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

June 30th, 2014 7:30 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

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.

If I’d known I’d stay on the Civil List, I would have done this years ago!
Straight, no Chaser: Of cabbages and kings
The blue touchpaper on the first New Year’s fireworks had barely been lit...
flag-993627_960_720
Today’s Date: Marie reaches 40
The flags will stay raised following Princess Mary’s birthday as not only...
The right mentor can make a huge difference (photo: iStock)
This Week in Schools: More graduates using mentors
A growing number of students at the University of Copenhagen (KU) are seeki...
Boat with syrian refugees off the coast of Sicily. (Photo: Vito Manzari from Martina Franca)
This Week’s Editorial: Tricky law followed by a piece of cake
Integration is the name of the game. The refugees are here – or on their ...
Fairies, batmen and ninjas gathered to participate in the old Danish tradition of beating the barrel
Kids Corner: Faster prep might be needed for the annual kids shindig
Fastelavn on 7 February is extremely early this year – actually the earli...
Christianity's most revered warrior tends to be Archangel Michael (photo: Luca Giordano (1632–1705)
How Christianity portrayed Jesus as a warrior to woo the Vikings
Despite more than 80 percent of Danes associating themselves with the Evang...