Man left on Queensland hospital ramp dies as paramedics desperately tried to get him admitted

Matt Shrivell
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Ambulance arrivals at Queensland hospitals have increased by 4.4 per cent this year. (Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS)
Ambulance arrivals at Queensland hospitals have increased by 4.4 per cent this year. (Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Senior Queensland Health officials have made stern complaints and explosive emails have been leaked surrounding the death of a patient who was left on a ramp outside a Gold Coast hospital.

9News reported that the 78-year-old Gold Coast man died of a heart attack after spending hours waiting to be admitted, before being treated on a ramp outside the Gold Coast University Hospital last Tuesday.

The emails explain that ambulance crews were forced to monitor the patient on the ramp and continued to complete forms ‘indicating the patient’s deterioration’ before ‘escalating these concerns to the hospital triage and team leader’ on multiple occasions.

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Documents state the patient was moved from the ramp to a bed in the resuscitation area at about 6.30pm but within five minutes, he suffered a heart attack, and was placed on life support but later died.

Case records quoted Queensland Ambulance medical director Dr Stephen Rashford, who wrote to other health bosses to air his concerns.

“I note the first Queensland Adult Deterioration Detection System score was three,” Rashford said.

“Based upon (that score), this patient should never have remained ‘ramped’.

‘”The fact a transfer of care was considered by the hospital is even more concerning.

“This case requires local escalation ASAP (as soon as possible) so the hospital can review their performance.”

Queensland Health replied to Dr Rashford’s concerns and said they felt the process fell in line with ‘appropriate triage procedures’.

“The patient, who sadly passed away, was triaged appropriately and assessed immediately on arrival at the Emergency Department,” they said in a statement.

“A clinical review into the treatment is now underway .”


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