Paramedics describe A&E ‘chaos’ and ‘terrified’ doctors at Pilgrim Hospital during inquest

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Paramedics have today (Friday) described how they found Pilgrim Hospital’s accident and emergency ward in ‘chaos’, with ‘terrified doctors’ unable to use equipment when they took in a patient who was suffering a serious stomach injury.

An inquest into the death of Jessica Ashton-Pyatt heard how she died from a ruptured stomach which lead to a large amount of ‘surgical emphysema’ and two cardiac arrests, while on holiday at Butlins in Ingoldmells in October last year.

The hearing at Boston Enterprise Centre was told about the paramedics’ experience, although found that the 14-year-old would have died regardless of her treatment at Pilgrim Hospital.

A statement from Adele Bostock, one of the first paramedics on the scene, described how she had attended to Jessica at the chalet she was staying at before taking her to Pilgrim Hospital.

It explained how she vomited blood as she was moved into the ambulance and was then in and out of consciousness, vomiting about 200 millilitres of blood.

When she arrived at Pilgrim, Ms Bostock described how, after giving details to anaesthetist Dr Matt Woods, who attempted to take charge, she noticed other doctors move to the edge of the room and talk among themselves.

She told how as Dr Woods called out instructions, people did not move and how he then had to ask another paramedic attending, Mark Hall, to help them because she felt ‘they had not responded to earlier requests’.

She said one doctor attempted to canulate Jessica’s foot despite being told not to and to use a bone gun.

She said: “Dr Woods said no, but still the doctor continued to attempt canulation despite Dr Woods telling him twice not to.”

She later added of the other doctors: “They all appeared terrified.”

She told how Dr Woods had attempted to charge the defibrillator but found it unplugged, and also described having to show a doctor how to use a bone gun.

She was also concerned that the bone gun was pointed at her while he attempted to remove a safety pin when told he needed to take it out.

Mr Hall described the ward at the time as ‘chaos’ and told how following intubation of Jessica, he saw two doctors attempting to canulate (find a place for a needle to be inserted), at various points across the body while being told to use the bone gun - before one of them did ‘in a dangerous manner’.

Coroner Robert Forrest recorded the death as being as a ruptured stomach which was unexplained. He said the death was a result of natural causes.

He added he would be writing to United Lincolnshire Hospitals trust’s chief executive regarding the evidence about Pilgrim Hospital.

Jessica Ashton-Pyatt, was from Newcastle Under Lyme. Her mother has been fundraising in her name since she and her school has given her a posthumous award.

For more on the inquest, see next week’s Standard.