Ambulance went to wrong address after emergency call for sick child

HSE defends handling of response after ambulance called to Tralee, Co Kerry was dispatched to Cork address

The parents of a sick child in the southwest called an ambulance but it went to an incorrect address, delaying receipt of medical attention. The child subsequently died.

The child's parents called the ambulance from Tralee, Co. Kerry, when their infant stopped breathing but it did not arrive for half an hour. It emerged yesterday that the ambulance was wrongly dispatched to an address in Cork.

The Health Service Executive has defended its response to the emergency. The child took ill in the early hours of Tuesday and its parents, who are foreign nationals, rang 999 but it took the first emergency services 30 minutes to arrive at the scene after an ambulance, based in Cork, was mistakenly sent to a location there.

Explaining the State's response to the 999 call, HSE area manager for Kerry, Michael Fitzgerald said the call was received by the Emergency Call Operating Services Centre in Dublin at 1.16 am on June 18th and the first emergency resource arrived at the scene in Tralee 30 minutes later.


“Following an examination of the facts, the HSE can confirm that, despite the best efforts of Ambulance Control staff, there were significant challenges in establishing the exact location of the caller. Regrettably, this led to a delay in locating the patient.”

Last month, the HSE defended its decision to stand down an ambulance dispatched to an accident in Midleton, Co Cork where a two-year-old boy was fatally injured after falling out of an upstairs window.