Nurse’s gut instinct to authorise an ambulance was overruled by a computer system
A woman has died after her 999 call for emergency medical assistance was denied after a nurse’s gut instinct to authorise an ambulance was overruled by a computer system.
The woman contacted NHS Direct for help after experiencing vomiting and stomach pains but was advised by the nurse call handler that she should wait for a response from her GP and that her symptoms didn’t require an ambulance.
The 58-year-old died two hours later.
Following an investigation into the incident, the nurse admitted that although her gut instinct had been to send an ambulance, the computer system had ultimately made the decision, not her.
Clinical negligence was listed as a contributing factor to her death
A coroner ruled that the woman had heart disease and recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. However, clinical negligence was listed as a contributing factor to her death.
Kashmir Uppal, a clinical negligence specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Sadly, this is an example of the catastrophic impact that taking fundamental treatment decisions away from qualified professionals can have.
“Undoubtedly, technology has enabled countless advances in medical treatment but relying too heavily on computer systems to make potentially life-saving decisions, without having the benefit of human judgment, can have a disastrous impact.”
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discreet and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.