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Ambulance Waiting Times

  • 29-07-2021 12:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    what would the average waiting time from a 999 call being made, to an ambulance showing up be in Dublin ... ? yesterday early morning we’d an elderly family member collapse at home...and from the call it was about 47 minutes from the 999 call getting made to the arrival of the ambulance, ....there was justifiable panicking at about 25/30 minutes in, our family member was conscious but on the ground, unable to move and having difficulty communicating and considering there are two hospitals and three fire brigade stations within a single digit kilometer radius from the house, from an elderly person collapsing to an almost 50 minute wait just for their arrival seems weird....

    the two Ambulance personnel were awesome btw... diligent, efficient, reassuring, thorough and professional...

    but from an elderly person collapsing to having to wait the guts of one hour for an ambulance in a city suburb is not desirable.



  • Registered Users Posts: 615 ✭✭✭ mondeoman72

    It depends completely on workload. I was passing by and attended a poor guy in the city centre at 1am who was pretty bad. I offered assistance to the Gardai who were there. They gladly accepted. We waited about 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. The DFB engine arrived before it. It was during the crazy scenes during lock down and it was Dublin 2. That was after several calls from the Gardai.

    The crews that arrived were brilliant, just overloaded. Of course, it depends on the workload. Another time, I attended a drunk lying on the ground another night. It was an hour and a half on a Saturday night and then we cancelled it. He came around and we were able to call a family member to collect him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 73 ✭✭ mr cowen

    very true, on that day in question there were 10 ambulances parked up outside Vincent's hosp. both NAS and DFB. plus there is the added complication of nearly 3 different hand overs to do, #1 to the lay person receptionist #2 to the covid filter nurse, #3 to the actual nurse you hand over to, who is no doubt doubling up on some other duty to cover a colleague having a flash lunch/toilet break utterly ridiculous, all in an open area, in ear shot of others....public,security, etc.., GDPR and patient confidentiality out the window..

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    Luckily the patient is going to be ok, a week to ten days long hospital stay is predicted due to the relapse of an ongoing/treatable condition which is non life threatening anyway...tired, but in good spirits...

    tired of collapsing in a heap on the floor at a mad hour in the AM and waiting for help for the guts of an hour. You’d be a bit worried if it was a stroke or heart attack, they also have a heart condition I was hoping wouldnt be triggered by the stress of the fûckin ordeal...

  • Registered Users Posts: 341 ✭✭ easygoing1982

    Considering there was 2 hospitals within single digit km from you, providing there was no spinal concerns i would have and have lugged them in to the back of a car and drove up.

    My circumstances were the person was semi conscious, in coherent and needed to be lifted in to back of car. Got my neighbours and pulled them in. Not very grateful but job done.

    When I got to ED I asked one of the 4 paramedics smoking at the side of 5 ambulances parked up if they could help getting the person out. They actually scolded me and told me I should have called an ambulance. I said I had and it was 47 mins away. It took me 3 minutes to drive up. He laughed and said they were busy.

    When I walked outside some 20 mins later the same paramedic was still there talking with now a bigger group of paramedics.

    Contrary to the appearance of this post, its not a dig at the paramedics. I understand they have to have a break. But surely if large groups are standing at the back of ambulances smoking/chatting then that's large groups of paramedics unavailable to answer calls.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,197 ✭✭✭ lawrencesummers

    We have a health service thats barely held together by the underpaid and undervalued front line staff and over paid PR merchants.

    you did well getting an ambulance within the hour.

    imagine you lived a few hours from a hospital.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    ill share your thoughts with my 80 year old mother, that she should be with arthritis of the want to get a man who literally couldn’t move, weights 75 kilograms, up off the floor, down a set of stairs, into a car and to a hospital..

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,197 ✭✭✭ lawrencesummers

    On your next hospital stay you can mention that to the nurse thats not had a break for 6 hours.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 341 ✭✭ easygoing1982

    Fair guess and I obviously can't speak for them all but I can say the paramedic that helped me had their trolley in the back because they were going to take it out, then decided to get a trolley from inside. At least 2 other ambulances also had their trolleys on board.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 4,883 Mod ✭✭✭✭ G_R

    I've always wondered, is there a reason there isn't 10 trolleys sitting in a room beside A&E that the paramedics can take so they can get back on the road, and then once the hospital staff are done with the one the patient came in on, they just return to the room?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,215 ✭✭✭ khalessi

    Paramedics dont generally have breaks at hospitals, normally if they are there, it is because there is an issue handing over a patient or they are waiting for stretcher to be returned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,215 ✭✭✭ khalessi

    Space, not enough personel for handover of patients, A/E overcrowded, loads of reasons

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,007 ✭✭✭ markpb

    I'm not sure if it's much consolation but a friend of mine with cancer was told the same thing. The only time she did present at ED, she was brought straight in, no waiting in line for triage or anything else. She was assured this is the way it would always be for her.

