Heart victim loses fight for life

TODAY, with genuine sadness, The Evening Star reports the heart attack death of one of our own.

By The Editor:

TODAY, with genuine sadness, The Evening Star reports the heart attack death of one of our own.

An Ipswich woman, aged 40, lost her fight for life after a determined and dedicated effort by paramedics and doctors to save her.

Today we send our condolences to her family - while at the same time repeating our rallying call for emergency heart attack treatment to be based at Ipswich Hospital.

Here's what we know so far - we believe it should shame our health bosses and politicians into action - Ipswich needs the very best heart care, right here in Suffolk, right now.

We will never know if the much-loved victim would have survived if emergency care had been available at Ipswich Hospital .

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But we do know two things

- That the victim would have had a much better chance of survival if emergency heart doctors had been available in Ipswich.

- That there would not have been an undignified road dash when a desperate situation started to become a fatal one.

The story so far:

- Monday this week the victim falls ill and emergency paramedics are called to her side.

- An NHS heart attack policy - which we say is terribly flawed - swings into action.

- The woman is given clot-busting drugs as Papworth hospital, 60 miles away in Cambridgeshire, is designated as the emergency hospital where she must be taken.

- Bypassing Ipswich Hospital the 999 crew takes the patient on the first step of a journey to Papworth - reaching the Coddenham area of the A14, just north west of Ipswich, where she has a second heart attack.

- The crew aborts the Cambridgeshire dash and fights for life as the 999 vehicle heads back into Ipswich, aiming for our hospital on Heath Road.

- Despite all efforts the woman is pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital.

As yet we do not know the full circumstances and timings but we do know Ipswich desperately needs a PPCI centre where emergency angioplasty (a heart valve balloon) can be administered within minutes, not hours.

So far our Heartwatch efforts - and the Have a Heart campaign - have galvanised Suffolk into action. Already we have changed NHS policy and a review is in place of a policy which sees Suffolk emergency heart attack care based in far away Basildon, Papworth, or Norwich.

Today we repeat our call for Ipswich MP Chris Mole to join the fight for PPCI now.

Today a family is mourning the loss of a middle-aged woman and one MP, on our patch, has lost a constituent. We believe all our MPs should join our crusade now.

Those who say “We'll never know if an Ipswich PPCI Centre would have saved this life” have missed the point.

People in Ipswich and isolated east Suffolk need the best possible care, delivered quickly and locally, when their life is blighted by a heart attack.

They should not be carted out of the county, to meet the obligations of a flawed policy.

Join our crusade today, together we will persuade the NHS bureaucrats who came up the plan in the first place to change their mind.