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Health chiefs admit paramedics missed signs mother, 29, was having a heart attack before she was found dead hours later by her two-year-old daughter who said, ‘Mummy won’t wake up’

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Health chiefs have admited that paramedics missed signs that a mother was having a heart attack.

Lauren Page Smith was discovered lifeless on her bathroom floor in Wolverhampton with her two-year-old daughter clinging to her chest saying: ‘Mummy won’t wake up.’

Just hours earlier, the 29-year-old had phoned 111 after she began suffering chest pains and starting vomiting on January 6 last year.

A West Midlands ambulance crew arrived shortly after but paramedics said there was no cause for concern after incorrectly reading her electrocardiogram (ECG) test results.

She was then found dead by her horrified mother Emma Carrington at her home in Wolverhampton with Lauren’s young daughter next to her gripping her body.

Now, West Midlands Ambulance Service has admitted liability for a series of failings in the run up to Lauren’s death and apologised to the family. 

Lauren Page Smith was discovered lifeless on her bathroom floor in Wolverhampton with her two-year-old daughter clinging to her chest saying: ‘Mummy won’t wake up.

Just hours earlier, the 29-year-old had phoned 111 after she began suffering chest pains and starting vomiting on January 6 last year

Just hours earlier, the 29-year-old had phoned 111 after she began suffering chest pains and starting vomiting on January 6 last year

A post-mortem examination later found Lauren, who was an administrator, died of a sudden heart attack following a blood clot in the lung.

A coroner ruled there had been ‘gross failings’ in her care at an inquest in November last year.

Mother Emma said: ‘Our lives have been absolutely devastated by what happened to Lauren, who had so much to live for and such a bright future in front of her.

‘The admissions of liability from the ambulance service show the extent to which things went wrong in the way Lauren was treated.

‘We can only hope that lessons have now been learned so that no other family has to endure the pain we have been through, and that the Health and Care Professional Council give serious consideration to the fitness to practice of the paramedics who attended Lauren.’

At the time of the inquest, Emma accused the two paramedics involved of ‘basically letting her die.’

She added: ‘There are simply no words to describe how we feel as a family.

‘Through no fault of her own my daughter does not have a future and my granddaughter will grow up never knowing her mother.

‘Lauren had her whole life in front of her and that has been taken away.

‘We believe that because of her age and the fact that she was calm the paramedics did not think she could be as ill as she was and she did not get the care she needed.’

An ambulance crew arrived shortly after but paramedics said there was no cause for concern after incorrectly reading her electrocardiogram (ECG) test results

An ambulance crew arrived shortly after but paramedics said there was no cause for concern after incorrectly reading her electrocardiogram (ECG) test results

The inquest heard two paramedics told Lauren that her ECG reading gave no cause for concern when it fact it was showing a likely cardiac event in progress.

They misinterpreted the results and failed to spot the signs from an auto-diagnostic monitor of ‘abnormal findings for an 18-39 female’.

Lauren decided not to go to hospital based on what she was told and before being found dead at her apartment by her mum several hours later.

Black Country coroner Coroner Jo Lees issued a prevention of future deaths letter to the ambulance service due to concerns over lack of training.

In the letter, the service admitted it failed to investigate Lauren’s condition quickly or thoroughly enough, did not recognise her symptoms and misinterpreted the results of an ECG scan.

Michael Portman-Hann, an associate with law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, representing the family, said: ‘This is a truly appalling case in which a number of mistakes have ultimately led to the death of a much-loved young mum who had her whole life in front of her.

‘The service has accepted it failed to investigate Lauren’s condition quickly or thoroughly enough, did not recognise her symptoms, misinterpreted the results of an ECG scan and as a result could not accurately tell Lauren what was happening to her.

‘She should have been told she was suffering a cardiac event and needed hospital treatment in which case she would have been rushed to hospital under blue lights.

‘The ambulance service now admits that had they managed Lauren’s case properly she would have been taken to hospital and would likely have survived the heart attack.

‘We welcome the fact that the service has made such significant admissions of liability, which will help provide some answers for Lauren’s family who have been left devastated by her untimely death.

‘Because of what has happened, a young girl will grow up never knowing the mother who loved her.

‘But we also very much hope that the service learns the necessary lessons from this tragic case and does everything it can to implement training and policies which help ensure nothing similar can happen again.’

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We would again like to apologise to the family of Lauren Smith and offer our condolences.

‘The trust undertook an extensive investigation into the incident, which we have shared with Lauren’s family.

‘As a result we have implemented a number of changes based on the findings.

‘We will continue to do all we can to try and stop something like this ever happening again.’

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