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November 8, 2010

Australian EMS agency criticized over 'preventable' death

ABC Premium News

VICTORIA, Australia — The findings of an inquest into the death of a journalist from Cobram, in north-east Victoria, in December 2008, has found her death was preventable.

Handing down her findings into the death of Veronica Campbell, 38, coroner Stella Stuthridge found delays in transporting Ms Campbell to a larger hospital for surgery contributed to her death.

Ms Campbell was diagnosed with a possible ectopic pregnancy but the coroner found it took more than four hours before she was eventually airlifted to a Shepparton hospital.

The coroner was critical of Ambulance Victoria over a number of delays in transporting Ms Campbell from the Cobram District Hospital to the Goulburn Valley Hospital, where she died not long after landing.

Campbell family solicitor Dale Brooks says the coroner's report is highly critical of Ambulance Victoria and surgical intervention earlier would have prevented her death.

"Obviously the conclusion really that it was a preventable death is a great comfort to the family, it's both sweet and sour in that sense that the family feel somewhat vindicated by her honour's findings but it doesn't offer them a lot of comfort that it could have been avoided," he said.

Copyright 2010 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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