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

The report recommended better co-op by sea and air (photo: Defence Ministry)
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.

Danes to Cameron. "Don't do what we do!" (photo: Land of Hope and Glory)
Lidegaard to Cameron: Don’t pursue our EU model
The foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, has warned Britain’s re-elected P...
The Danes will head to the ballot boxes on June 18 (photo: Johannes Jansson)
General election to take place on June 18
After months of waiting, the Danes can finally pencil the 2015 election day...
There are no wings of love lost between Ryanair and Copenhagen (photo: iStock)
Ryanair lodges EU complaint about Copenhagen and Frank Jensen
The ongoing drama between the lord mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, and t...
The drug injection rooms in Denmark have 4,372 registered users (photo: Facebook)
Drug injection rooms a resounding success
The drug injection rooms ('fixerum') that opened for customers some two and...
The PM revealed that the Danes will go to the ballot boxes on June 18 (photo: Håkan Dahlström)
Speculation high that PM will call election today
After months of speculation, some are predicting that PM Helle Thorning-Sch...
(photo:istock)
For the few of you who like a brew …
The Danish Beer Enthusiasts aren’t satisfied by the selection of beer ava...