Ambulance service admits failings over young mum who died after paramedics misread ECG

  • The parents of a young mum who died from a cardiac arrest after being told she was fine by paramedics, have told ITV News Central correspondent Andy Bevan that their daughter was "left to die".

West Midlands Ambulance Service has admitted six breaches of duty, after a young mother from Wolverhampton was told she was fine by paramedics - when in fact she was in the early stages of a heart attack.

Lauren Smith, 29, died a few hours later from a cardiac arrest as a result of a blood clot on her lung.

Her mother found her on the bathroom floor with her two-year-old daughter who was trying to wake her up.

Lauren had called for an ambulance and told them she thought she was having a heart attack.

Two paramedics used an ECG machine on Lauren which gave a printout indicating her heartbeat was abnormal - but this was incorrectly interpreted and she was told she was fine.

Lauren had called for an ambulance and told them she thought she was having a heart attack. Credit: ITV News Central

Lauren's mother, Emma Carrington, told ITV News Central: “I flipped her over, put my granddaughter on my lap, did CPR on her and I think I'm on the phone to the ambulance saying you should have taken her - why didn't you take her?”“All the signs are there, physical signs, it's been proven now. Either through incompetence, they blatantly ignored all the data from the ECG and just left her to die.”

Following an inquest last October, the Black Country Coroner recorded a narrative conclusion and sent a prevention of further deaths report to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The service has responded to a letter from the family’s solicitors, admitting six breaches of duty and admitting that had proper care been given, Lauren would have been advised she was in fact suffering from a cardiac event and required hospital management.

Mrs Carrington says expected financial compensation will help Lauren’s daughter, who’s now four, but she also wants accountability:

“This letter at the bottom, does state we apologise now. So, Lauren passed away January 6th 2023. We've had this letter now and the little paragraph at the bottom says it. What do I feel about it? Well, from the day I know she'd had this ECG and that they could read…they should have been sacked.”

In a statement, West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "The Trust undertook an extensive investigation into the incident, which we have shared with Lauren’s family. As a result, we have implemented a number of changes based on the findings. We will continue to do all we can to try and stop something like this ever happening again."

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