Ipswich: Heart attack patient claims he could have died in his bed after paramedics said he could stay at home
AMBULANCE bosses have launched an investigation after a patient claimed he might have died in his bed had paramedics left him at home suffering chest pains.
Trevor Harris says he suffered two severe heart attacks at Ipswich Hospital – just hours after paramedics gave him the option of staying at home.
The 63-year-old has lodged an official complaint with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST).
But ambulance spokesman Gary Sanderson said they could not comment while a clinical investigation is under way.
Mr Harris told The Star he woke in the early hours suffering chest pains.
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The 63-year-old has esophageal cancer and so asked his wife Teresa to call Somersham Ward at the Heath Road hospital to speak to nurses, because he was concerned the pain was related to the disease.
But they told his wife to call 999 immediately.
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“They [paramedics] were here very quickly,” he told The Star.
“They gave me an ECG and it proved normal. But then they asked me if I wanted to go into hospital.
“I was shocked they were asking me – I was under the impression that someone of my age suffering chest pains should be seen by a doctor.”
Mr Harris said his wife insisted he go into the A&E department after last week’s incident.
He said on the way into hospital he was still suffering chest pains and around half-an-hour after arriving at Heath Road he started to feel “strange”, fell unconscious and was told he had suffered a heart attack.
Not long afterwards, when he had been admitted to the Brantham emergency assessment ward, Mr Harris said he suffered another severe attack.
“They had to bring me back,” he added. “I felt all strange again and next thing I knew I was being told they had shocked me twice to bring me back because my heart had stopped.”
Medics at Ipswich immediately arranged for Mr Harris to be transferred to Papworth Hospital the same day, where he underwent a procedure to have a stent fitted to widen the artery in his heart.
Mr Harris added: “If I was left behind at home I might have died in my bed.”
n Tell us your experiences of the ambulance service. Write to health reporter at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com