100-year-old’s wait for ambulance in agony with ankle bone ‘sticking out’ after fall

Michael Paffett made frantic 999 calls to get help for his mother, Dorothy
Michael Paffett made frantic 999 calls to get help for his mother, Dorothy
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A 100-YEAR-OLD woman was left in agony waiting for an ambulance with her right ankle bone ‘sticking out’ for more than two hours after a fall.

Centenarian Dorothy Paffett was left stranded on the floor in her Mablethorpe Road home in Wymering despite 72-year-old son Michael’s frantic 999 calls just before midnight.

But brave Dorothy was forced to wait patiently despite her gruesome open fracture pouring with blood before she began to deteriorate and suffer chest pains.

Michael said he was ‘livid’ with the response of the emergency services who downgraded the priority of his calls.

The pensioner’s anger was compounded when on arrival paramedics told him the call should have been been classified as an emergency before taking Dorothy to Queen Alexandra Hospital where she was operated on and had her ankle pinned. Five weeks on and she remains in hospital.

‘I rang up and said my 100-year-old mum had fallen over and had an open fracture with her bone sticking out and blood pouring from it. I told them it was an emergency,’ Michael told The News.

‘The lady I spoke to told me to compress the injury and put pads over it. I told her “my mum is 100 years old and her bone is sticking out so you need to get the ambulance to come now”.

‘The woman then started going through a load of questions from a list she was reading on the computer before saying the waiting time was two hours.

‘They should have someone who is trained to do triage on the phone rather than having someone with no medical experience doing it.

‘I called twice more but it was only when I said she was suffering with chest pains that they made it a priority.

Michael subsequently filed a complaint with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) with him left further angered by their response.

In the authority’s letter of response from director of operations Luci Stephens, she admits the first 999 call was downgraded to level three before it was prioritised to an emergency nearly two hours later when the chest complaints were reported.

‘Unfortunately at the time we were experiencing very high call demand,’

In a statement SCAS said: ‘We do our very best to manage our finite resources, external pressures and our timely response to all our patients as effectively as possible and we apologise that sadly means that there are delays getting to patients on occasions.’