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The late David Horsman, a 65-year-old patient who collapsed while undergoing a routine CT scan in the United Kingdom (UK).

25.05.2024 Featured UK Switchboard Operator Exposed After Blaming Nigerian Radiographer for Patient’s Death

Published 25th May, 2024

By Tola Owoyele

Anne Parker, a switchboard operator in the United Kingdom (UK), has admitted to sending a resuscitation team to the wrong location during the period when David Horsman, a 65-year-old patient, collapsed while undergoing a routine CT scan.

Parker made the confession in an ongoing inquest on May 23, after she had first blamed Idongesit Okon, a Nigerian radiographer, for the breakdown in communication.

The breakdown, which lasted 17 minutes, eventually led to Horsman’s death.

According to Daily Mail UK, Horsman had been invited for a routine scan in March 2022 at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Farnworth.

The late David Horsman, a 65-year-old patient who collapsed while undergoing a routine CT scan.
The Late David Horsman

The annual medical check was operated by a private firm and held at the hospital’s car park area.

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Horsman went into anaphylactic shock after he was injected with contrast dye used to highlight organs during scans.

This then prompted Okon, the radiographer on duty, to immediately raise the alarm by calling Parker, who was the hospital’s switchboard operator on duty.

Rather than send a rescue team to the hospital’s car park area where the scanning unit was located, however, Parker sent them to the children’s ward.

By the time the team eventually located Horsman, his heart had stopped. Despite being subsequently placed in an induced coma, the elderly patient went on to suffer multiple organ failure and died the following day.

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In a phone recording that was played during an inquest into the matter, Parker could be heard telling an ambulance operator that the mix-up happened because Okon “didn’t speak much English”.

After the recording stopped playing, John Pollard, the coroner at the inquest, asserted that Okon had been quite clear while requesting help for Horsman at the CT scanning unit, and not at the children’s ward.

“The confusion came from yourself,” Pollard said while addressing Parker.

“Yes,” Parker replied, before breaking into tears.

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When the operator was asked why she did not send the team to the correct location once the mix-up had become clear to her, she answered: “Sorry, I can’t answer that.”

It was further established during the hearing that Okon did not have any language problem and had spoken in English while placing the distress call to Parker.

The hearing continues in the coming weeks.

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Published 25th May, 2024

By Tola Owoyele

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