CPH Post

National

Woman died an hour after calling 1813 emergency phone line

Doctor advised 36-year-old woman with a blood clot in the heart to take pain killers


People must call 1813 before turning up at the emergency room (Photo: Scanpix)

June 30, 2014
07:30

by Andreas Jakobsen


In the early hours of 27 March, 36-year-old Regina Holmegaard called the emergency phone service 1813 to speak to a doctor on duty. She had woken up in the middle of the night because she felt a severe pain in her chest and had difficulties breathing.

The doctor advised her to relax and take two painkillers. She did. An hour after the conversation, her boyfriend found her on the bathroom floor, dead from what turned out to be a blood clot in her heart.

Her death could have been avoided if the doctor had listened and identified the symptoms, Fyens Stiftstidende reports after getting access to the phone conversation in which the doctor fatally diagnosed her chest pain and breathing problems as a viral infection.

READ MORE: Health board slams emergency medical phone service

Doctor was wrong
Henrik Steen Hansen, the head of Hjerteforeningen who is a cardiologist at Odense University Hospital, agreed that the doctor should have been able to recognise the symptoms. 

"It's my conviction that the doctor clearly acted on a wrong interpretation and judgement of the woman's symptoms" he told Fyens Stiftstidende. "The doctor should have asked about the symptoms and the character of the pain."

Call 112 
If a doctor on 1813 doesn't listen and the pain near the heart continues, he advises, the patient should immediately call the emergency phone number 112 for an ambulance.

"If you are feeling a long-lasting chest pain, sometimes spreading to your arm, and you feel a shortness of breath and generally suspect that something is wrong, you must call 112, even if the doctor just told you that it's just a virus," he said.

Holmegaard's boyfriend has reported the incident to the patients' rights agency, Patientombuddet, where the complaint is currently being evaluated.



Related stories



Latest Comments

Great for her..what a fighter..

(Martin Friis on September 23, 2014 07:17)

"And I became determined to return to Denmark and release my New Yorker...

(Jens Rost on September 23, 2014 01:27)

As World Conference on Indigenous Peoples begins in UN please see "Unleashing...

(Martin Edwin Andersen on September 22, 2014 14:27)

Thoughtful piece

(David Williams on September 21, 2014 22:59)

You know we came through the sea and desert .is this because we like to put...

(Meron Mehari on September 21, 2014 18:06)

Beyond temperature, Denmark's soil and flat topography also do not favor...

(Bill Jones on September 21, 2014 16:03)

Turning Denmark into a shit hole, 600 refugees at a time. Nice going.

(Alex DeGre?t on September 21, 2014 14:11)

Are you a Christian? have you ever read your own Bible? "Paulus, Paulus,...

(Abdul Karim Munir Aszari on September 21, 2014 10:58)

And all accidences I said it might hapen there have been happened since I...

(Sly A-k on September 19, 2014 18:07)

Close the f-ing doors already. Denmark doesn't need anymore welfare sucking...

(Alex DeGre?t on September 18, 2014 16:19)