‘I was freezing cold and felt dizzy’ - Elderly woman who broke her leg describes shocking wait for ambulance
PUBLISHED: 15:42 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:28 26 September 2018
An elderly woman who broke her leg was forced to wait for more than three hours lying on a cobbled floor for an ambulance.
Sandra Old, 72, from Hopton, fell at Great Yarmouth Market Place earlier this month and broke her fibula.
Mrs Old already had a false right leg which severely impacted her mobility.
Now, as she is still recovering at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, she has spoken about the ordeal which left her “shocked”.
She said: “I was freezing cold and felt dizzy, I was really concerned about how I was feeling. I was shocked at how long it took the ambulance to arrive.”
Dave Cosby, a trained first aider, saw Mrs Old on the floor and went to check on her wellbeing before calling 999 just after 1.30pm on September 4.
After an hour of waiting for an ambulance to turn up two more calls were made with Mrs Old’s condition deteriorating as she began to feel sick.
Mr Cosby then made another call and was told by the control room that the incident was now a high priority after two and three quarter hours of waiting.
He said: “Two police officers walked by the incident and were in shock that an ambulance hadn’t arrived yet. Due to Sandra’s injury to her leg we couldn’t move her so we did all we could to keep her spirits up.”
Mr Cosby says the control room then got involved and placed the incident as a “higher response” which was the highest level they can put it on.
An ambulance eventually arrived at 5pm - over three hours after the emergency services had been called.
Mr Cosby added: “Sandra was left so long she got into a bit of a state and was very upset. We were all outraged that it took three hours to reach her.
“She was on the borderline of going into shock. We just managed to keep the situation from getting out of hand and becoming life threatening.”
The East of England Ambulance Trust apologised to Mrs Old. A spokesperson, said: “We apologise for any distress felt where a patient experiences a wait in being assessed and treated.”