Man Dies After 10-Hour Ambulance Wait In Adelaide

A man in Adelaide’s east lost his life after enduring a prolonged 10-hour wait for an ambulance, according to the Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) of South Australia. 

The 45-year-old, who initially called triple-0 reporting abdominal pain and vomiting, was designated as an “Urgent Priority 5” case, warranting an ambulance response within an hour.

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The AEA alleged that ambulance resources were tied up at hospitals, leading to significant delays in emergency responses. 

On the fateful night, 17 ambulance crews were reportedly held up at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, contributing to the backlog of emergency cases across metropolitan Adelaide.

Josh Karpowicz, the AEA industrial officer, expressed concern over patients being left unattended in the community due to ambulance ramping. 

“The night this occurred, there was over 50 cases pending across metropolitan Adelaide,” he said.

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He highlighted the challenges faced by crews ramped at hospitals, making it difficult to address community demands with limited ambulance availability.

“That’s 50 cases that the ambulance service can’t get to, because ambulances are caught up on the ramp.”

The union has submitted details of the case to Professors Bill Griggs and Keith McNeil.

They have also launched a clinical review into allegations of emergency department staff prioritising patients in ambulances over those in waiting rooms due to ramping.

SA Ambulance has initiated a review into the incident.

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