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Police investigating ‘second death’ of woman following ambulance service apology

The North East Ambulance Service has issued an apology for the distress caused to the family of the woman, who was in her 50s.

A patient who apparently came back to life after being declared “dead” by ambulance staff has now died, police have said.

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has issued an apology for the distress caused to the family of the woman, who was in her 50s.

She was taken on Friday to the Darlington Memorial Hospital after paramedics declared her dead, but, in a development first reported by the Northern Echo, subsequently came back to life.

Durham Police have now confirmed the woman’s death, saying it was “unexpected” and post-mortem tests will be done.

Andrew Hodge, NEAS director of paramedicine, said: “As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we contacted the patient’s family and launched a review into the circumstances.

“The paramedics on scene were faced with a complex clinical case and we are working closely with our partners and other agencies involved to understand the full picture of what happened.

“Until this review is completed, we cannot comment further.

“We are deeply sorry for the distress that this has caused to the family and have sent them our condolences during this time.

“We are supporting them as well through this process.

“The colleagues involved are also being supported appropriately.

“Our review of this incident will of course be shared with the coroner and the police, acting upon the coroner’s direction, to determine what happened.”

The incident comes five months after a critical report was published into how NEAS ambulance workers covered up failings and withheld evidence from inquests.

After her report into the service, Dame Marianne Griffiths paid tribute to the families who shared their experiences and said: “It is clear that they are not only devastated by the loss of their loved ones but also by the ambulance service’s response to the legitimate questions about their care.”

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