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Diabetic could have been saved

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

Type 1 diabetic, 27-year-old Lisa Day, could have been saved if an ambulance had arrived sooner, a coroner has stated.  Ms Day, from Saffron Walden in Essex, was with her friend Luke Halliburton when she fell ill in September of 2015.  She was living in West Hampstead in north London when she became ill.  The inquest heard that she had to wait almost five hours for an ambulance to arrive, during which time she suffered a heart attack and became unconscious.  Ms Day never regained consciousness. 

Struggling to cope with “extreme demand”

The Saint Pancras Coroner’s Court heard that the London Ambulance Service was struggling to cope with “extreme demand” at the time of the call.  Mr Halliburton had called NHS 111 shortly after 5pm to request an ambulance.  The ambulance turned up after 10pm by which time Ms Day had suffered a heart attack and was unconscious on her bed.  She died five days later from a condition called ketoacidosis – lack of oxygen to the brain – a complication due to her diabetes.

Coroner Mary Hassell delivered a narrative verdict in which she stated: “The reason for the approximate four and a half hour delay in an ambulance attending was because demand outstripped capacity”.  She also pointed out: “If Lisa had received definitive hospital care before she suffered a cardiac arrest in the evening of September 7, the likelihood is she would have survived”.

After the inquest, Doreen Proud, Ms Day’s mother described how: “It’s every mother’s nightmare”.  Her sister Katie Edwards said: “She was completely let down”.

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