A 12-year-old schoolgirl died after she had to wait for an hour for an emergency “8-minute” ambulance after suffering cardiac arrest.
12-year-old Ffion Jones, a schoolgirl, was rushed to her GP’s surgery in Cardiff on December 7, 2018, after her breathing and pulse quickened.
Doctors said her BP was so low that they could not even record it.
The doctor at the GP Surgery then called for an emergency “8 minute” ambulance so she could be rushed to a hospital.
The mother and the staff waited for 1 hour before the emergency ambulance arrived.
By the time the paramedics arrived, Ffion already went into cardiac arrest.
Ffion was rushed to a hospital, but she never regained consciousness and tragically passed away a day after.
Ffion was diagnosed with Addison ’s disease, which is a condition where the adrenal glands in the kidneys stop working.
GP Dr. Nicola Leeson, of the Rumney Primary Care Center, appeared at the hearing of Ffion’s case.
In the hearing, she said, “As they came through the door Ffion said she felt unwell and wanted to lie down on the bed. So we assisted her onto the bed. I actually thought she looked quite unwell.”
The doctor carried out a number of tests and decided to call an emergency ambulance after Ffion’s health condition started to deteriorate.
Dr. Leeson said she had recently received training in requesting ambulances to GP surgeries.
8-minute emergency ambulances are only provided if a patient goes through cardiac arrest, is choking, or is involved in a hanging incident.
In the first call that Dr. Leeson made, she was told that she needed to call 999.
Dr. Leeson continued, “I was very disappointed to be told on the new system that the operator was unable to send me an eight-minute ambulance as I requested.”
She added, “The operator did say that she was going down the 999 line and she would arrange one for me quickly. I didn’t get the response I was expecting so I was taken aback.”
Dr. Leeson told the schoolgirl to stay down and gave her Dioralyte to drink so she could stay hydrated.
But after some time, Ffion started to become unconscious and her pupils became dilated.
She also started to breathe shallowly.
The doctor put out a cardiac arrest call and other staff came to help her.
During the hearing, Dr. Leeson said, “Just as we were applying the oxygen another receptionist appeared to say that I had to go and confirm it was a real cardiac arrest before the ambulance service would send an ambulance. I was obviously slightly distracted by the information I had just been given and was rendered speechless for a few seconds.”
Matt Taylor, a paramedic, was the first responder who attended Rumney Primary Care Centre in Cardiff last year.
He confirmed that the girl suffered cardiac arrest and immediately started CPR.
The ambulance arrived 10 minutes later and rushed the 12-year-old schoolgirl to the University Hospital of Wales.
The schoolgirl was pronounced dead a day after she was brought to the hospital.
Tests failed to detect brain activity.
Dr. Malcolm Gajraj, a consultant in pediatric intensive care, said, “’My expectation is that yes if we had treated the hypovolemia we would have reduced the chances of an arrest.”
An investigation is still ongoing.