University Hospital of Northern Norway: Doctor says no to sending air ambulance due to corona fears – patient dies

Air ambulancePhoto: Paul Kleiven / NTB
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The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision (Statens helsetilsyn) criticized the University Hospital of Northern Norway after one patient died and another had to be resuscitated after being denied an air ambulance.

In two cases in July 2020, emergency room doctors in Nordreisa asked for an air ambulance to transport critically ill patients to the hospital, the newspaper Nordlys writes.

In both cases, the doctor in charge at the AMK/air ambulance in Tromsø didn’t send out the helicopter. Thus, the two patients were transported 230 kilometers to Tromsø by ambulance.

One patient died before the ambulance reached the hospital, while the other had to be resuscitated.

The patient who died had, among other things, respiratory symptoms. The doctor in Tromsø feared that the patient could have corona and thus didn’t want to send the air ambulance – because it would have to be disinfected after transport.

Assessment

In the second case, blood poisoning was suspected. The doctor in Tromsø nevertheless believed that the measured values ​​were “OK” and that it was acceptable to transport the patient to the UNN by ambulance.

In its report, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision concluded that both patients should have been transported by helicopter. 

In the case where the patient died, the Norwegian Board of Health believes that the help provided was unjustifiable and that the handling of the case was not within the norms of good medical practice in the case where the patient survived.

AMK chief Jon Mathisen agrees with the criticism and regrets that the patients did not get helicopter transport.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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