Patient Passes Away After Being Falsely Declared Dead

Patient Passes Away After Being Falsely Declared Dead

( – During the summer of 2022, BBC News reported that a whistleblower accused the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) of covering up errors made by some of its paramedics, leading to the deaths of patients en route to the hospital. At the time, the ambulance service said it would “welcome independent scrutiny” of its operations. About a year later, an investigative report pointed to more alleged problems with NEAS, and a recent event involving the ambulance service stunned the public once again.

On October 16, the Northern Echo reported that NEAS ambulance workers recently transported a patient they declared dead to Darlington Memorial Hospital. Hours later, that same patient woke up.

The service’s director of paramedicine, Andrew Hodge, said NEAS immediately opened a review, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the stress the announcement undoubtedly caused the patient’s family.

The ambulance company contacted the individual’s loved ones after the initial incident to let them know the patient was indeed alive. However, reports from the same day revealed that police later confirmed the person’s death. It wasn’t made clear when she died.

According to the Daily Mail, a recent report covering a probe led by retired hospital boss Dame Marianne Griffiths detailed several alleged instances of employees “hiding medical errors” and “withholding evidence” from the coroner during investigations. One case highlighted in the report involved a 17-year-old who was recently found dead in the woods. Instead of performing CPR on the victim, the NEAS ambulance workers simply declared the person dead.

The report also criticized the follow-up and responses to such instances, stating that “leadership dysfunction” was allowed to fester for far too long. It’s unclear if NEAS will continue to serve the community while the investigation into the most recent matter unfolds. The ambulance service currently operates 61 stations across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington, and Teesside.

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