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February 24, 2017

Probe: Paramedic committed 'gross failure' in 5-year-old’s death

By EMS1 Staff

OXFORDSHIRE, England — A paramedic is under investigation for allegedly committing gross failure in treating a 5-year-old girl who died under their care. 

Lilly-May Page-Bowden fell ill May 2014 after school; she suffered a cardiac arrest related to an undiagnosed heart condition, reported the Wokingham Paper

An inquest concluded this week that paramedic Sharon Jacobs, who treated Lilly-May, failed to follow guidelines when treating a pediatric cardiac arrest patient. Jacobs said based on Lilly-May’s heart rhythm condition, she would not have responded to a defibrillator.

“We can see that the first paramedic team to respond, headed by Ms. Jacobs, arrived on the scene within seven minutes, but the decision to not switch on the defibrillator in the ambulance, to not take the equipment to her, and ultimately not to deliver a shock, wasted valuable time,” medical professional Mark Catterall said. 

Catterall said had a defibrillator been used on Lilly-May, “it would have saved her life.”

South Central Ambulance Service, Jacobs’ employer, said it has implemented changes in regard to defibrillating pediatric patients. The service also issued a public apology to Lilly-May’s family.

“South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has previously offered its sincere condolences to Lilly-May’s family and I would like to reiterate those today as this inquest must have brought back many traumatic memories of the events,” Deirdre Thompson, SCAS director of patient care, said.