An elderly man has passed away in pain after security personnel at a store refused to give a defibrillator to the people who were attempting to save the senior.
The incident took place in Gillingham, UK, where a man in his 90s collapsed near a local Tesco Extra store according to shopper Samantha Badger.
After she called the emergency services and started performing CPR on the senior, Badger was told to get a defibrillator from the nearby store.
When another resident who was helping the woman tend to the elderly man tried to get the life-saving device, however, they were allegedly stopped by the store’s security personnel. According to Samantha, the staff insisted that the defibrillator was not for public use even though a person was dying right next to their store.
Not only did the staff fail to hand over the medical equipment but they also called the police to report theft after the person assisting Badger tried to run off with their defibrillator.
Sadly, the elderly man passed away and was pronounced dead soon after the paramedics arrived at the store.
“I’m absolutely disgusted with Gillingham Tescos at Bowaters roundabout! When I woke up today, I didn’t envisage having to perform CPR on my next-door neighbor, but as instructed by the 999 emergency service requested, I carried on whilst the SGN employee ran over to Tesco to grab the defib that the 999 emergency services stated was there for us to use,” Badger wrote in a Facebook post as she called for the store staff to be held accountable.
“So I carried on with the CPR as instructed waiting for the defib or ambulance, whichever came first! It was the ambulance I heard as it arrived first and they took over the CPR and heartbreakingly, the patient had passed away and defib never did turn up because as the workman ran into Tesco and collected it as he was running out of the shop with it, the security guard stopped him and told him that it wasn’t for public use!
“The distraught man was so upset and explained that the 999 emergency services said to come and get it whilst a lady (me) was performing CPR on a suspected heart attack patient, but they wouldn’t let him leave the store with it, despite what the emergency services said.
“I’m appalled! This may have saved this gentleman’s life, but instead the poor chap from SGN & myself fighting desperately to save his life, whilst being denied emergency equipment, meant he sadly didn’t make it!”
Following the patient’s death, Kent Police confirmed that they received a call about “attempted theft of a medical device” from the Tesco store in question.
“During this call the caller was informed there was a genuine medical emergency nearby and this was not an attempted theft,” a police spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Tesco said:
“We’re incredibly sorry to hear about this and are shocked to hear the reported circumstances. It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment further while we are investigating these reports.”
They also confirmed they have “2,600 defibrillators in stores across the country,” whereas the devices are free to use by anyone experiencing an emergency.
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