Romford woman demands answers about treatment of husband’s heart attack by Queen’s Hospital and ambulance staff

The widow of a Romford man who died on Father’s Day is demanding answers about the way his heart attack was treated.

Linda Seddon, of Parkside Avenue, claimed there had been “obvious errors” in her husband’s care in June.

Alan Seddon, 58, was taken by his wife to Queen’s suffering a heart attack hours before he died.

Neither realised the London Chest Hospital (LCH) was the main unit for heart attack victims in East London. Linda, 55, said: “Nobody knows you can’t go to Queen’s for your heart.”

She alleged that:

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(1) Queen’s decided to transfer Mr Seddon to the specialist LCH – but when he went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance paramedics instead diverted to Newham University Hospital, which was no more specialist than Queen’s;

(2) Instead of speaking to LCH en route, the paramedics in Mr Seddon’s ambulance spent 10 minutes on the phone before their journey;

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(3) When Mr Seddon began experiencing chest pain in the ambulance, the paramedic only tried to give him pain killers;

(4) Mr Seddon wasn’t wired up to a heart monitor;

(5) When Mr Seddon went into cardiac arrest, he wasn’t immediately defibrillated;

(6) The paramedic in the back of the ambulance had no equipment to open medical supplies, using first her hands and then her teeth;

(7) Queen’s transferred Mr Seddon because it wasn’t “equipped to deal with a heart attack situation” – yet Mrs Seddon had never been told not to head to Queen’s, her local hospital, should such a situation arise.

Mr Seddon was pronounced dead at Newham University Hospital.

Averil Dongworth, the chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, which operates Queen’s, said: “This trust is part of a cardiac network which aims to give every patient suffering a heart attack access to the very best specialists and techniques.

“As part of the North East London network, our patients get taken to the London Chest Hospital where they can have angioplasty or stenting to unblock the arteries in the heart.

“There is very good evidence this pathway not only saves lives but also means there is less damage to the heart muscle.”

She added she was confident Mr Seddon had received the “best possible care”.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We sent an ambulance crew made up of two paramedics, who began the arranged journey to the London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green, before the patient’s condition significantly deteriorated and they redirected to Newham Hospital. Our records show our staff did everything they could for the patient, including using a defibrillator to try and restart his heart.

“If the patient’s family would like a more detailed response about the way we handled this very sad incident, they would be welcome to contact our Patient Experiences department.”

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