News State NSW News A deadly mistake: Minister apologises to toddler’s family

A deadly mistake: Minister apologises to toddler’s family

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NSW’s health minister has apologised to the family of a toddler who died after going into cardiac arrest while waiting for an ambulance delayed by a typing error.

The 18-month-old boy’s doctor called an ambulance from his western Sydney surgery at 9.10am (AEDT) on September 9 asking for an ambulance within 30 minutes.

The child, from Tregear, was short of breath.

But the ambulance wasn’t sent, as an extra digit was entered into the dispatch system incorrectly booking it for 19:14 instead of 9:14, Fairfax reports.

Paramedics didn’t arrive until an hour later after they were phoned again from the doctor’s surgery.

The toddler had gone into cardiac arrest and later died at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner apologised to the family of the boy, conveying “deep sympathy and support”.

“The circumstances which led to the death of this young boy are tragic,” she said.

NSW Ambulance Service chief Ray Creen said changes had been made to prevent a repeat of the death.

“(Call logs) have to be double checked by another operator and confirming the call pick-up time with the caller,” he told ABC radio on Friday.