on August 26 (Friday) to a report of a man who had suffered a cut to the hand in Great Yarmouth. An ambulance crew attended at 3.42pm. However, the patient was no longer at the scene.
'Based on information given over the phone, the call was coded as a serious but not life-threatening emergency. An ambulance crew was immediately dispatched but had to be diverted to a life-threatening emergency.
'We had more than 465 emergency calls in Norfolk on that day, 161 of which were to patients with life-threatening conditions.
'We would like to apologise for any distress caused, and would urge the patient or his family to get in touch if they have any further concerns or questions.'
Do you have a story about the ambulance service? Email health correspondent Nicholas Carding on email@example.com