Pregnant mum dies hours after ‘999 call downgraded due to misdiagnosis’

A pregnant mother died after waiting almost three hours for an ambulance following a misdiagnosis on the phone, an inquest heard.

Gail Bailey was struck with abdominal pain but a medic thought she had appendicitis, the hearing at Lincoln Cathedral Centre was told.

But she was actually having symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, Lincolnshire Live reports.

Mrs Bailey was nine weeks pregnant when she was hit by the pain while holidaying in Ingoldmells, Lincolnshire.

Her husband Ryan phoned 999 in a desperate bid to get help.

But an ambulance dispatched to treat her was then rerouted to another emergency after reports a wasp had got stuck in someone’s throat.

An acting clinician then downgraded Mrs Bailey’s case under the suspicion she was suffering with appendicitis, the hearing at Lincoln Cathedral Centre was told.

However, the diagnosis was wrong and when the ambulance arrived some two hours and 44 minutes later, but it was too late.

She was rushed to Boston Pilgrim Hospital, but died from an ectopic pregnancy – a rare but potentially fatal complication – shortly after arriving.

Speaking at an inquest into Mrs Bailey’s death at the Lincoln Cathedral Centre, acting clinician Susan Jevons said: “I was thinking more along the lines of appendicitis than ectopic pregnancy.”

She added: “My understanding was from the information I had is that ectopic pregnancy happens between one and six weeks.

“It is not usually the sudden onset of pain.

“Mrs Bailey had got right-sided abdominal pain that was going into the groin which is very strong signs of appendicitis.”

Mr Bailey called the East Midlands Ambulance Service for help at around 5pm on August 6, 2017.

The case was identified as a category two emergency call.

An ambulance was directed to her location at Roman Bank – but it was then diverted to a different place after reports of a wasp in someone’s throat.

Ms Jevons then called Mr Bailey and after running through his wife’s symptoms, downgraded Mrs Bailey’s case to category three.

This categorisation meant they believed she was healthy enough to wait up to two hours for help.

Mr Bailey then called at 6.39pm to say his wife was in and out of consciousness.

At this point, Mrs Bailey’s call was upgraded back up to a category two emergency – but an ambulance did not then arrive until more than an hour later.

The inquest heard the service aims to attend category two emergencies within 18 minutes.

A post mortem concluded that Mrs Taylor died as a result of hemoperitoneum, which was a consequence of her ectopic pregnancy.

Speaking ahead of the hearing, Mr Taylor said: “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t miss Gail. She was such a loving and caring wife and I still don’t really believe she has gone.

“The last 16 months have been incredibly hard.

“While I know that the inquest and listening to the evidence of what happened in the lead up to her death is going to be extremely upsetting, it is something I need to do.

“That way, hopefully, it will mean that at least I get the answers to the many questions I have.”

The inquest continues.

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