A paramedic blasted ‘chaotic’ A&E staff after they tried to save a dying 14-year-old girl by inserting a piece of equipment UPSIDE down, an inquest heard.
Tragic Jessica Ashton-Pyatt suffered two heart attacks after she vomited so violently her stomach ruptured in October last year.
The schoolgirl, who had been with friends at Butlins in Skegness, Lincs., was rushed to Pilgrim Hospital in nearby Boston, but died hours later.
An inquest heard dumbstruck A&E staff had been ‘overwhelmed’ when Jessica was brought in on 27 October – leading to a string of errors.
Shockingly, a defibrillator was not able to be used after bungling staff left it UNPLUGGED.
Another member of staff used a key piece of equipment but tried to insert it into Jessica’s arm the wrong way round.
Jessica’s condition gradually deteriorated and her devastated family gathered by her bedside for a final goodbye after doctors told them they could do nothing more to save her.
The inquest on Friday also heard Jessica had suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of the mystery illness and little could have been done to save her.
Paramedic Mark Hall, who administered CPR to Jessica, said: “I would describe it as chaos.
“In my opinion, they appeared overwhelmed by the serious situation. They all appeared terrified.”
He added that one of the resuscitation team had been asked to use a bone gun – for injecting into the marrow – but pointed it in the wrong direction.
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, South Lincolnshire Coroner Professor Robert Forrest said: “The treatment she received did not save her life, but did not contribute to her death.
“From the time Jessica got to the hospital, she had no chance of survival.”
Pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton said that the cause of Jessica’s death was a ruptured stomach, but was “baffled” as to why this had occurred.
Jessica’s parents yesterday reacted with fury at the verdict – and said they were considering legal action against the hospital.
Mum Nicola Pyatt, 33, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs., said: “I am disgusted and angry at the way staff at the hospital treated Jessica.
“Some of the staff were told to help with her resuscitation, and they stood by and watched like it was some sort of show.
“The ambulance paramedic and technician basically had to take over.
“The inquest heard what happened didn’t contribute to Jessica’s death, but there will always be that doubt in the back of my mind.
“We went to the inquest in the hope we can get closure on our daughter’s death, but now we have even more questions.”
Dad Andy, 34, added: “I feel so let down by the staff at the hospital. We trusted them to take care of her, but they way they acted was completely wrong.
“We are going to consult with our solicitor to see if we have a case against the hospital.”
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Pilgrim Hospital, issued a statement apologising for failings in Jessica’s care.
They said: “We express our sincere condolences to the family of Jessica Ashton-Pyatt and apologise for any distress caused during her treatment.
“The inquest concluded that Jessica died from natural causes, and whilst we recognise that the patient’s condition was very unusual, we also recognise that there were aspects of care which did not meet the high standards that we normally deliver.
“We take these matters extremely seriously and have carried out an internal investigation to enable us to take steps to improve the care provided.
“We have ensured that medical staff escalate cases to a consultant when required, we have continued to ensure staff have the correct nationally accredited trauma training, and that equipment is checked thoroughly after each use.”
Verdict: Natural causes.