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Procedures review recommended by coroner

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Latest Emergency News | Saturday March 10 2012 20:15

A coroner's report into the death of a Naenae woman in 2008 says it is time the Minister of Transport reviewed the regulations surrounding emergency procedures for medical personnel driving to a scene where a person requires urgent treatment.

Wellington regional coroner Ian Smith says in his findings that 59-year-old Jacqueline Senibuli died in Lower Hutt Hospital as a result of accidental respiratory failure after she was admitted on July 15 and died on July 28.

The report says there were issues not only with aspects of hospitalisation but also with the doctor exceeding the speed limit to attend to an emergency.

An intensive care specialist had left the hospital but was called back in the early hours of the morning to attend the woman, who had gone into cardio arrest.

On the way he was stopped by police on the motorway for speeding and despite telling the officer the reason, he was delayed by being subjected to a breath test, which came in negative.

A Wellington police officer told the coroner that even if police were satisfied the doctor was travelling back to the hospital at speed, they would not have provided an escort and expected the driver to continue at the speed limit.

The coroner says any review by the minister should include looking at warning devices being available to such people.

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