    Everything else you said is spot on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    its an ‘emergency’ that’s why people are calling for an ambulance... what sort of gobshite thinks it’s ok that in an emergency it’s a thing where people should wait for an ambulance for 45 minutes...? Its to be noted to that between the last two censuses, the population of Fingal rose 8.1%... that isn’t healthy, more pressure on services, and will be influencing why people need to share services and wait long to receive them.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    She hasn’t tested it (thankfully) but she’s extremely concerned about going anywhere near A&E because of her probably low immune system - a blood cancer than impacts her white cell production.

    She was advised to wear a mask back in 2018, but the systems in reality don’t give a damn. They always just stuffed her into 3+ hour waits at outpatient clinics often in waiting rooms with no windows.

    Things actually drastically improved during COVID, using off site clinics and precise appointments, but you’d think that would have always been the case, given she was at high risk of a bad outcome from plenty of transmissible diseases.

    It appears to me that there’s been totally inadequate investment in the systems though. If you look at Dublin it’s a mess. Cork and Limerick seem to be in an even worse mess with inadequate beds and endless reports of overcrowded A&Es. Their populations are rising, yet nothing seems to be happening to expand capacity.

    Instead we seem to have spent multiple billions on a children’s hospital and years arguing over the site.

    There’s something very, very badly wrong and it is not being addressed and it’s been ongoing for as long as I can remember.

    There was no golden age when things were better. The system was always barely functional for my entire life.

    I distinctly remember a friend of mine from Germany who got pneumonia while here and was left on a chair in a corridor with an oxygen mask for 48h and that was back in about 2002.

    What’s changed ?! Other than a few governments?

    We don’t have a healthcare crisis. We’ve a chronic problem that’s been an issue for decades.

  • Registered Users Posts: 341 ✭✭ easygoing1982

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  • Registered Users Posts: 73 ✭✭ mr cowen

    thats well said, I,ve spoken to NAS crews at hospitals around dublin and they are all singing the same song, no breaks, travelling miles and not getting a to a call, if they are dragged into the midlands they will be forgotten by their control and kept there...and the NAS are trying to take over dfb.s workload too, shambles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    You call an ambulance when a person is seriously ill, injured or at risk of dying...

    in an ‘emergency’ in other words. In that situation a reasonable percentage of calls will or could be life or threatening as you put it... if your life is under threat... we need enough ambulances, enough staff, to respond to help in a reasonable and efficient timeframe.

    interesting to hear that often staff need to forego breaks... that is not surprising! It’s Ireland 2021 but it’s neither safe non healthy for those staff. Staff who are being asked to look after the health and wellbeing of others are being shafted in their own quest for wellbeing in their job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ pms7

    Yes, saw this happening. Shocking waste of resources to see 4 ambulance crews waiting in the hospital for a few hours.

    If time is critical and you can get the person into a car, do not call an ambulance

  • Registered Users Posts: 73 ✭✭ mr cowen

    seems the norm in most countries

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    We need to start prioritizing the health and wellbeing of Irish taxpayers.... and health professionals...

    if we have xx millions a year to be facilitating non contributors just arriving... for a dig out / hand out?.we need to knock some of that on the head and focusing on OUR health...

    if my dad was having a hemorrhage, stroke or heart attack he probably wouldn’t be alive now... thankfully he’s as of yesterday, home after another spell in getting finally fixed...

  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Yes, let's treat people differently. Let's suggest that every single Irish person gets health care before anyone who arrived here from somewhere else. Let's create a two tier society, where people can die because they are not Irish.

    Now, how will we define Irish? Maybe if they can trace their family tree back to Brian boru? Also, should we exclude all new arrivals? Arrivals in the last five years? Maybe 25 years, just to be sure.......

    It's only right, I mean Irish people deserve health care, why should anyone else think they have the right to be treated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,334 ✭✭✭ enfant terrible

    If I the caller in the emergency asked where the ambulance is been dispatched from, would the control room tell me or fob me off?

    i.e I could make the decision to drive the patient to the hospital myself if I knew its an hour away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 398 ✭✭ Tripp

    Yes if you asked we would tell you where it was coming from and an eta if we had that info at the time of you calling us

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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,495 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    I’m not suggesting treating people who ARE here any differently whatsoever.....or advocating a two year society, that’s a fairly randomly inaccurate interpretation. :)

    I’m saying IF it gets to the stage where the country cannot provide safe, efficient and appropriate care to those who are here, such as extraordinarily long waits for ambulances and waits for care when you eventually get to hospital... then the door needs to be temporarily closed so that we can control our population and be able to provide efficient medical care, ambulances etc... to those of us here and paying for it. prioritizing our health and wellbeing.