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A woman suffering from chest pain had to be taken to the hospital by her boyfriend after waiting two hours for an ambulance to arrive; later, she “died” for five minutes after going into cardiac arrest in an A&E waiting room.
Natalie McMorran, 37, woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains and urged her partner Thomas Tapping, 35, to call 999 because she knew “something was seriously wrong”.
The call manager recorded the call, but when an ambulance failed to arrive at their property for over two hours, they made the decision to drive themselves to Coventry University Hospital.
Minutes after arriving, Ms. McMorran went into cardiac arrest in the waiting room and her heart stopped for a full five minutes before she was resuscitated.
The former betting shop worker subsequently spent the week in intensive care, followed by another week in the intensive care unit, with investigations underway into the cause of her poor health.
She said she did not have a pre-existing heart condition, but has now been diagnosed with coronary heart disease and has had two stents placed.
The Rugby, Warwickshire couple have since complained to the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust about ambulance delays.
Mrs McMorran said
Mrs McMorran said: “I was scared, I knew something was seriously wrong with me and the ambulance kept trying to ignore it.
“We waited two and a half hours for an ambulance before Thomas decided to take me to the hospital.
“We waited half an hour at A&E once we got there and I couldn’t get comfortable. I had to lie on the floor in this little hallway and people kept coming and harassing me.”
‘I begged Triage for a bed and threw up in the room but they still sent me back. I don’t remember much after that, as once I was back in the waiting room I had a seizure and then cardiac arrest.
“I was resuscitated after five minutes and transferred to intensive care where I stayed for a week before being transferred to the intensive care unit.
The doctor said that he wished I had been treated sooner. I feel like I’ve been let down and now I’m out of breath just going to the car.
“It could have been treated better and if it had been caught earlier it could have been different.”
Mrs. McMorran first complained of chest pains around 1 am. m. of March 22.
She added: “I had a fun twist earlier in the day and I thought she was a little seasick.”
“I went to bed at 11pm and woke up at 1am feeling like I had been hit between the shoulders with a brick.
“I was really hot and I was going to get some fresh air by the door to cool down before I got really cold and needed to warm up under a blanket.”
When her Mr. Tapping made the 999 call, she explained what was happening, but was told that she would have to wait.
Mrs. McMorran’s symptoms began to subside and she went back to sleep, but she quickly woke up again and began vomiting and suffering from an extreme temperature.
Around 3 am, Mr. Tapping took her to the hospital and says they waited another half hour before she was seen by a triage nurse, who told them to go back to the waiting room.
Twenty minutes later, Ms. McMorran went into cardiac arrest and her heart stopped for five minutes before doctors revived her on the spot, they say.
She spent the next two weeks in intensive care and now she has had to quit her job and takes 12 tablets a day to control her symptoms.
Ms McMorran was left with only 25 per cent of her heart function and says things would have been different had she been seen earlier.
She said: ‘I’m really upset that they didn’t take me seriously and took me back to the waiting room.
“It was a really big roller coaster the whole time I was there, it was really tactile and they told my family they didn’t know if I was going to make it.”
A spokesperson for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality.”
‘UHCW NHS Trust is committed to providing safe
‘UHCW NHS Trust is committed to providing safe, high-quality healthcare for our patients at all times and aims to learn from all feedback provided.
“Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service will work with the family to discuss their feedback and provide appropriate support.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We would like to apologize to Ms McMorran for the late response.
‘We received a call at 1:21am on Tuesday March 22nd from a patient in respiratory distress, a category 2 call.
More calls were received at 2 a.m. m., 2:18 a.m. m. and 3:13 a.m. m., during which the patient was reclassified and on each occasion generated a Category 2 response, the second highest.
“The whole of the NHS remains under great pressure and unfortunately the long delays in hospital delivery mean that some patients are waiting much longer than we would like for an ambulance to arrive.
‘We continue to work with local partners to find ways to reduce delays so our teams can respond more quickly. Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to respond as quickly as we can.’
Natalie McMorran Quick and Facts
- Natalie McMorran woke up in the middle of the night suffering with chest pains
- She urged her partner to call 999 as she knew ‘something was seriously wrong’
- After waiting more than two hours for ambulance, they instead drove to hospital
- Ms McMorran suffered cardiac arrest after a nurse said to stay in waiting room