Grandmother waits three hours for ambulance after breaking hip

Elderly cancer patient waits 3 hours for ambulance
Image: 7News.

The 77-year-old woman lost her footing and fell from a ladder while pruning trees, according to 7News.

The incident occurred at 4.40pm.

Marita James had no choice but to lie in pain on the freezing pathway as darkness fell and she waited for an ambulance to arrive.

James’s daughter, Naomi, called 000 immediately but did not want to move her mother in case she made her injuries worse. She focussed her efforts on keeping her mother warm while they waited, bringing a pillow and blankets out to her.

Naomi said her mother had no choice but to lie in the freezing cold until help arrived.

“As much as we wanted to get her up and take her to hospital, I’m glad that we didn’t because that fracture could have got a lot worse,” she told 7News.

The ambulance arrived at 7.25pm, by which time it was dark and freezing cold.

Neighbours gathered around Ms James, offering help and support.

One told 7News, “We obviously stopped the bleeding, but we couldn’t move her because she was in a lot of pain.”

They noted, “She was freezing cold.”

Data shows SA Health recorded its worst ambulance response times last month.

The 000 call was originally classified as priority three by SA Ambulance staff, which requires a response in 30 minutes. The call was later upgraded to a priority two, which requires an ambulance within 16 minutes.

However, the Ambulance Employees Association says priority two callouts are taking up to five hours for a response, and some priority three cases taking up to eight hours.

Ms James is likely to remain in hospital for weeks.

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