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Communication issue causes delay in stroke victim's medical transport

Communication issue causes delay in stroke victim medical transport. (@CourtnyJodonTV)

DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- When you're in trouble and call 911, you count on emergency services personnel to be there in minutes.

That wasn't the case for one woman in Danville.

Doctors at Cardiology Consultants of Danville Inc. said Maragretta Trivers had a stroke Thursday June 14.

"A patient of ours was here getting a stress test and as she was through with the stress part, she was sitting back there [and] started having signs of a stroke," Dr. Gary Miller said. "Her face was drooping. She was having trouble getting her speech out."

But emergency service personnel took almost an hour to get to her to take her to the hospital.

"It was scary," as Trivers described having the stroke and waiting close to an hour to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

Nurses immediately called 911 for Trivers to be taken to the hospital after the signs started appearing.

"911 was called at 11:50 a.m.," Dr. Miller said.

LifeCare Medical Transports happened to be the service dispatched, but they did not show up until almost an hour after Dr. Miller's office called 911 a few times. They arrived at the office at 12:43 p.m. and they took her to the hospital at 12:47 p.m.

LifeCare Medical Transports Division Chief Wesley Melson said there was a communication issue for the call.

But Trivers said she is upset is took so long for medical personnel to get to her.

"If the office of a cardiologist call you and says they need an ambulance, they not playing," Trivers said. "They mean business!" "That's serious!" "Get there as fast as you can!" Trivers continued, "suppose they'd been another half hour late... anything can happen."

Thankfully, Trivers is doing ok.

Melson said they are working with the Danville leadership team to address communication issues and have implemented new procedures on how LifeCare is to be notified of calls.

But Melson did not specify what was being done to make sure something like this does not happen again.

Dr. Miller is also a Danville City Council Member and brought this issue up at Tuesday night's council meeting because they were voting on whether to grant LifeCare a full-service ambulance operator's permit.

Regional One EMS was sold and LifeCare has been operating in Danville since May in the same location at 135 Forestdale Drive.

Dr. Miller said council decided to extend Lifecare's temporary permit for 60 days Tuesday.

He also said council will discuss Lifecare's permit at their meeting in September.

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