Queensland Ambulance Service Launches Review Following Tragic Death Of Hervey Bay Man

An 84-year-old man from Point Vernon lost his life while waiting for paramedics to arrive at his home, marking the third such case in less than a month.

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has launched a comprehensive review into the incident.

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Assistant Commissioner of the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Region, Stephen Gough, expressed his condolences, describing the man’s death as “sad more than preventable”.

The elderly man fell in his Point Vernon home on a Saturday afternoon, prompting his wife to make the first of several calls to triple zero.

The QAS could hear the couple’s conversation and provide instruction. Despite this, the initial call was logged as a code 2, indicating that an ambulance would be dispatched as soon as one became available.

As the man’s condition worsened, his wife made three additional calls to paramedics, eventually leading to the upgrade of the code to an emergency level. 

Despite an ambulance reaching the Point Vernon address within nine minutes of the upgraded code, the man succumbed to cardiac arrest.

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“This is a system that runs on establishing priorities every day for ambulance service use,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said. 

“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.”

Health experts are calling for a national overhaul of the health system to address ambulance ramping issues.

“It’s sad more than preventable,” he said.

“Any improvement that could be made will be identified through the ongoing review, and we are committed to enhancing our services to better serve the community in times of need.”

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