75-year-old man who suffered brain haemorrhage left waiting for ambulance for two hours

A 75-year-old man, who suffered a brain haemorrhage when he fell and hit his head while visiting Spike Island in Cork Harbour was left waiting for an ambulance for two hours.

An inquest was held at Cork City Coroner’s Court today.

Edmond Horgan, a retired garda from Crosstown, Killarney, Co Kerry, died at Cork University Hospital on July 8th after falling while walking up a gangway from a ferry to Spike Island shortly after 11am on July 7th, 2021.

The inquest at Cork City Coroner’s Court heard evidence from Advanced HSE Paramedic, James O’Brien that the National Ambulance Service Control Centre received the original call at 11.32am, and other ambulances were dispatched to deal with the case but were diverted elsewhere.

Mr O’Brien said that diverting ambulances from one call out to more high priority cases, as happened in Mr Horgan’s case, was a common occurrence within the National Ambulance Service as the service was “completely under resourced and you can get lucky or unlucky”.

Cork City Coroner, Philip Comyn noted that Mr Horgan’s deterioration was ultimately very rapid, but the event which precipitated his death was an accidental fall on the gangway and he returned an accidental verdict before extending his sympathies to Mr Horgan’s family on their sad loss.

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  1. karen vicencio   On   14th July 2022 at 9:04 pm

    It’s not uncommon for people to be left for hours before an ambulance shows up. I once had a student take a bad all from a horse, and it was two hours before an ambulance appeared. With the person on the ground and people stabilizing the head and neck for all that time, the person in incredible pain. It turned out there were a number of broken vertebrae.

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