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‘Sad’: Man dies after four emergency calls

The 84-year-old man fell in his Point Vernon home on Saturday afternoon, with his wife making four emergency calls before paramedics finally arrived — but the man could not be saved.

An independent review has now been launched to examine any possible opportunities for improvement.

The man reportedly complained of back and knee pain, and the call was lodged as a code two, meaning an ambulance would be sent as soon as one became available.

Assistant Commissioner of the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Region Stephen Gough said after the man’s health deteriorated the code was upgraded to an emergency level.

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An elderly man has died while waiting for paramedics but the Queensland Ambulance Service says his death is “sad more than preventable”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

An ambulance arrived at the home within nine minutes but he died of cardiac arrest.

“It’s sad more than preventable — this is a system that runs on establishing priorities every day for ambulance service use,” Mr Gough said on Wednesday.

“In this situation it was a response that required the first available ambulance to go there and during that passage of waiting for the ambulance, the patient became much worse and required an emergency ambulance response.

“I think it’s difficult to say it’s preventable, but the outcome of that or any improvement that could be made will be made from the review.”

QAS has met with the man’s family.

“We’re undertaking an independent review of the case to see if there is any opportunity for improvement,” Mr Gough said.

“We’ve been contacted by the Queensland coroner to provide information while they continue their inquiries into the manner and cause of patient’s death.

“We’ll also work with the family to provide them the outcome of our review.”

Mr Gough also revealed that on the day there were multiple call-outs regarding people falling.

“We had two vehicles who were at the Hervey Bay Hospital that were unloading patients who had been called for falls as well,” he said.

“Hervey Bay is a very popular area for retirees to move to because of the nature of the location.

“But as people age, we actually notice an increase in slips, trips and falls, so it is something to be aware of and it can happen at any place and any time.”