A recent experience with an ambulance call taker

(as a relative),

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About: Ambulance Victoria

This is on behalf of my mother in law - she recently called '000' when my father-in-law suffered a fatal heart attack. He was end stage with a respiratory disease and had been quite unwell, and did not consent for resuscitation. The call operator insisted that my mother-in-law, who is 84, pull her husband off the bed and perform CPR (he was obviously dead and he did not want this anyway). As my mother-in-law was clearly distressed (and very early stages of dementia) she did as she was told and went through the processes - including pulling him off the bed onto the floor, where  he remained for the next 8 hours until the funeral home could collect him. Needless to say, she has been quite traumatised by this whole scenario, which did not need to happen - as should not have been, what we believe was so aggressively instructed to perform CPR.

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Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The following response has been published by Patient Opinion Australia on behalf of Ambulance Victoria:

Dear Oprah

Thank you for sharing your mother-in-law’s recent experience when she called Triple Zero for her husband.

I am very sorry for the distress she experienced and how difficult it must have been for her. Please accept my condolences for her loss.

We appreciate all feedback received as it provides an opportunity to identify areas for improvement as part of our patient care commitment.

It is difficult to provide feedback on your mother-in-law’s experience without knowing more details of the case. We encourage you to contact us to share more details so we are better placed to improve our services, and can provide further feedback to the Triple Zero call taking agency ESTA, a third party supplier to all Victorian emergency services.

Please feel free to contact our Professional Standards Department on 1300 875 137 or professionalstandards@ambulance.vic.gov.au to discuss.

Kind regards

Nicola Reinders

Executive Director Quality and Patient Experience

Ambulance Victoria

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