22-year-old woman rang for ambulance, in Strasbourg, France, only to be told ‘you’ll die like everyone else’
Naomi Musenga, dialled France’s emergency dispatch number on Dec 29, 2017, complaining of severe stomach pains
Instead of sending out an ambulance, the operator gives her the number of SOS Médecins and tells her to call for a doctor saying she can’t help her
Musenga died hours after that emergency operator mocked her over the phone when she called in for help
The Case only came to light because Musenga’s family got hold of a recording of the 3-minute call
The operator has been suspended and an investigation launched
Naomi Musenga, died within hours of being told she would ‘surely die’ by emergency line operator who was unwilling to call ambulatory services for the ill woman
Authorities in the French city of Strasbourg have launched an investigation into the case of a woman who called emergency services after she had a heart attack was told by the operator ‘you’ll definitely die like everyone else’.
Naomi Musenga, 22, was dead just hours after calling Strasbourg’s ambulance service because she was suffering severe stomach pains.‘
During the three-minute phone call, Musenga can be heard speaking in a weak voice saying she was ‘going to die’ and that she was ‘very ill’ and in lots of pain.
However, the operator told her: ‘You’ll definitely die one day, like everyone else.’
Musenga was also told by the anonymous operator during the phone call on December 29: ‘If you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’ll hang up.’
The 22-year-old dialed France’s emergency dispatch number complaining of severe stomach pains, which turned out to be a heart attack
Musenga’s family [seen photo, addressing media], have pushed for an investigation og the case
Instead of sending out an ambulance, the operator gives her the number of SOS Médecins and tells her to call for a doctor saying she can’t help her.
Musenga managed to call for a doctor but had to wait for five hours until she was rushed to hospital by ambulance, where she suffered a stroke and later died of multiple organ failure.
The phone operator has come forward to defend herself, insisting she is not to blame and instead pointing the finger at her working conditions: ‘We are constantly under pressure. I can be two or three hours hanging on my phone, I have no time to get up.’
Her lawyer said she fields around 2,000 calls each day and that a stomach ache is usually not considered an emergency.
The case has only come to light because Musenga’s family got hold of a recording of the call.
However, the Strasbourg’s hospital said that on the day of the call, the operator had just returned from being on leave for two weeks and had begun her day at 07:30 that day. Ms Musenga called four hours later, at 11:30.
In the three-minute call, Musenga – in a very weak voice – appealed for help and struggled to describe her pain while speaking with the ambulance service, Samu.
The operator, sounding annoyed, replied: “If you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’ll hang up!”
The operator eventually called SOS Médecins, which sends out doctors instead of an ambulance, and, after a five-hour wait, Musenga was taken to hospital by the ambulance service. – She suffered a stroke at the hospital and was transferred to the intensive care unit, but later died of multiple organ failure.
The case dates back to December, but only came to light when a recording of the call, obtained by the victim’s family, was published by a local website.
The operator, who had worked for the Samu for four years and as an ambulance worker for 20, according to the Le Parisien newspaper, has been suspended, and the authorities have opened an investigation.