Thursday, November 09, 2006

British girl died waiting for life-saving Valium jab

Britain's power-mad health bureaucracy treats a common-as-dirt prescription drug as if it were heroin

Britain's largest ambulance service is calling for a change in the law to allow emergency response crews to supply a life-saving tranquilliser, after the death of a teenage girl who suffered a severe epileptic fit. Kayleigh Macilwraith-Christie, 15, suffered heart failure earlier this year after ambulance controllers repeatedly failed to get a trained paramedic to her who could administer an injection of diazepam, better known as Valium, a Class C controlled drug.

The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust sent a series of emergency medical technicians, who are trained in advanced first aid but are not permitted to provide the tranquilliser. Further delays by the Ambulance Service meant that the teenager did not get the injection until she reached Whittington Hospital, 50 minutes after suffering the fit on July 14.

Her mother, Jean Murphy,is to deliver to the Prime Minister a 12,000-name petition demanding that a trained paramedic be put on every ambulance.

The Ambulance Service has since held an investigation and admitted failings with regard to Kayleigh’s death. The trust is now seeking an amendment to regulations to allow technicians, who can already administer some other drugs, to administer diazepam.

A statement from the service, said: “We accept that Kayleigh may have benefited from paramedic intervention and we are committed to learning lessons from this case.”



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

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