Hartlepool epilepsy sufferer who almost drowned in swimming pool had two-hour wait for ambulance

The North East Ambulance Service was called to Mill House Leisure 'Centre.
The North East Ambulance Service was called to Mill House Leisure 'Centre.
13
Have your say

An epileptic who suffered a seizure in a Hartlepool swimming pool had to wait over two hours for an ambulance to attend.

The North East Ambulance Service has apologised to David Oliver, 62, and says it is now reviewing the incident to see if lessons can be learned.

Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

Lifeguards had to dive into the water to rescue Mr Oliver, who was lying face down in the pool at the Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road.

Worried leisure centre staff quickly rang 999 for an ambulance, but Mr Oliver waited outside with a member of staff for around two and a half hours before it 
arrived.

He said: “My main concern is a 999 call should be treated more urgently. Apparently, I was face down in the water for a few minutes.

“The lifeguards had to dive in for me.

My main concern is a 999 call should be treated more urgently

David Oliver

“I thought it was shocking hanging about for about two and a half hours. I wasn’t very happy about it.”

Mr Oliver was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, for tests amid fears his lungs could have filled with water and he could ‘drowned’ despite no longer being in the water.

The grandad added: “I had got ready and come out and felt all right, but they said they had rang for an ambulance.

“Eventually, it turned up. They said they had been very busy. They did some tests and said they were going to take me to North Tees because my lungs could be filled with water.”

The phenomenon is known as secondary drowning and can prove fatal hours after the person has been in water.

Mr Oliver was checked over at the hospital and given the all-clear at around 7pm later that night.

The North East Ambulance Service’s chief operating officer Paul Liversidge said: “We would like to apologise for the delay in reaching Mr Oliver.

“We are now undertaking a clinical review of this case and if we identify anything that we can learn from, we will contact him to discuss his experience.

“My Oliver is also welcome to contact us directly if he would like to discuss his concerns.”