Concerns over treatment of ‘loving and bubbly’ Heywood woman before her death

The family of a ‘loving and bubbly’ woman have raised concerns about her treatment by paramedics before her death.

Kimberley Ann Irvine, 38, arrived at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury by ambulance on Thursday March 10 where she was confirmed dead.

Emergency services were called to Ms Irvine’s home on Mount Street, Heywood, after experiencing difficulty breathing earlier in the morning.

The inquest, held at Rochdale Coroner’s Court, heard that Bury-born Ms Irvine suffered from various health conditions before her death and is awaiting the results of an EKG.

The court heard that due to Ms Irvine’s size, paramedics had difficulty carrying her up the stairs in her home using a chair and asked her to walk down the stairs on her buttocks.

Once at the foot of the stairs, Ms Irvine was placed in a bariatric chair and wheeled outside where she collapsed and fell to the ground.

In a statement, Ms Irvine’s father, Dennis Irvine, told the court he believed the way paramedics treated his daughter contributed to her death.

He said: ‘I heard a squeal then a scream, Kimberly fell onto the road and looked petrified, a paramedic grabbed her arm but her head hit the road.

“Her eyes were wide open but then went absolutely black when she fell.”

“His whole body hit the ground.”

Duncan Mayoh, an advanced paramedic with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), said when the ambulance crew arrived at Ms Irvine’s home she had blue hands and was “very, very sick”.

The crew put her on oxygen, but Ms Irvine’s heart rate and breathing increased as they tried to help her out of the house.

Mr Mayoh said asking Ms Irvine to walk down the stairs on her butt was “not common practice” but was “the only option” in the circumstances.

He added that Ms Irvine’s fall to the ground was “controlled” as it was necessary for her to be lying down while paramedics resuscitated her.

Mr Mayoh added: “We had to put the patient on the floor, the only way to do CPR is on the floor.”

He admitted Ms Irvine could have hit her head after falling in the road.

Dr Emil Salmo, consultant pathologist at the Royal Oldham Hospital, told the court he found evidence of ‘minor injuries’ during Ms Irvine’s post-mortem examination, including bruising to the scalp, but said it would be difficult to confirm when it happened.

During an internal examination, Dr Salmo discovered that Ms Irvine had an enlarged heart and there were signs of blood clots in her lungs.

He told the court he believed she died of pulmonary thromboembolism, a blood clot in the lungs.

Greater Manchester North Deputy Coroner Matthew Cox concluded Ms Irvine died of natural causes and gave a medical cause of death of a bilateral pulmonary embolism which caused cardiac arrest.

Ms Irvine was born at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, but grew up and educated in Heywood.

She had been diagnosed with dyslexia, but overcame it to earn a master’s degree.

Her mother, Irene Newall, described her daughter as a “loving, bubbly woman who adored her family and would help her parents with anything”.

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