Marina Burke, a resident of Head of Bay d’Espoir was very dissappointed after needing the Bay d’Espoir Ambulance services due to having suffered some type of heart event earlier this year and was being transported to the Grand Falls Hospital.
“I had to visit the Emergency Department at the St. Alban’s Clinic on April 2nd, 2012 because I was experiencing some discomfort. The staff present provided excellent care and I was dispatched by ambulance to the Central Newfoundland Health Care Centre in Grand Falls Windsor,” stated Ms. Burke.
“I was advised at the clinic that my symptoms suggested that I might have been subject to an angina attack and the results of an electrocardiogram suggesting that I had indeed suffered from some type of heart event. While I was being transported to the hospital, the circumstances surrounding the incident were quite troubling and they could well have led to a tragic outcome had the events of that day been of a more urgent matter.
While en route, one of the ambulance attendants present stated to the staff member accompanying me that they had an issue that needed immediate attention. To my astonishment, the attendant suggested that the ambulance was critically low on fuel which would necessitate a return to Milltown for replenishment of our fuel cache.”
Ms. Burke stated that the ambulance driver subsequently turned the vehicle around and they had returned to get the fuel required to continue of journey to Grand Falls Windsor.
“As far as I am concerned this event should never have been allowed to occur and immediate steps should be taken to ensure that this never reoccurs. An individual stricken with a heart ailment is already subjected to an extreme amount of stress and certainly does not need additional stress placed on them due to the ineptitude of personnel that are tasked to provide ambulatory services in this region.”
“I am not interested in assigning blame for this incident, but rather I would like an investigation into the events leading up to this very serious event. I suggest that the results of this investigation would indicate where the lack of accountability lies with respect to something as crucial as ensuring the vehicles of your fleet are adequately provisioned with fuel and other critical supplies prior to departure for Grand Falls Windsor.”
Ms. Burke did suffer a heart attack and was in the Grand Falls hospital for six days and is now recovering. There was no apparent negative effects due to the events of her transport to the hospital.
“We always hear of the golden hour with a heart attack victim and how the survivability from such a traumatic event is considerably increased by arriving at an acute care facility in the first 60 minutes after the onset of the initial attack. Although I understand that because of geography we cannot be present at the facility in 60 minutes, any further delay in transport because of perceived staff negligence cannot be tolerated and will, without a doubt, eventually lead to a more sinister outcome,” stated Ms. Burke.
Ms. Burke sent out numerous letters to Heather Brown with Central Health, MHA Tracey Perry, Gail Willcott, the Bay d’Espoir Ambulance Committee and Wayne Younge, Manager Air and Road Ambulance. It’s been almost three months now and she has still not received a response from anyone.
Ms. Burke requested that this matter be looked into and that she be contacted when the investigation was completed. She would like answers as to why this happened and the measures that will be enacted to ensure that this never happens again.