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Ambulance boss apologises after patient declared ‘dead’ wakes up


An ambulance service has apologized after a patient who had been certified dead by one of its crews awoke at the hospital.

The unidentified person was rushed to Darlington Memorial Hospital in County Durham on Friday by paramedics who believed they had died in a “incident” earlier that day.


However, upon arriving, it was discovered that the patient was still alive. Their present state of health has not been disclosed.

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) apologized to the patient’s family and stated an inquiry into the blunder, which was originally reported by The Northern Echo, had been initiated.

Director of paramedicine Andrew Hodge said: “As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we opened an investigation and contacted the patient’s family.

“We are deeply sorry for the distress that this has caused them. A full review of this incident is being undertaken and we are unable to comment any further at this stage.”

He added: “The colleagues involved are being supported appropriately and we will not be commenting further about any individuals at this point.”

It comes only months after the trust was chastised in a stinging report for one of its paramedics declaring a patient dead rather than attempting CPR. The employee was later dismissed.

The assessment, conducted by retired hospital chief Dame Marianne Griffiths, discovered evidence of “significant culture and behavioural issues” at NEAS.

The assessment, however, was condemned as a “whitewash” by the family of Quinn Evie Milburn-Beadle, 17, who believes she may have lived if the paramedic had taken more steps to rescue her in 2018.







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