The story appears on

Page A2

July 18, 2013

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Woman dies as operators can't decide on sending ambulance

AS a woman lay dying on a Shanghai street, two ambulance centers couldn't agree which of them should pick her up. It was more than half an hour before an ambulance arrived.

The 57-year-old and her husband were hit by a car on the border of two city districts shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

A witness surnamed Xi dialed 120 when he saw the car hit the couple, who were wheeling their broken-down moped along Xinsiping Road. They were dragged along the road for about 30 meters before the driver sped away.

The couple were unconscious on the ground, Xi told the Shanghai Evening Post. He immediately called the emergency number only to have the operator ask him in which district the accident occurred.

The call should be transferred to district centers if the accident is in a suburban area, according to emergency call center rules.

Xi went to check and found he was at the border between Fengxian District and the Pudong New Area. He called the hotline a second time and opted for Pudong.

Transferred to the Pudong center, he gave his location to the operator and asked them to send an ambulance immediately as the couple were badly hurt. But the operator told him the address was in Fengxian, not Pudong.

Xi then called the Fengxian emergency center, and again gave his location. But, the Fengxian operator said they couldn't send an ambulance as the location was in Pudong.

Xi said he felt helpless after making three calls. "Why are they passing the buck? Isn't it their job to save lives?" he said.

Xi said he saw the husband slowly regain consciousness and crawl toward his wife, who was not moving. The man was in tears as he cradled his wife in his arms.

Then the police arrived. They immediately told the emergency center the accident was in Fengxian and told it to send an ambulance. It arrived at 8:44pm, 34 minutes after Xi's first call.

The woman, Wang Zhen, was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Doctors said she was dead on arrival. Her husband had collapsed at the hospital and was in a coma, doctors said.

While he was conscious, he told doctors their moped broke down when they were halfway home. They were struck by a car as they continued their journey on foot and pushing the moped.

Fengxian police said the driver, a 30-year-old man, turned himself in at 2am yesterday.

Fengxian emergency center officials told the newspaper they hadn't sent an ambulance at first because the "operator failed to understand the location."

The officials said the witness hadn't given the exact address to the operator, which caused confusion. They said they would "strengthen training of operators so they can get a clear idea of the accident location" in future.

On June 21, an ambulance was reported to have arrived two hours late to pick up two injured people as they had been occupied with a patient for more than an hour because the emergency room had no beds available.

On June 16, an 88-year-old man died while waiting 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend