herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

OAP lay dying on street just yards from hospital

SHOCKING: 20-minute delay for ambulance

AN ELDERLY woman who lay dying on the street within yards of a hospital had to wait 20 minutes for an ambulance.

Relatives of Maureen Kane (75) have now branded her treatment a disgrace.

Ms Kane, who is to be buried tomorrow, was knocked down by a car within a short distance of the Cottage and Our Lady of Lourdes hospitals in Drogheda, Co Louth.

But she lay there stricken for 20 minutes while an ambulance was brought from Ardee, 22km away, as there was none available in the immediate area.

Maureen's sister Gert said her death has been "such a shock for us and everyone".

Politicians have now called for a review of the case and demanded an upgraded ambulance service for the town.

The tragedy happened at 5.20pm on Monday when Ms Kane was struck as she walked along Scarlet Street in Drogheda.

Reports today stated the driver of the car, who is in her 60s, was also injured in crash.

An emergency call was received by the national ambulance service in the North Leinster Area at 5.22pm. The HSE says the nearest available ambulance was in the Ardee area and arrived at Scarlet Street at 5.40pm.

Emergency care was provided to Ms Kane as they took her to the nearby Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, where she arrived at 6.05pm.

The HSE said an error meant it was first thought the ambulance did not arrive for 45 minutes. The crew had not pressed the on-scene arrival status button.

The two ambulances attached to the hospital were both being used at the time.

The accident happened within a couple of hundred metres of the Cottage Hospital and less than a kilometre from Our Lady of Lourdes.

Gerald Nash, a Labour TD for the area, said it was "completely unacceptable" that Drogheda does not have around-the-clock ambulance cover.

He pointed out Our Lady of Lourdes is the regional centre for excellence "yet there was no ambulance available in the town".

Mr Nash wants Health Minister James Reilly and the HSE to explain why "yet more serious problems of this nature" have occurred in Drogheda.

Ms Kane, from Bredin Street in Drogheda, is survived by her sisters Jean Callaghan and Gert Kierans, brother Eamonn, brothers-in-law Donald and Oliver, sister-in-law Nancy and nephews and nieces.

Her remains were reposing at Gert's home today on Glenmore Drive. The removal to Our Lady of Lourdes Church is to take place tomorrow morning and she will be buried at St Peter's Cemetery.

comurphy@herald.ie

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