Medic suspended after not spotting heart attack
She reportedly did not follow proper procedure when responding to a patient with severe chest pains
By Alexander Lawrie
Scotland on Sunday
FORTH VALLEY, Scotland — A paramedic who failed to spot a patient having a heart attack has been suspended from the profession.
Claire Jolly did not carry out the proper procedures when she responded to a patient who was suffering severe chest pains.
Jolly, who was based in the Forth Valley area, failed to carry out an electrocardiogram (ECG) at the scene, and when she eventually carried out the ECG in the ambulance she did not study the results properly.
As a result, the experienced paramedic was unable to identify the results indicating a heart attack, resulting in her delaying the patient's treatment by not issuing an advance alert to Stirling Royal Infirmary.
It was also found Jolly had not informed the ambulance driver to rush the patient to hospital under the "blue light emergency" procedure on 8 August 2009.
Jolly failed to appear at a disciplinary hearing of the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) held in Edinburgh last week.
The HCPC panel heard Jolly had attended Patient A's home with ambulance technician Lewis Eadie but had "failed to correctly identify the cause of the patient's chest pain".
She then administered morphine to the patient before breaking the Scottish Ambulance Service's (SAS) procedure by then walking him to the ambulance.
A complaint about the paramedic's actions was then made by Dr Melanie Kavanagh, consultant in emergency medicine at Stirling Royal Infirmary, after Jolly had administered an ECG to the patient in the ambulance but failed to adequately study the results.
The HCPC panel heard Jolly had written a letter of appeal to the ambulance service in May 2010 and recognised her treatment of the patient "fell far short of that expected by the SAS".
The panel was also satisfied Jolly had shown remorse and insight into her actions, but also stated it was "very concerned that her actions had the potential to cause harm".
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