Diabetic student nurse died after five-hour wait for ambulance, inquest hears


A student nurse with diabetes had a heart attack and died after waiting almost five hours for an ambulance, an inquest has heard.

Lisa Day, 27, a Type 1 diabetic, fell severely ill on September 7 last year and was vomiting blood while at a friend's house.

Her friend Luke Halliburton called the NHS 111 service to ask for an ambulance shortly after 5pm, but by 10pm it had still not turned up, St Pancras Coroner's Court heard.

During that time her condition seriously deteriorated and she had a heart attack and was found unconscious on a bed.

Miss Day, who lived in Fortune Green Road in West Hampstead, north London, died in hospital five days later.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Halliburton, who is an acting sergeant with the Metropolitan Police, told how Miss Day had fallen ill and started vomiting in the night.

He said: "Throughout the day I could hear that she was unwell and could hear her vomiting occasionally. When I heard her do this I checked on her.

"She had a sore throat and her voice was hoarse. She asked me to call an ambulance. I called NHS Direct on 111 from my mobile."

He added: "I was told an ambulance would be sent, I was aware there were often very long delays for an ambulance to attend and periodically checked on Lisa throughout the day."

At 10pm paramedics still had not arrived, and the London Ambulance Service called to check on Lisa.

Mr Halliburton then found her unconscious lying in the bed in her underwear with her head on the side of the mattress.

"I went back into the room and couldn't hear her breathing and couldn't rouse her," Mr Halliburton said.

"I immediately dialled 999 and informed the London Ambulance Service (LAS) that Lisa was unresponsive and not breathing.

"I moved Lisa from the bed to the hallway and checked to see if her airways were clear and if she was breathing. She wasn't so I started CPR until the LAS first responder arrived."

She was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead where she died five days later.